Tammy found a job, got her medications in order and is lining up an apartment with support from our Help Center. HHC staff and volunteers are on the job 24/7 to believe in people, encourage their efforts and help them imagine a better future.
These are not 'just
They are people
with talents and
hopes and dreams
-- and significant
2016-17 at a Glance
of the people
we served were with us
less than two weeks.
left us for housing or a treatment program.
in the shelter. 200 others used only the Help Center.
Ten years ago, two men died because they had nowhere to go for shelter in our area. The Homeless Hospitality Center was founded weeks later on the pledge that this would never happen to anyone again.
Since then we have offered hospitality -- and hope -- to thousands of adults from across southeastern Connecticut.
We not only provide shelter, we help them resolve the issues that led to their homelessness and return quickly to housing.
People understandably ask when we will be able to declare victory over homelessness and move on.
We'd love nothing more.
HHC's Executive Director
But homelessness is complicated. Some of it will continue as long as we have people living on the edge of poverty. Other types, with enough resources, can be reduced significantly.
Here, we want to share some of what we have learned about homelessness -- and the people we serve -- in the past 10 years.
Meet Albert: A new job, a new apartment
A lifelong resident of New London, Albert found himself out of a job this summer, and shortly after that, an apartment.
He has learned that people from all walks of life can end up homeless. "Some people are very poor," he says, "but others are formerly rich."
Albert raves about the HHC staff and volunteers who helped him get back on his feet. "It's a crazy good place," he says.
He has a new apartment and is working at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
'I never thought
it would be me.'
Everybody has problems.
But not everyone has the resources to deal with them. And no one plans to become homeless.
In 2016-17, here's what our guests were coping with:
48% said they had a substance abuse problem
59% reported mental health issues
37% had a chronic health condition
42% had been involved in the criminal justice system
15% had a developmental disability
56% had no income
Your support is making a difference -- we see the proof every day. Some 2016-17 highlights:
More than 400 people donated thousands of hours.
They worked with shelter guests in the Help Center, staffed the front desk and led activities in the evening.
Email email@example.com to learn how you can help.
575 individuals and businesses made gifts totaling $236,500.
The annual Walk to End Homelessness drew more than 350 walkers and raised $26,000, almost three times more than two years ago. View a list of our major funders.
Volunteers spoke on our behalf at municipal budget hearings, held sock and toiletries drives for us and invited us to speak to their members about homelessness.
Piper, a therapy dog, visits with shelter guests frequently.
His handler is one of our volunteers.
A healthcare partnership that works
Imagine being homeless and having pneumonia. Or a broken arm. Or cancer.
Our seven-bed respite unit and an adjacent clinic are the answers. We had 87 respite guests in 2016-17 with stays ranging from 1 to 117 nights. The average was 18.
We work with Yale New Haven Health -- Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, the Visiting Nurse Association of
Southeastern Connecticut and the Community Health Center to provide care.
The unique respite collaboration was recognized in 2016 by the Connecticut Hospital Association. View a video above.
Being sick is exponentially worse when you're homeless. We offer help with everything from sunburn to pneumonia.
Helping people do what they need to do.
Sandra Rueb, who volunteers in the Help Center, likes connecting with people and solving problems.
In 2016-17 shelter guests as well as about 200 local residents used the Help Center. Some of these individuals were previously homeless or worried about becoming homeless. Others were living outdoors.
Gifts from individuals and foundations provide all of the support for this program.
We'd welcome your help.
$15 can be all it takes to start rebuilding your life.
Many people who become homeless have no safety net and no savings.
Our Help Center gives them the extra assistance they need. It could be:
A car repair
A prescription co-pay
Bus tickets to get to work
A small investment lets people use their
natural resilience to get back on their feet and return to housing quickly.