Kemi Pogue lived in Ossining with her two sons, where she shared a home with her sister’s family of three, and they divided expenses. She worked in human services as a program administrator serving her community of Ossining. But when Kemi’s sister had twins, the home became very crowded. Then, when the pandemic hit, Kemi’s sister, a health care worker, had to exercise good caution not to bring COVID into the overcrowded home, adding another stress to an already stressful situation.

Kemi’s younger son, Mohammad, already plagued by anxiety due to recent school shootings, had to attend high school isolated in his room. She watched helplessly as Mohammad sank into depression, rarely leaving his room, and never leaving the house. With Mohammed’s mental health deteriorating, Kemi became increasingly worried. “He was becoming more OCD (obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.) I knew we had to have a new place to save him.”

The family had long been on a waitlist for their own apartment and luckily, their name rose to the top last fall. Moving was expensive, but Kemi knew it was the best choice. “When I needed help, it was hard to ask, but I was pleased to be referred to The Bridge Fund.” With a Bridge Fund grant of $2,237, the family moved into their new apartment in November of 2021. Now they’re just four blocks away from her sister’s house, and Kemi says Mohammed is much better, almost his old self, and on track to graduate.

“I really, really, really appreciate what The Bridge Fund has done for us and for others,” says Kemi. “I have seen it first-hand. I don’t know what we would have done without them.”

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