The Bridge Fund of Westchester

A Program of The Bridge Fund of New York Inc.

Who we are.

Grace Perry, Director

Grace Perry

Director, The Bridge Fund of Westchester


The Bridge Fund of Westchester

Left to Right: Jacqueline Melendez, Margaret Scally and Sharon Sydnor-Whyte

Director’s Annual Message

The Atmosphere in Westchester County

  • There are 97,454 people living in poverty or 10% of the population.
  • A person must work 135 hours per week, or 3.4 full time jobs, to afford a 2-bedroom apartment without being considered “housing cost burdened,” where 30% or more of income is spent on rent.
  • An estimated 40,240 households receive Food Stamps.
  • Today Westchester has more homeless people than any other New York county outside New York City:

    • 739 children in 2018, up 17.7% from 2015
    • 396 families in 2018, up 5.6% from 2015
    • 1,827 total people in 2018, up 1.7% from 2015

What is causing Westchester’s high rate of homelessness?

  • Poverty and under employment
  • Divorce and failure to provide child support by one partner
  • Less acceptance of domestic violence, primarily of women
  • Returning veterans with mental health or drug problems
  • Declines in Federal housing subsidies
  • Aging out of foster care
  • Increasing rents in Westchester County
  • Poor education and lack of job skills


Westchester’s Hidden Homeless

  • Westchester has over 1,800 homeless school-age children living doubled-up with
    relatives or others, twice as many as in homeless shelters.
  • No one has any statistical data on the living conditions of these 1,800 “hidden
    homeless” school-age children.

The Bridge Fund of Westchester Experience in 2017

  • Average client spends over 40% of their income on rent
  • 337 households received financial assistance for rental arrears in 2017, up 3% from 2016
  • Food pantry requests increased from 124 in 2016, to 132 in 2017

Our Response in 2018

  • Try to raise additional funds to meet increasing demand of Westchester residents
  • Explore the development of community-based relationships throughout the county
    including Peekskill and Yonkers
  • Put clients in touch with workforce development services

Grace Perry, Director
The Bridge Fund of Westchester

The Bridge Fund of Westchester Program Activity 2016