The Bridge Fund of New York City

A Program of The Bridge Fund of New York Inc.

Who we are.

Maria Toledo

Director, The Bridge Fund of
New York City

New York City Staff
Staff, Left to Right: Emma Melendez, Travis Greenbaum, Reeham Ahmed, Drew Geer, Maria Toledo, Monika Scherer, Rosalie Girau

According to HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report for 2018, more than 14 percent of the nation’s 552,830 homeless individuals resided in New York City as of January 2018. In May 2019 alone, more than 63,029 people, including 22,412 children, slept each night in the municipal shelter system, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. Others slept on the street, in parks and on subways.

Not surprisingly, hundreds of working poor families, veterans and retirees anxious to avoid a similar fate reach out to The Bridge Fund of New York City for help each month. Most are threatened with the loss of their affordable housing because of unforeseen emergencies that make it impossible for them to both pay the rent on time and put food on the table. These unforeseen emergencies include unemployment/underemployment, uninsured illness, funeral expenses and more. Evictions are one of the largest causes of homelessness in the city.

These factors and the implementation of the Right to Counsel Bill (RTCB) account for why The Bridge Fund of New York City continues to receive so many requests for help. The attorneys and paralegals hired with RTCB funding often rely on the services and financial assistance that we and others provide to be able to settle their clients’ Housing Court cases.

For all of 2018, The Bridge Fund of New York City saved the affordable apartments of 672 client-households, some with case management services only and others with services and financial assistance, averaging $1,460 per household. This is a significant savings over shelter placement, which for a family is estimated to be more than $62,000 a year. With the expansion of the Right to Counsel Bill to all of New York City by 2022, we stand ready to assist even more needy families and individuals in the future.

For its main clients, The Bridge Fund offers financial assistance aimed at resolving the immediate housing crisis, budget counseling, and monitoring over a two-year period. We are now implementing a new service designed to improve the work skills and earning potential of willing clients. Learn more about The Bridge Fund’s Income Growth Initiative.

Director’s Annual Message

The Climate in New York City

  • A total of 133,284 individuals, including over 45,600 children, slept in the municipal shelter system during the 2018 City fiscal year. The cost to taxpayers of maintaining these adults, seniors and children in shelters has been significant.
  • On average, households with children remain in the city shelters for almost 14 months, despite the fact that one third have a family member that works.
  • The price tag to taxpayers? For families with children, the City spent $171-a-day, or $62,415, for a twelve-month stay in a shelter.

For a fraction of the cost, The Bridge Fund helps hard-working New Yorkers, retirees and veterans hold on to their affordable housing, much of it rent-regulated. We know that our clients do much to make our City great and deserve our help when confronted with such unforeseen emergencies as temporary unemployment, exorbitant medical bills, or the death of a loved one.

To all clients, we provide one or more of the following services:

  1. Compassionate listening
  2. Information and referral
  3. Individual budget counseling
  4. Benefits assessment and advocacy

During 2019, with Bridge Fund interest-free loans, grants, and/or subsidies of $922,101 the program prevented the evictions of 682 client-households, consisting of 1,466 adults, seniors and children. Our average financial assistance? Only $1,501 per family!

With the above case management services only, Bridge Fund case handlers prevented
the evictions of 87 households, consisting of 178 people.

TOTAL ASSISTED: 682 households with 1,466 individuals, including 483 children.

Maria Toledo, Director
The Bridge Fund of New York City

2019 New York City Program Activity Chart