When some former residents of a psychiatric hospital returned to their communities back in 1954, they discovered that there were no programs to support them. And so they stepped up to support themselves, creating a self-help organization that would serve adults suffering from mental illness.
Today, that organization is known as The Bridge, and over the past seven decades it has evolved into a $65 million agency that operates more than 50 programs in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan and provides a wide range of services—including safe and affordable housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and vocational training and job placement—to 3,200 people each year.
In April of this year, Leviticus stepped up once again to support The Bridge.
Our $3,135,000 loan enabled the nonprofit to acquire vacant land along Boone Avenue in the Bronx and to begin predevelopment activities for the construction of a 66-unit rental property there. The development will provide 51 supportive studio apartments for homeless adults with serious mental illness and 14 studios for seniors living on low and extremely low incomes. There will be one apartment for a superintendent.
The property is in the heart of the multi-phase West Farms Redevelopment Plan, which is revitalizing a long-underutilized manufacturing district and ultimately will create approximately 46,000 square feet of new retail space and generate abundant economic opportunities in the neighborhood.
The Boone Avenue Project is the seventh loan we have made through our Project Start Fund, and it is our second loan to The Bridge. In March of 2018, our $3.2 million loan enabled the agency to acquire property in the South Bronx to develop a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient development that will provide 115 supportive housing and rental units.
As its mission affirms, The Bridge is committed to changing lives by offering help, hope, and opportunity to the most vulnerable in the community. The Boone Avenue development is an outstanding expression of that commitment and will serve the needs of homeless adults and low-income seniors as it contributes to the transformation of the surrounding community.