“I had no idea The Bridge Fund existed; it was a blessing!” recalls Pamela Harrington, after connecting with a caseworker who helped her and her 70-year-old husband hold onto their rent-regulated apartment in Midwood, Brooklyn. Married for 28 years, the couple was getting along fine on their Social Security retirement benefits and Nolan’s work income as an Uber driver. But then the pandemic happened. Nolan’s earnings all but dried up, and the pair quickly found themselves falling behind on their rent payments. It would be a while, even after being vaccinated against Covid, before Nolan felt it was safe to return to work. This is because Pamela has had Type 1 diabetes since she was 18 years old, and Nolan had been warned that his possible exposure to sick passengers could result in her serious illness or death.
By September 2022, the landlord had lost patience and commenced formal eviction proceedings in Housing Court, despite having recently received extra payments from Pamela and Nolan. Fortunately, a friend gave Pamela a number to call: The Bridge Fund.
The Bridge Fund quickly assessed the couple’s financial and housing situation and determined they were deserving of consideration and could be stabilized in their apartment. “The caseworker walked us through everything and even dealt with the landlord for us,” Pamela added. The program reached out to the Human Resources Administration and the Coalition for the Homeless for help. With their contributions and a Bridge Fund grant of less than $3,300, all outstanding rent was paid and the Housing Court case settled. The Bridge Fund even provided a modest Whole Foods gift card and information about apartment lotteries.
Now, the Harringtons are current on rent and even putting aside a bit extra each month as a safety net. And today Pamela is recovering from cancer treatment with more peace of mind. They consider themselves fortunate to still be living in a great building and residential neighborhood that is multi-ethnic, with tree-lined streets. Upon reflecting on The Bridge Fund, Pamela states, “I don’t know what I would have done without them. The care and time that they took with us was exceptional.”
“The care and time that they took with us was exceptional.”