Robin Morris had professional and financial success for fifteen years, building a career in advertising before being hit hard by the Great Recession. Since then, she says, “I’ve been working twice as hard for half as much. I never expected it to be like this. I had made good money, I had a 401k, I worked hard.”
Ms. Morris managed to persevere and build a new life. She worked multiple part-time jobs that enabled her to meet her basic living expenses. However, in December 2018, this new life was challenged when she suffered a pulmonary embolism and required six months to recover from the near-death experience. By the time Ms. Morris was referred to The Bridge Fund of New York City by Housing Court Answers, in June 2019, she had exhausted her 401k savings and owed her landlord several months of unpaid rent.
Despite the odds, Ms. Morris always managed to bounce back. At the time of her application to the program, she had found employment and needed help paying only a portion of the rental arrears. Inspired by her resolve, The Bridge Fund caseworkers quickly helped this hard-working individual hold onto her affordable apartment by providing budget counseling and benefits assessment plus a modest interest-free loan, which Ms. Morris gladly began repaying. Almost a year later, however, things worsened when COVID-19 swept through the City, costing Ms. Morris and millions of other vulnerable New Yorkers their livelihoods and their housing stability. Renewed financial assistance in the form of a $1,115 rent grant and a $200 supermarket gift card was provided in May 2020, while Ms. Morris awaited sufficient unemployment insurance benefits, which took almost two months to receive.
Today, Ms. Morris is doing well and is grateful to The Bridge Fund. When asked what helps her persevere, Ms. Morris shared her outlook: “No matter how hard life has been, I’m still grateful to wake up every day for a chance to do better than I did yesterday.”