Marie and Dana

Children with special needs grow up, but in many communities,  there are  fewer social and educational resources targeted for the special needs  adult.

As a veteran, Marie has faced many difficult situations, but  parenting  her autistic daughter Dana has been a challenge. When Dana was younger,  there were special education programs for school-age children. But now that Dana is 23, not every community has programs for autistic adults that can provide supervised care while Marie works. With only part-time work, and no family to help with finances, Marie and Dana have depended on income from Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and it has not been easy.

Recently, Marie learned of a comprehensive program  for autistic adults that will care for Dana all day, five days a week. This would allow Marie to take a full-time job, but it meant moving to  another town.

“This program was just what we needed, and it  meant that I could take a full-time job. But we would both have to move to Peekskill so I could be nearby. I didn’t see how I could pay for the  moving expenses and a security deposit. I thought perhaps the VA could help us,” Marie explained. She contacted the Veterans Administration in  Montrose. They said they could help with moving expenses, then referred  her to The Bridge Fund for additional assistance.

The Bridge Fund provided Marie with a grant of $1,725 to cover the security deposit. In addition, our staff coordinated with the VA of Montrose to advocate on behalf of Marie and Dana with Westchester’s Department of Social Services, for additional assistance.

Marie soon found a full-time job as a home health aide and Dana has been enthusiastic about her new program in Peekskill. “The help from The Bridge Fund has made such a difference in our lives,” said Marie. “I know Dana is well cared for every day, and that means I can earn more money to meet our other needs. Thank you from both of us.”

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