Tanya Grant has worked with foster kids for over 20 years, so she is no stranger to hard conversations and difficult circumstances. “The work is stressful at times, but I enjoy the people I work with, and I love the kids,” Ms. Grant stated when asked about her career helping children. Ms. Grant also loves, and is proud of, her 20-year-old son Michael. They have always lifted each other’s spirits and have worked together to maintain their $1,250-a-month apartment in The Bronx. But 2020 proved to be an especially challenging year for both of them. In late 2019, Michael suffered a serious injury that caused him to miss time and pay from his job as a porter. He had tried security work for a while, but the hours were bad, and the pay was worse. So he was grateful to have landed this porter job, which offered great benefits. After being out on a disability leave for three months, he was happy to return to work in early 2020. With only a month back at a job, however, the pandemic struck and the business was temporarily closed effective March 2020. This streak of bad luck caused mother and son to fall behind in their rent payments, and they were not sure how they would be able to hold on to their housing.
Fortunately, Phipps NY made a referral to The Bridge Fund of New York City, which quickly partnered with Tanya and Michael to pay the rental arrears. It made sense to do so for several reasons, including the fact that Michael was now back at work and the household had enough income to meet their ongoing living expenses. The program also provided budget counseling plus information about other Bridge Fund services and outside resources. Today, mother and son are doing well. Regarding her application to The Bridge Fund and her experience working with the program, Tanya notes “At first, I was skeptical. You know, what are the chances someone can actually help me? I thought it wasn’t going to go anywhere, but I was so happily wrong. My caseworker Stephen was great!”