Bridges serves homeless and low-income individuals and families in Howard County. Due to COVID-19 many of those we serve face financial distress. They have been laid off, suffered significant cuts in work hours, or been forced to miss work so they can stay home with young children. They have few or no assets to fall back on. Their ability to buy food and household necessities and pay rent on their own has been directly impacted during this global crisis.
Bridges launched a community appeal on March 20th to provide emergency assistance to any of our clients affected by the pandemic. Within two weeks, nearly $10,000 was raised by our generous supporters. During this pandemic, Bridges has provided rent subsidies, food, gift cards, and cleaning supplies to over 39 households in need thus far as we continue to assess and prioritize individual client needs. Our COVID-19 Community Appeal remains active, please click here if you would like to contribute. Your contribution will provide hope to those displaced or at risk of losing their housing by the pandemic. Thank you for your gracious support!
Bridges has also received support from a HOCORESPONDS grant and a Community Development Block Grant to help current clients and clients referred through the Coordinated Entry System to prevent evictions and help with utilities and basic needs for those affected by this crisis. For low-income households facing eviction and seeking assistance, please call the Grassroots crisis line at 410-531-6677.
Bridges staff is working primarily from home with the office remaining closed to the public but allowing clients to come in by appointment only. We continue to provide affordable housing, comprehensive case management, and support services. Our program staff is also advocating with clients to make sure their 2018 or 2019 taxes are filed and update their address or bank account information where they receive benefit deposits so they can receive their individual stimulus payments.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bridges was forced to cancel two fundraising events between March and June 2020, including our 10th Annual Chili Cook-Off. We thank you for your patience and support as we move into the next fiscal year uncertain about how fundraising events will take place. However, we are hopeful that together we will raise funds to continue serving low-income individuals and families who are at greater risk than ever.