News & Events

Buffalo Soldiers Award Ceremony – 2/14 – 11 AM

Rockland County Buffalo Soldiers Award Ceremony
February 14th, 2018 – 11 Am to 12 PM
Fire Training Center
35 Firemens Memorial Drive
Pomona, NY 10970

Since 1993, the Buffalo Soldier Award is presented yearly to a black veteran from the county who is active in the community. It’s named after the soldiers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment, organized as an all-black unit in 1866, who earned fame fighting the American Indians on the Kansas frontier.

 

Advancing Autonomy Celebration 2018

 

Register for this free event at EventBrite!

Last year BRiDGES celebrated 30 years of advocacy and service by highlighting individual stories of how the agency benefits people with disabilities.  We heard from a Veteran who earned a paycheck for the first time in 13 years because of the Independence Café.  We heard how the PASER program enables people in need of a Personal Assistant to live independently, to work, and to participate in all aspects of community.  We heard how the Re-Entry program gives people a chance to change their own situation by building healthy family relationships, finding a place to live, and earning a living through meaningful work.  These and other stories shared as 300 people gathered together to focus on how Rockland County is moving toward an integrated, accessible community for everyone.

Sponsorship opportunities are available!

This year, BRiDGES continues the Advancing Autonomy Celebration by once again inviting all stakeholders to come together and focus on how our community is moving forward.  As an Independent Living Center, BRiDGES is charged with four (4) core services: Advocacy, Information & Referral, Independent Life Skills, and Peer Support.  This year’s celebration will focus specifically on how Advocacy, which typically begins with helping just one person, leads to Systemic Changes that benefit the entire community.  Please join us on Thursday, March 8, in celebrating how BRiDGES is Advancing Autonomy for all of us. Register for this free event at EventBrite!

Sponsorship opportunities are available!

The Advancing Autonomy Celebration is free in order to encourage participation from the community, as well as the people we serve.  To help offset this cost, BRiDGES is seeking support from local businesses.  Please consider signing up to be a sponsor for this important event.

Rockland County Veterans Service Agency

Veterans Service Agency
20 Squadron Boulevard, Suite 480
New City, NY 10956
(845) 638-5244
Fax: (845) 638-5730

Why come to the Veterans Service Agency?

  • Are you a Veteran?
  • Do you have a copy of your DD214 or need a copy of DD214?
  • Are you enrolled in VA Health Care?
  • Are you getting compensation for your service related injury?
  • Do you receive an annual clothing allowance from the VA for your service connected injury?
  • Have you ever used a non-VA Hospital for an emergency?
  • Are you a family member of a Veteran looking for assistance?
  • Are you a combat Veteran or a surviving spouse in need for home help assistance?
  • Are you a Veteran in danger of becoming homeless?
  • Are you a Veteran suffering from MST, PTSD, TBI?
  • Have you ever filed a claim or have been denied of a claim?
  • Do you have a Veteran ID card?
  • Are you a Veteran in need of a service dog?

We are Veterans helping other Veterans.
Our mission is to assist those served and their family members.

Tax reform could hurt charitable giving with fewer itemizing deductions

Read the complete article and watch the video on the LoHud website.

The year-end rush to make charitable donations before federal tax reform kicked in left some nonprofits brimming with cash when 2018 dawned.

But many nonprofit executives in the Lower Hudson Valley are worried that tax reform will remove the incentive to give in 2018 because far fewer Americans will itemize their deductions.

The doubling of the standard deduction — to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples — could prove a boon to many low- and middle-income filers. But that benefit means it will make financial sense for some to take the standard deduction instead of itemizing because their deductions may not exceed the threshold.

Nationwide, about 30 percent of Americans itemize, which means they can deduct their charitable donations from their taxable income. In New York, filers get back up to 45 percent of what they give in state and federal tax savings.

The number of Americans who itemize could dip to as low as 5 percent, according to Una Osili, associate dean for research at the Lilly Family School of Philanthrophy at Indiana University.

“Americans will still give, but the incentives will be more concentrated among the wealthy,” she said. “They will be less effected by the change.”

David Jacobsen, executive director of Bridges, a New City nonprofit that works with 30 agencies to foster independence among Rockland County residents in need, said the full impact of the tax bill won’t be known for a year or two, when taxpayers see how their personal situations shake out.

“It could cause problems if giving habits change,” Jacobsen said. 

Read the complete article and watch the video on the LoHud website.

BRiDGES – Advancing Autonomy in 2018

This message is prepared specifically for you…

…as an investor in the mission leading Rockland County toward being a fully integrated, accessible community for everyone, you have helped BRiDGES to provide advocacy for people with disabilities throughout 2017 …and together, we are accomplishing the goals! 

2017 was a fantastic year for BRiDGES!  We are even more excited for 2018, as the agency continues to Advance Autonomy toward a fully integrated, accessible Rockland County.

Throughout the holiday season, BRiDGES has shared information about its services and partners.  As we look forward to 2018 – BRiDGES has established new goals.

The Independence Café has proven a successful model for both meeting a community need while advancing the mission of the organization.  This small coffee shop provides both employment and business training for Veterans.  In the same spirit, BRiDGES hopes to introduce Independence Dog Biscuits this year – with proceeds supporting the partnership with Hi-Tor Animal Care Center and Behavior Plus to provide fully trained Service Animals for Veterans – at no cost to the Veteran.  The 175+ hours of training that each animal completes typically costs $7,500 or more, especially if special equipment is needed.

I would like to invite everyone to BRiDGES’s Advancing Autonomy Celebration on March 8 at Patriot Hills Country Club.  This event, which is the agency’s primary fundraiser, is offered at no charge through the generous support of sponsors.  The highlights of the evening are the stories shared by the persons who utilize the services of BRiDGES.  This year, the theme of the evening will emphasize how one person’s story helped make systemic changes that benefit many.  I look forward to celebrating these stories together!

●  Core Services  ●  PASER  ●  Integration Services  ●
●  Veteran Services  ●  Community Partnerships  ● 
●  Advancing Autonomy in 2018  ●

All services are provided at no cost to persons served.

What can I do?
●  Advocacy: Advancing Autonomy for People with Disabilities!
●  Volunteer opportunities: Drivers Needed!
●  Employment opportunities are listed on the agency website
●  Sponsorship Opportunities – CLICK HERE to learn how you can be a sponsor!
     ○  March 8 – Advancing Autonomy Celebration
     ○  July 26 – ADA Breakfast
●  Financial support

BRiDGES is a 501 (c) iii tax-exempt organization governed by a
Peer-Based Board of Directors in accordance with Independent Living philosophy.

Warming Centers – Winter 2017-2018

CLICK HERE to view the complete list of warming centers in Rockland County.

Anyone needing immediate assistance should contact 911.

Bitter cold temperatures are more than an inconvenience; they pose a serious threat to health and safety. Rockland County, in partnership with local towns and villages, offers services to help residents weather the winter months. A Warming Center is a heated facility in which residents can find safe refuge from extreme weather. Please call before going to confirm it is open.

Especially at risk from the cold are the elderly, infants and young children, people with disabilities and persons taking medication for chronic health conditions. Residents who have at-risk friends, neighbors or relatives should help by checking on them periodically.

Each of the following locations listed have been designated as Warming Centers. Other sites may become available on an as-needed basis.

Please visit individual town and village websites for additional information and updates. Residents using the facilities as Warming Centers should advise facility staff of their presence.

CLICK HERE to view the complete list of warming centers in Rockland County.

BRiDGES – Community Partnerships

This message is prepared specifically for you…

…as an investor in the mission leading Rockland County toward being a fully integrated, accessible community for everyone, you have helped BRiDGES to provide advocacy for people with disabilities throughout 2017 …and together, we are accomplishing the goals! 

The resources in Rockland County are amazing!  There are so many public and private partnerships that focus on the specific needs of County residents, and BRiDGES happily connects you to each service.

Community Collaboratives are established in Haverstraw, Nyack, and Spring Valley to address local concerns.  The Continuum of Care is a County-wide group focused specifically on issues related to homelessness.  Rockland County Alternatives to Incarceration utilizes a collaborative, problem-solving approach to reduce recidivism by encouraging social responsibility.  Rockland Community Against Hunger (RCAH) collaborates with food recovery efforts to ensure that the more than 30,000 food-insecure County residents have healthy choices for nutrition.  BRiDGES participates in each of these groups …and more!

BRiDGES partners with the New York State Education Department / ACCES-VR, Office of Mental Health (OMH), Department of Health (DOH), and Rockland County Departments of Social Services (DSS), Mental Health (DMH), Office for the Aging (OFA), Veteran Services Agency (VSA), District Attorney, Rockland Community College (RCC), and Department of Health (DOH).  In addition, BRiDGES partners with more than 30 Community Based Organizations, including Jawonio, Meals on Wheels, RSVP, Daytop/Samaritan Village, Lexington Centers for Recovery, the ARC of Rockland, and others to ensure that each person in need is connected to the best services available.

●  Core Services  ●  PASER  ●  Integration Services  ●
●  Veteran Services  ●  Community Partnerships  ● 
●  
Advancing Autonomy in 2018  ●

All services are provided at no cost to persons served.

What can I do?
●  Advocacy: Advancing Autonomy for People with Disabilities!
●  Volunteer opportunities: Drivers Needed!
●  Employment opportunities are listed on the agency website
●  Sponsorship Opportunities – CLICK HERE to learn how you can be a sponsor!
     ○  March 8 – Advancing Autonomy Celebration
     ○  July 26 – ADA Breakfast
●  Financial support

BRiDGES is a 501 (c) iii tax-exempt organization governed by a
Peer-Based Board of Directors in accordance with Independent Living philosophy.

BRiDGES – Veteran Services

This message is prepared specifically for you…

…as an investor in the mission leading Rockland County toward being a fully integrated, accessible community for everyone, you have helped BRiDGES to provide advocacy for people with disabilities throughout 2017 …and together, we are accomplishing the goals! 

BRiDGES proudly partners with the Rockland County Veteran Services Agency and Department of Mental Health to provide Peer Supports through the PFC Joseph P Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program.  Named in honor of a war hero from Mt. Sinai, NY, “Vet to Vet,” uses a peer approach to support Veterans and Military Families facing challenges of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and other issues related to their military service.

Guided by a Veteran Advisory Board, BRiDGES has helped establish groups to address Veteran issues, including the Rockland County Veteran Task Force, Women Veterans Action Council, and Gold Star Family Support Group.  The Independence Café, located on the 2nd Floor of the Rockland County Courthouse, both employs and teaches Veterans skills necessary for them to start their own business.  With the support of a Community Development Block Grant, BRiDGES now provides transportation for medical appointments to the VA at both Montrose and Castle Point.  More recently, BRiDGES has partnered with Hi-Tor Animal Care Center and Behavior Plus to provide Service Animals at no cost to Veterans.

Note: Service Animal training costs a minimum of $7,500 per animal.  Your support is welcome !  BRiDGES is currently seeking good homes to Foster Service Animals, and Volunteers to help train.

Visit the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program webpage for more information!

●  Core Services  ●  PASER  ●  Integration Services  ●
●  Veteran Services  ●  Community Partnerships  ● 
●  
Advancing Autonomy in 2018  ●

All services are provided at no cost to persons served.

What can I do?
●  Advocacy: Advancing Autonomy for People with Disabilities!
●  Volunteer opportunities: Drivers Needed!
●  Employment opportunities are listed on the agency website
●  Sponsorship Opportunities – CLICK HERE to learn how you can be a sponsor!
     ○  March 8 – Advancing Autonomy Celebration
     ○  July 26 – ADA Breakfast
●  Financial support

BRiDGES is a 501 (c) iii tax-exempt organization governed by a
Peer-Based Board of Directors in accordance with Independent Living philosophy.