A New Reach toward a Better Life

This local nonprofit helps families get back on their feet after times of turmoil, securing safe housing, affordable furniture and other support services.

Dominic was just 5 years old when he started having seizures. He struggled in school for several years before his mother, Eve, learned that her son was living with autism. Like many parents, Eve would do anything for her child, including moving hundreds of miles to Connecticut in search of a better life.

Each year, New Reach staff (above) help provide families with shelter, housing, stabilization, and furniture services to over 1,900 individuals.

Eve and 8-year-old Dominic moved in with family, initially living in an attic as Eve worked to fulfill their dreams. She set goals for her small family but found it difficult to juggle Dominic's care on her own. Eve finally found the resources and assistance she needed through the Family School Connection (FSC) program, a partnership between Fair Haven K-8 School in New Haven and New Reach, a New Haven-based nonprofit organization.

New Reach, which was formerly known as New Haven Home Recovery, assists women like Eve in securing safe housing, affordable furniture, and educational support services, ultimately helping families get back on their feet after times of turmoil.

In reference to the organization's name, CEO, Kellyann Day, MSW explains, "When people ask us why 'New Reach'? Now we can tell them, it means reaching for your potential, it means helping others reach their potential, it means reaching for and attaining our mission."

For Eve and Dominic, the assistance of the New Reach program meant a new home and a stronger sense of independence. Eve began volunteering at Fair Haven K-8 School, and her dedication and hard work turned into a paid position in the special education program.

The Community Foundation has supported New Reach throughout the organization's development. Recently in 2014, the FSC program received a three-year grant of $60,000 so that more families could reach for better, more stable lives. The funding provides casework services to the many students at Fair Haven K-8 School. Students like Brianna, who at just 6 years old lost her mother to cancer, causing her to question why other girls had a mom when she did not. Her father Ignacio was left to raise her and her sister, Samantha, 8, on his own until the Family School Connection program stepped in. Zuly, a Case Worker assisted Ignacio in establishing a budget and accessing resources that enabled him to secure a home for his family. Zuly also provided life skills and parenting support so that Ignacio and his daughters could grow together as a loving family.

For more information on New Reach and the many services they provide, as well as, ways you can support their good work, please visit their profile on giveGreater.org.

Did You Know?

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in January 2014 on any given night 578,424 people were homeless in the US. Of that figure, 37% were people in families.

Source: "Snapshot of Homelessness"; National Alliance to End Homelessness