Almost twenty-seven years ago, Careways Shelter for Women and Children opened its doors to the community to assist women and children experiencing homelessness. It has been a staple in the New Haven community ever since. However, today New Reach – the nonprofit group that inspires independence for those effected by homelessness and poverty through a variety of services in New Haven and Fairfield Counties – announced its plan to close the doors of this facility amid budget uncertainty with public funding sources.
“This is a difficult time for our state and the families that we serve”, said Kellyann Day, CEO of New Reach. “”We are doing all we can — and we can do a lot — to limit negative impacts on our clients and the community we serve.”
Day also announced a series of coordinated steps the organization is taking to maintain the highest quality services possible given the staff and resource shortages caused by the funding challenges at the local, state and federal levels.
“Protecting some of our most vulnerable citizens and providing the necessary aid to women and children in our community is not an easy task but it’s one that we must not abandon,” Day added. New Reach began informing local, state and federal officials as well as human services partners of the expected changes in recent days. Some of the actions the organization is taking include but are not limited to:
- The closing of the 10-unit Careways Shelter for Women and Children and coordination of additional services and housing resources to keep them in secure, affordable homes
- Requests by New Reach to area landlords providing homes for families and individuals to patiently await rental assistance payments and other support that will be forthcoming after passage of a state budget
- Elimination in positions and reduction of expenditures so that all available resources can be directed to clients and services
- Coordinated communications with other housing, shelter, and service providers to efficiently share resources and avoid duplication of or unnecessary effort
Through its partnerships and other resources, New Reach has reached agreement with identified landlords and other agencies to ensure the families that reside at Careways have options to relocate. Day continued, “I am extremely gratified by the energy, understanding, thoughtfulness and cooperation we have received from our staff, our partners and those who work with us on a daily basis. These are great people and we must continue to work together for the greater good.” The Careways shelter is one of three emergency shelters run by New Reach. New Reach’s Life Haven and Martha’s Place shelters will continue to provide 38 units of shelter for the region. Families that might have been served at Careways will be directed to other housing/homelessness prevention partners in the region, to the more than 100 affordable and supportive housing units developed by New Reach, and other homes and services.
“We believe supportive and affordable housing is the key to ending homelessness, but shelter must play a role in responding to the emergency nature of suddenly becoming homeless,” Day said. “Because the costs of operating shelters keep rising while public support for them has been shifted to permanent housing, we have had to rely on private donations from individuals, corporations and philanthropies. Closing Careways is an unfortunate but necessary step to ensure our other shelters remain financially secure — but the need for housing has not diminished.” Day said she will continue to update government and community leaders as New Reach makes a range of efforts to serve its clients. She added “We are grateful to all of our supporters whose generous donations keep our shelter program operating and hope that we can count on their continued support of Martha’s Place and Life Haven shelters as the community needs these services now more than ever.” New Reach’s shelter program serves approximately 600 clients each year including over 300 children who have nowhere else to turn.
Watch the news coverage at this link: http://wtnh.com/2017/07/27/dozens-of-women-and-children-scramble-for-new-housing-as-budget-cuts-force-shelter-closure/