We Have Moved.

Please visit our most recent blog posts at: http://www.uwgnh.org/blog

February 23, 2009

United Way in Challenging Times

The times continue to challenge us all and the United Way of Greater New Haven is not an exception. We have seen our modest reserves drop dramatically in value, we are concerned about our ability to collect on pledges and we have seen the continuing increase in demand for services throughout the entire region. These are the times that try our resolve and our patience---these are the times for leadership.

We have done much thinking and reflecting on how the United Way should respond to the challenges we now face and those we know we will face in the near future. We are hopeful and we believe we will arrive at a future that includes a vibrant and sustainable economy, broader participation in prosperity, a stronger sense of regional community and a dramatic increase in civic engagement. We also know that the current circumstances we have with economic and educational disparity do not support our achieving this vision. We have behaved our way into the conditions we find ourselves now experiencing and our only option is to behave our way out.

First, we need to provide some stability. Hundreds of citizens and dozens of leaders have made this stability their work. The leadership of Andy Eder and Boris Mizen with fundraising and the work of Kate McAvoy, Maria Mojica, Paula Crombie and volunteers from both United Way and The Jewish Federation in making wise and timely decisions on investments in emergency services have mobilized the whole region’s understanding of the crises many of our neighbors are experiencing.

Second, we must continue to work on the root causes of the region’s disparity. Early childhood education and development must remain an intense focus regardless of economic conditions because that is how we break the poverty cycle. Stable housing and skill development must be a commitment we keep because people need these in order to participate as fully engaged citizens.

We believe that now is the time for us all to live united. We will continue to provide opportunities for the citizens of Greater New Haven to give, to advocate and to volunteer. We believe these to be the behaviors that lead us to our vision of the future. We deeply appreciate your support.

Jack Healy
President and CEO
United Way of Greater New Haven

February 19, 2009

Please join us at Artspace for the Grand Opening Reception of the February Exhibitions and Artist Talks by Gail Biederman & Steven Millar.

Featured artists include: Jeremy Bell , Geoffrey Detrani, Steven Millar, David Borawski, Kwadwo Adae, Gail Biederman, Mark Mulroney

WHEN: Thursday, February 19th, from 6–8PM (Artist Talks at 6:30)
WHERE: 50 Orange St., New Haven, CT 06510

United Way of Greater New Haven has been invited to speak about Neighbor-to-Neighbor LifeLine, a collaboration between UWGNH and The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, to help the growing number of families and individuals who find themselves facing food and housing crisis in this economic downturn.

100% of the dollars raised will be distributed immediately by volunteers, through local programs providing emergency assistance for housing, food and other basic needs.

For more information about Artspace, call (203) 772-2709
For more information on Neighbor-to-Neighbor LifeLine visit www.n2nlifeline.org

February 13, 2009

White Collar Homelessness

Every now and then I run into a blog post that perfectly captures an important idea that we should have a conversation about locally. Most recently I found an post entitled “The Coming Crisis: White Collar Homelessness”; a relevant subject when you consider just a few local facts.

  • The number of homes lost to foreclosure in New Haven has risen steeply in 2008 (293 during the first three quarters of 2008, compared to 165 for all of 2007).
  • In New Haven there are 769 vacant dwellings and approximately 1,000 homes in the last stage before foreclose.
  • In New Haven there has been a 5% increase in homeless individuals and in Connecticut a 13% increase in families this year, compared to last year.
  • In New Haven there has been an increase of almost 13% in the number of homeless single women. Women are also losing their children to foster care once they are no longer able to provide shelter.
  • Before the overflow shelter opened in November, Columbus House was turning away 8-10 men a night. They would be referred to Emergency Shelter Management Services (Immanuel Baptist), which is also operating at capacity.

From the Article:

Last month, unemployment rates surged to a startling 7.6 percent. As the jobless population is becoming older, many are ending up with no job prospects, no health insurance, and - before long - no home. Homelessness blogger Shannon Moriarty is worried about what will happen next, as shelters and community safety nets are already buckling under shrinking budgets and increased demand.

Read: The Coming Crisis: White Collar Homelessness

Jack Healy
President and CEO
United Way of Greater New Haven

The Annual United Teen Connection and Centro San Jose Valentine Banquet

Dear Community Leaders,

The United Teen Connection and Centro San Jose, invite you to it’s ANNUAL VALENTINE DAY BANQUET, honoring teens making a difference, individuals working behind the scenes, and recognizing youth service programs.

Youth from all over the City will be Honored by Rosa DeLauro for their outstanding contribution in the mentioned areas. These youth have been nominated by Community Agencies and Youth Programs in which they attend and are active participants.

WHEN: Saturday February 14th from 1:00-3:30 p.m
WHERE: Centro San Jose (290 Grand Avenue, New Haven, CT.)

For more information or to volunteer, contact Mindy Centeno at (203) 777-6771 or Sharon Henninger at (203) 824-8336

We look forward to your support in this important event!

February 9, 2009

TGWNN Happy Hour for n2n LifeLine

It started out as an idea to have a happy hour at Dolci, a new restaurant/lounge in New Haven. It seemed like the perfect location, and a good way to get out the word to those who hadn't yet been there. But what began as a purely social event took on much more meaning.

I became a member of The Group with No Name (TGWNN) when I moved to New Haven in 2006, while looking for ways to meet other local, young professionals. TGWNN describes itself as a way to turn residents into citizens through social, civic, and educational activities that increase their understanding of and commitment to city issues and city life. While my idea for a TGWNN happy hour initially was much less ambitious--I just wanted an excuse to gather together friends)--it ended up being a rewarding way to help the New Haven community.

As a social worker in a New Haven school, I have been witnessing how problems with the economy are affecting local families, especially those that rely on social service agencies for their basic needs. Many of the families I work with have received some kind of assistance--whether it be food from local pantries or housing in shelters. These families are often dealing with multiple other stressors; they should not also have to worry about where they will be living or where their next meal is coming from. It's frustrating for me to see how these families are being affected yet not be able to do anything concrete to reduce their stress. I feel good knowing that, through the efforts of the United Way and the Jewish Federation, there will continue to be funding for these basic, immediate needs.

Did you know that:

* In New Haven there has been an increase of almost 13% in the number of homeless single women. Women are also losing their children to foster care once they are no longer able to provide shelter.

* In New Haven there has been a 5% increase in homeless individuals and in Connecticut a 13% increase in families this year, compared to last year.

But there are ways that we can help. Host a fundraising party, happy hour, or similar event with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. It really was effortless to organize, and made me feel more connected to my community. The economic crisis is affecting everyone; we have an obligation to help our neighbors, but it's also possible to have fun while raising awareness.

Submitted by
Su-Lin Carbonelli