Building Community One Neighborhood at a Time
New Haven’s many neighborhoods create a tapestry rich in history. Each city section has its own unique characteristics and challenges, and ingenuity is necessary to weave them together as one strong community. Neighborhood Housing Services is up to the task. Their pioneering programs bring energy-efficient, affordable homes, along with education and community engagement to New Havens most disadvantaged neighborhoods.
|Hope Morris and family in front of their Beaver Hills dream home.
Spurred by a $65,000 multi-year grant from The Community Foundation, since September 2013 Neighborhood Housing Services has rehabilitated nine houses to meet historic and Energy 3.0 standards. They expect to complete three more by the start of 2015, for a total of 19 housing units available to New Haven families. Funding was made possible, in part, through The Community Foundation's Neighborhood Endowment Fund, established in 1992 as a preference fund to support tangible, people-oriented activities that build indigenous leadership and a sense of pride.
In addition to home renovations, Neighborhood Housing Services offers comprehensive education for homebuyers and homeowners, while also, as Executive Director, James Paley aptly expresses, “connecting residents with each other, and empowering them to reclaim their neighborhoods.” In order to fulfill that multifaceted mission the organization initiated more than 3,716 volunteer hours and hosted 25 volunteer events in 2014.
One such event sponsored by The Community Foundation brought residents of the Hill neighborhood together to plan the revival of the Stevens Street Community Garden. The “Evening in the Garden Event” included a barbecue, along with arts and crafts projects for area children. The gathering raised interest in additional gardening plots and led to two subsequent volunteer-driven events.
|Local boys show off their festive pumpkins, painted at the “Evening in the Garden" Event.
Neighborhood Housing Services knows that the strength of a city is based on the strength of its neighborhoods. They seek to keep New Haven strong by educating, uniting, and empowering residents. For more information, visit their profile on giveGreater.org
Did You Know?
In 2011, The White House released a “Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative Report” highlighting five key elements to neighborhood revitalization and building strong communities.
Learn more by reading the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative Report [PDF, 529KB].