Angie and Alex Brown have a beautiful family and live in Mount Vernon, where Alex grew up. Their two boys and two girls range in age from five to 13. Alex has been the family’s primary breadwinner, working for 13 years as a mechanic at Costco. Until all the children are of school age, the family decided Angie would be a stay-at-home mom.
Money was tight but the family was managing, and the children were excelling. The two older children, Paris and Chase, are talented basketball players. Chase even won a scholarship to participate in a local American Athletic Union team. And Max made the honor roll.
But Covid rocked their life. With the four children home all day, the extra costs of utilities and food cut into what little savings the Browns set aside. Then, Alex needed foot surgery, putting him out of work for more than six weeks. With the loss of salary and the extra Covid-related expenses, the family fell behind in rent payments. Then another curve ball came their way. The apartment they lived in became uninhabitable and needed immediate repair. The Browns were forced to move to another apartment in their complex. Many of their belongings were unusable, and they had to replace them.
With these three major setbacks, the arrears continued to grow, and their landlord took them to court. A judge gave them 30 days to pay or vacate the unit. Angie was terrified: “We had no idea what we were going to do. We were freaking out – we have four children!” Then, a social worker at the children’s school referred them to The Bridge Fund.
The Bridge Fund of Westchester coordinated with the Department of Social Services and Legal Services of the Hudson Valley to put together a $9,600 package to cover the family’s arrears. The Bridge Fund assisted with $3,000 and the Browns also contributed $1,237. “It was a big weight off our shoulders,” says Angie about The Bridge Fund’s assistance. “We were very grateful.”
Life is really looking up for this close-knit family. Their rent is up to date, and with all four children in school this fall, Angie, who put her career on pause, will explore job opportunities so she can contribute to the family income. At this moment, the Browns are enjoying another summer in a place call home. As the children play, Angie and Alex look on with pride.
“We had no idea what we were going to do. We were freaking out – we have four children!”