News & Events

BRiDGES Receives Two New Accessible Vehicles!

BRiDGES is very excited to take delivery of two brand new accessible vehicles today! Acquiring the vehicles was made possible through a grant funded by the New York State Department of Transportation. These vehicles will allow BRiDGES to provide the following essential services for people with disabilities:

  • Medical Appointments (including Veterans to the VA)
  • Advocacy Events
  • Community Outreach
  • Accessible Transportation
Dr. David Jacobsen, Executive Director of BRiDGES, signs for the new accessible vehicles.
BRiDGES staff members pose with one on the new buses.

East Ramapo Central School District 2017 Summer Food Service Program

Learn more at the East Ramapo CSD Food Services website

The East Ramapo CSD (Spring Valley) announces its participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Meals will be provided to all children 18 years and under without charge. In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Meals will be provided at the sites and times as follows:

Site LocationBreakfast TimeLunch TimeMeal Service Dates
Eldorado Elementary School
1)Newcomer SIFE Program
2)Summer Academy High School Program
5 Eldorado Dr
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
7:30am – 8:30am11:30am – 1:00pm7/5-8/11/2017
Elmwood Elementary School
1)Special Education Extended School Year
2)Summer Computer Science Academy
43 Robert Pitt Drive
Monsey, NY 10952
8:30am-9:00am12:00pm-1:00pm7/5 - 8/16/2017
Hempstead Elementary School
Special Education
Extended School Year
80 Brick Church Rd
Spring Valley, NY 10977
8:30am-9:00am12:00pm-1:00pm7/6 – 8/16/2017
Kakiat School
East Ramapo Instrumental Music Program
465 Viola Road
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Lime Kiln School
Summer Health Sciences Academy
35 Lime Kiln Rd
Suffern, NY 10901

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program Information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.),should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program
information may be made available in languages other than English.

Persons interested in receiving more information should contact:

East Ramapo CSD (Spring Valley), 105 South Madison Ave., Spring Valley, NY 10977-5400

Read Rockland County Times Article: Veterans Lives Matter

Read the full Rockland County Times article:
Veterans Lives Matter: First County Veterans Conference held at HNA Palisades by Kathy Kahn

Dr. David Jacobsen, Executive Director of BRiDGES, and Vet-to-Vet volunteer Chester Edwards

BRiDGES, Rockland County Veteran Services Agency and the Department of Mental Health sponsored the county’s inaugural Veterans’ Conference at the HNA Palisades Center on June 13.

Over 100 veterans attended the all-day conference and found a bevy of programs designed to inform, encourage and empower them. Returning to civilian life after combat duty is often a difficult transition to make, particularly those who have done several tours in the Middle East since Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched in 2003.

Twenty-two organizations took part in all-day conference—Veterans Alternative to Incarceration Program, Play for Your Freedom, NAMI Home Front, Paws for a Cause, Veterans Angels, Hospice for Veterans (with a presentation by Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties) and many others—giving veterans and their families the opportunity to learn how many programs are out there. Whether it was finding peer-to-peer support, housing, returning to college under the GI Bill and transition skills learned in the military to civilian life, the conference covered as many topics as time allowed, giving attendees the opportunity to gather information—and hopefully, to reach out for support if they need it.

Read the full Rockland County Times article:
Veterans Lives Matter: First County Veterans Conference held at HNA Palisades by Kathy Kahn

PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Rockland County Veteran Conference

The Inaugural PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Rockland County Veteran Conference – Finding Your Next Mission & Purpose – was met with much positive feedback and comments.  We are looking forward to making next year’s conference even bigger and better!

We would like to take the opportunity to thank the Veterans and family members who took the time to attend the conference and helped make it such a success with their positive energy and enthusiasm.

We especially want to thank Sergeant Major Michael T. Mack for acting as our Keynote Speaker.  Sgt. Mack’s inspirational speech was the perfect catalyst to kick off the day’s events.  We are extremely grateful that he took the time out of his busy schedule to support this program and his fellow Veterans.

It was a privilege to host so many wonderful vendors and presenters during the course of the day’s breakout sessions.  Below is a list of the participating vendors and their websites.

Anchor Media Services –
Fred Astaire Dance Studio –
Full Circle Equine Centered Activities –
Heroic Food –
Hudson Valley Paws For A Cause –
NAMI Homefront –
NYU Langone/Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic –
PharmaCann –
Play for Your Freedom –
Puppies Behind Bars –
RCC Veterans Affairs –
Squirrelwood Equine Sanctuary –
Up2Us Sports –
Veterans Angels –
Veterans Yoga Project –
Warrior Spirit –
We Honor Veterans/Hospice –

Planning to Age in Place? Find a Contractor Now

Read this complete article from the New York Times here.

Older people have the highest rate of homeownership in the country — about 80 percent, according to a 2016 report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. The great majority live in single-family homes, most of them poorly suited for the disabilities common in later life.

The center has looked at three of the most important accessibility features that allow people to move safely around their living spaces: entrances without steps, single-floor living, and wide hallways and doorways that can accommodate wheelchairs.

“Less than 4 percent of the U.S. housing stock has all three of those,” said Jennifer Molinsky, a senior research associate at the center.

Add two more important elements for aging in place — doors with lever handles, and light switches and electrical outlets that can be reached from a wheelchair — and the proportion drops to 1 percent.

You’ll often hear older people vow that they won’t leave their homes except “feet first.” Without modifications, however, the design of most older Americans’ homes could eventually thwart their owners’ desire to stay in them.

Solving that problem, individually or collectively, means confronting certain obstacles.

Read this complete article from the New York Times here.

Unsung Hero John H. Leighton: Active Member of the Marines Corps League of Rockland

This article appears in “Rockland County Times”.  Please view the complete article here.

The mission of The Marine Corps League is for the members to join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps. This is accomplished by banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service, voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines and former Marines and to their widows and orphans and by perpetuating the history of the United States Marine Corps through fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.

Past Commandant Dale Robison Jr. told the Rockland County Times, “Retired United States Marine Corps Colonel John H. Leighton is an outstanding veteran. He served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and flew 900 missions. He has been an active member, performing as our Commandant for 2 years, is currently serving as our Adjutant and was President of the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 333. In these positions, he instituted many ideas and changes to strengthen these groups. He has been involved with our Toys for Tots program plus the Bob Hope Division at the Montrose Nursing Home for Vets. His most impressive work has been for the Joseph P. Dwyer Vet to Vet mentoring group, working with vets suffering from PTSD. A humble man, John is most deserving of recognition.”

This article appears in “Rockland County Times”.  Please view the complete article here.