The Bridge Fund of Westchester

A Program of The Bridge Fund of New York Inc.

Who we are.

Margaret Scally

Director, The Bridge Fund of Westchester

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

Director’s Annual Message

The Westchester program experienced one of our busiest years in 2016, providing guidance to an average of 165 requests for assistance each month; nearly every one received one or more of our services. Some were given budget counseling, or referrals to appropriate legal or social service providers, and 327 households became clients and were given financial assistance to pay rental arrears that threatened eviction.

In spite of Westchester’s strong economy, the need for Bridge Fund services remains as critical as it was at our founding in 1991. Almost a quarter of the 976,000 county residents live on incomes that are barely enough to pay for basic needs. The typical Bridge Fund client’s annual net income is about $22,400, and yet living expenses in Westchester are some of the highest in the nation, mainly due to the cost of housing.

While many new, upscale rental units are being developed throughout the county, affordable housing remains in very short supply. Some of our clients pay half of their income in rent. Any unexpected expense can result in rental arrears. But with incomes just above the poverty line, our clients are often denied emergency government assistance. With no affordable alternative, they are at high risk for homelessness.

In fact, Westchester County has more residents living in shelters than does any other county in New York State, outside of New York City. A report from New York State’s Office of the Comptroller found that more than 4,100 families had spent time in a Westchester shelter in 2015.

The Bridge Fund’s priority is to help our clients achieve long-term housing stability. This is of special concern for households with children. Research has shown that the adverse impact of homelessness on a child’s health and educational achievements can have life-long consequences. Our children deserve the housing stability that gives them a better start in life.

Margaret Scally, Director
The Bridge Fund of Westchester

The Bridge Fund of Westchester Program Activity 2016