The Bridge Fund of New York City
Who we are.
Deputy Director, The Bridge Fund of
New York and Director, The Bridge Fund of New York City
Recent Success Stories in New York City
Director’s Annual Message
New York City, 2021 Report
Despite the many challenges that the Corona virus pandemic has posed for the working-poor and the social service sector, the staff of The Bridge Fund of New York City resolved to help as many clients as possible maintain their affordable housing. We have met that objective by employing various, creative strategies, including some that were not anticipated but clearly welcomed.
During 2021, The Bridge Fund of New York City stabilized 595 client-households in their apartments, including 20 that were helped with Bridge Fund services only. The interest-free loans, grants, and subsidies that we provided for payment of rent, averaged less than $1,450 per household. This compares with shelter placement for a family which is estimated to cost taxpayers more than $72,000 per year. To some of these clients and others, The Bridge Fund also provided a total of $42,973 as food cards from such vendors as Whole Foods, Fresh Direct and Costco, plus utility grants, totaling $41,686 and averaging only $189 per family.
Special emphasis has been placed on helping clients prepare for better paying jobs. Now many of these clients must use as much as 50% or more of their modest incomes to meet their ongoing housing obligations. We know that, as of the writing of this report, an estimated 77% of the jobs lost to New York City prior to the pandemic have been recovered. The education, health, leisure and hospitality sectors have been leading the way in this recovery, not to mention warehousing and courier services. Growing employment opportunities in these and other sectors are expected during 2022. We have been helping clients to prepare through our Income Growth Initiative (IGI). In fact, during 2021, our Income Growth Initiative provided career counseling services to more than 160 clients. These services include resume preparation, effective job searches and expert referrals to vocational training programs. Area colleges help clients quickly prepare for high demand jobs, offering income growth and professional development for advancement.
Interestingly, in the process of conducting outreach to outside training programs and serving clients, The Bridge Fund of New York City has assisted those clients on how to use their phones and the internet in order to gather information, participate in Zoom conferencing and upload documents. We have also taken on LaGuardia Community College students as interns (all of them working poor), so they can complete their certification requirements or improve their English language skills. Several of the clients served by The Bridge Fund of New York City during 2021 have found renewed employment or are on track to complete their training. More than 70% of these clients reported an increase in satisfaction due to improved earnings, job responsibilities, medical benefits, and life-work balance issues. We are proud of these outcomes, which we expect to replicate or exceed during 2022!
Maria Toledo, Director
The Bridge Fund of New York City