A Study of Bridge House, New York City Bureau of Alcoholic Therapy, 1943-1948

Nancy Carmella Tarantino, Fordham University


The understanding, care and treatment of the alcoholic has from time immemorial been a problem. Communities have handled this problem in various ways - in some, alcoholics are merely fined, incarcerated or both, in others they may be sent to a hospital and, if sick or weak enough, retained. Some are sent to private sanitariums if financial conditions permit; still others are sent to public institutions. In May 1943, Mr. McGoldrick, Jr., the director of the New York City Bureau of Alcoholic Therapy, persuaded Mayor LaGuardia to permit him to operate a place to treat alcoholics. Thus Bridge House was founded. Bridge House has given a number of alcoholic men an opportunity to remain in the House for a period of three weeks, receiving food and shelter, consistent individual interviews, the choice to accept or refuse companionship and job opportunities, if necessary. Of most importance, the Bureau has given these men the opportunity to become rehabilitated. Bridge House has, with "individual therapy," given a number of alcoholics confidence in themselves and their abilities; has specifically helped the men to assume anew their responsibilities and obligations and has returned them to Society either as useful citizens or well on the road to becoming useful citizens. This dissertation will discuss Bridge House as the only publicly operated agency available to alcoholics, the need for Bridge House, its aim and purpose.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology|Social work

Recommended Citation

Tarantino, Nancy Carmella, "A Study of Bridge House, New York City Bureau of Alcoholic Therapy, 1943-1948" (1949). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29281787.