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Maria Toledo, Director, The Bridge Fund of New York City
Maria Toledo, Director
The Bridge Fund of New York City


Last Year We...

  • prevented 720 evictions
  • helped 1,577 individuals
  • Provided $92,951 in assistance to 128 victims of Hurricane Sandy (Nov 2012-Dec 2013)

Of our income in 2013, we spent:

  • 90.2% on client services
  •  7.0% on administration
  •  2.8% on fund raising

2013 Budget Counseling

  • Provided 5,794 hours of budget counseling
  • Conducted 28 Money Management Workshopsfor 191 Bridge Fund clients
  • Enrolled 426 clients for e-Budgeting, a list-serv that enables the Director of Budget Counseling to keep in touch with clients via e-mail long after our initial intervention
  • Mailed 925 informational fliers warning against Refund Anticipation Loans
  • Helped clients arrange online payment of rent and/or open bank accounts

The Bridge Fund of New York City

A Program of The Bridge Fund of New York Inc.

Homelessness Prevention for the Working Poor of New York City's Five Boroughs

In many ways, our client-population faced greater challenges in finding good jobs, paying the rent, and even feeding their families in 2013 than in the last five years. Although the national unemployment rate dropped to 6.5% by the end of 2013, the City’s rate stood higher at 7.5%, and The Bronx, with 10.6% unemployed, had the highest unemployment rate in the state. Federal funding cuts to the Section 8 rent subsidy program prompted administrators in New York City to implement changes that compel some recipients to move to smaller apartments or pay a greater share of the rent. Others risk losing their Section 8 subsidies altogether unless they aggressively pursue legal action against their landlords to make necessary repairs. In November, federal cuts to the food stamps program reduced the food purchasing power of 1.8 million New York City residents, including 40% of Bridge Fund clients. A household of three that had been receiving $526 a month in benefits now had $29 less to spend at the grocery store. That $29 could buy seven or eight gallons of milk or 6 dozen eggs and 10 loaves of bread. Because each food stamp dollar generates an estimated $1.79 in economic activity, this reduction also hurt local businesses.

Given these challenges and the persistent lack of affordable housing in New York City, it is not surprising that more than 53,100 individuals, including 22,800 children, are now residing in the costly municipal shelter system each night, and that so many low-income tenants sought our assistance to avoid a similar outcome. In fact, The Bridge Fund of New York City received more requests for help in 2013 than during any other year since our founding. Nearly all who were referred to us benefited from one or more Bridge Fund services: budget counseling, information and referral, and benefits assessment and advocacy. Of these, 720 client households also received a Bridge Fund loan or grant to pay rental arrears that threatened eviction or to secure safe and affordable apartments. A small number of clients who demonstrated future ability to maintain their housing without our continued support received modest short-term rent subsidies.

Serving these households, as well as monitoring the housing stability of former clients, required the expertise of our very dedicated caseworkers and the support of all our stakeholders. Last year, we welcomed to the staff law school graduate Henry Tranes and former Peace Corps volunteer Jacqueline Gannon.  With the commitment of our staff and the generosity of our funders and our Board of Directors, The Bridge Fund of New York City is poised to replicate and very likely surpass, during 2014, the accomplishments of 2013!

The Bridge Fund of New York City staff

The Bridge Fund of New York City
Program Activity 2013

  1. Assistance may be loans or grants, critical information and referrals, budget counseling.
  2. Bridge Fund households can receive a combination of loans and grants.
  3. Networked Funding is secured by The Bridge Fund partnering with other agencies.
  4. Clients' Contributions: Money accumulated by client, but insufficient to resolve housing crisis.
  5. Repayments: Clients can repay as little as $5 per month upto $100 per month.

Our Clients are

Home health aides


Security guards

Childcare providers


Factory workers

Telephone operators


Customer service representatives


School aides

Lab technicians


Store clerks


Fitness instructors


Medical assistants

In NYC, our average assistance is $1,748 per household.

Our clients pay 42% of their net income on rent

Of our clients, 34% are children.

Client Demographics:

  • 69% African/American
  • 22% Hispanic
  • 8% Caucasian
  • 1% Asian, Other

Advisory Committee

Gregory Floyd
President, City Employees Union Local 237

Angela Hollis, MBA
President Hollis Group, LLC; Formerly Director of Advancement, New York City Mission Society

Pritpal Kochbar
Property Management

Douglass Seidman
Attorney, The Legal Aid Society

Antonio Garcia
Director of Eviction Prevention and Housing Education, Catholic Charities

Erika Wood
Attorney, New York University Law School




Copyright 2014 The Bridge Fund of New York Inc.