Building Engagement

A community thrives when its people are engaged in its institutions and in each other, and when they have access to safe streets, good sources of information, and places to gather. In Greater New Haven, most adults volunteer or give to local causes, and most believe that they or their neighbors can effect change at a local level.

Other measures of civic wellbeing, however, show disparities between our higher and lower income neighborhoods. For example, most residents in Greater New Haven's suburbs and within high-income neighborhoods in the City of New Haven agree that their neighborhood is safe to take walks in at night. Only 2 out of 10 residents of low-income city neighborhoods do. Closing these and other gaps is critical to ensuring that a vibrant community is accessible to all.

See these and other indicators in the report, Calibrating the Community.

What the Community Foundation is Doing

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven supports a broad spectrum of organizations and initiatives that cultivate an engaged civic culture.

Recent Highlights:

  • $1.8 million in Civic Vitality grants in 2012
  • More than $2 million invested in New Haven Community Gardens and Community Greenspaces since the program’s inception in 1995. The New Haven Land Trust now maintains 45 community gardens in New Haven that produce food for local students and residents.
  • The Neighborhood Leadership Program annually trains 20-30 local leaders and supports their neighborhood projects.
  • The Community Foundation is a founding investor of the Online Journalism Project and continues to be the largest sustaining funder of the publisher of New Haven Independent, Valley Independent Sentinel, and the Branford Eagle.
  • Support for DataHaven’s publication of The Greater New Haven Community Index 2013

Other grant recipients include:

  • CitySeed for the Community Supported Market program that brings fresh produce to New Haven neighborhoods
  • New Haven Farms to purchase soil to grow produce on three new lots in New Haven;
  • Massaro Community Farm to build partnerships to distribute locally grown, fresh produce
  • Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT) to build interfaith advocacy coalitions.
  • Connecticut Veterans Legal Center to support free legal services for homeless and mentally ill veterans to overcome legal barriers to stable housing, healthcare and income.
  • Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) to support to assist refugees and displaced persons to start new lives and contribute to the vitality
  • JUNTA for Progressive Action to support services, programs and advocacy that improve the social, political and economic conditions of the Latino community in Greater New Haven


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510


(203) 777-2386

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