Advocacy, Services & Community
The mission of BRIDGES is to provide advocacy and leadership towards an accessible, integrated community, promoting health and autonomy for people with disabilities.
BRIDGES is a community-based, peer-driven, cross-disability, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advocacy and leadership on behalf of people with disabilities. BRIDGES is one of 41 Independent Living Centers (ILC) operating in New York State under the auspices of New York State Education Department (NYSED). Each ILC adheres to a national philosophy of Independent Living (IL) that seeks to empower individuals with disabilities to make autonomous decisions regarding all aspects of living and advocating to ensure equal access to opportunities desired.
For many years the disabled community has been fighting for equal access to various life opportunities. BRIDGES is committed to advancing equal rights in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, so that people with disabilities have equal access to opportunities in all that life has to offer i.e. work, education, housing, healthcare, and fun!
Independent Living Services
BRIDGES operates a variety of programs under the heading of Independent Living Services (ILS). Programs and services are guided by the philosophy of Independent Living to provide the necessary supports for individuals with disabilities to experience autonomy in all areas of living.
The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA) program is a service that helps to improve the quality of life for those who require personal assistance at home due to their disability and/or chronic illness. On a statewide level, these services are available to individuals with Medicaid who qualify for long term care
CHORE is a resource to people living in Rockland County who are 60 years of age or older, or a person living with a disability, regardless of age or income status. CHORE helps people to maintain the independence of living at home by providing free minor household repairs and home improvements that make living at home safe.
The Rockland County PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program is operated through BRIDGES and supported by the Rockland County Department of Mental Health and Rockland County Veteran Service Agency. Named to honor the memory of an Iraq war hero from Mount Sinai, NY, the Dwyer Program provides Vet-to-Vet support among Veterans who personally understand the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
This program is available to all veterans, members of the Armed Forces, Guard, and Reserves and their families. All are welcome regardless of service dates, discharge status or dependency status. The program is free and confidential.
Community Re-Entry and Integration
Integration Services breaks down barriers for justice-involved individuals through advocacy that creates system changes. Integration Services provides person-centered support to empower individuals returning home from correctional facilities and others diverted from incarceration. We offer transition planning, case management, and referral services based on each individual’s needs. We focus on building an inclusive community where each individual is treated with dignity and worth.
Connections: Employment & Marketing Services, LLC (Connections) represents an innovative approach to advancing entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals with disabilities. BRIDGES operates Connections as the Sole Member of the Limited Liability Company established to advance the mission of BRIDGES by enabling individuals with disabilities to gain and demonstrate employment skills necessary to develop their own businesses. Each Connections project originates with a business concept advanced by individuals with disabilities. BRIDGES develops each concept, mindful of community needs, to determine the potential viability, business capacity, and service opportunity.
How Many People Reached
Between 2,000-3,000 a year.
How Donations Are Used
To fund and enhance existing services particularly in the area of young people with disabilities as well as Veterans with disabilities.
Virtual 5K Run/Walk Veteran with Disabilities: BRIDGES PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program provides Vet-to-Vet peer mentoring for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Peers are trained in military behavioral health. Named to honor the memory of an Iraq war hero from Mount Sinai, this program is available to all veterans, members of the Armed Forces, Guard, and Reserves and their families regardless of service dates, discharge status or dependency status. The program is free and confidential. To register, click here.
Independence Café, located at the Rockland County CourtHouse, provides a daily convenience to approximately 600 to 1,000 employees, guests and officials. Staffed by veterans and people with disabilities, the Independence Café uses local vendors to offer coffee, tea, hot chocolate, potato chips, cold beverages and other convenience products.