Tom and Louise lived a big life in Peekskill for over 20 years. He was a very successful barber with a huge, loyal clientele and she worked for many years in a popular neighborhood restaurant. Even with six sons and a daughter—and a little help from Tom’s custom T-shirt side business—they lived very comfortably. Nothing could have prepared them for what happened when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure one summer.
Tom had been having trouble lasting a full day at work – breathing and standing on his feet all day became impossible. It finally got so bad he had to be hospitalized for five days. He was advised not to return to work for two months and then only part-time. Meanwhile, Louise started to suffer from knee problems and had to cut back her hours to care for her husband.
With their income greatly reduced and no health insurance, the couple knew hardship like never before. When they fell behind on rent, Social Services assisted with $589 and The Bridge Fund provided an interest-free loan of $500. Tom and Louise were able to come up with the balance, bringing them up to date on what they owed the landlord.
Today, while facing health challenges as most aging couples do, Tom and Louise are able to rely on The Bridge Fund caseworker who can both guide them through budget planning that addresses their individual concerns and refer them to social services that can help meet other needs. The best part: they can remain in their beloved home together.