Uncertain Times in Westchester

Shelly Peyton, a 63-year-old woman who lives in Mount Vernon, is employed as a Patient Service Representative in a local hospital. Despite being employed, unforeseen medical bills caused her to fall behind in her rent. Ms. Peyton lives alone on a very tight budget each month, and did not know where to turn for help. The Department of Social Services referred her to The Bridge Fund of Westchester. “The Bridge Fund became my anchor during a time of uncertainty,” she said.

The Bridge Fund approved a loan of $1,353 and partnered with another organization to satisfy her rental arrears of $2,653. Ms. Peyton’s caseworker analyzed her budget and provided budget counseling to help manage ongoing expenses. The Bridge Fund also assisted Ms. Peyton in applying for Senior Status with Con Edison which limits large utility bills. We also helped sign her up for other senior entitlements including food delivery services and medication assistance.

Clients who have received assistance are monitored by Bridge Fund caseworkers for up to two years. In doing so, we found that Ms. Peyton had to take a leave from her part-time job because she was ill with COVID-19 and that she had fallen behind on two month’s rent. The Bridge Fund and Cluster, a partner agency, provided assistance with her rent and also made sure that the entitlements were current. “They assured me I would be okay,” she said. “I am forever grateful!”

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