New Home for New Reach Creates Innovative “Hub” To End Homelessness
A new campus will increase public awareness and knowledge of proven interventions to address poverty and homelessness.
On the site of a former industrial warehouse complex that once turned out Erector Sets and other imaginative toys, regional leaders are creating innovative collaborations to end homelessness. The site is both a new home for the regional homeless service provider New Reach, and a new campus that brings several community partnerships, and more resources, under one roof.
The new campus will serve as a hub of supportive services offered by New Reach and other nonprofits to help families avert entering shelter and the homelessness system. The space will also increase opportunities for information sharing and knowledge building among New Reach's program teams and community partners.
"The change will embody more than an increase in size and consolidation— it will ensure the health of our programs and the services of other agencies that serve our community," says New Reach Chief Executive Officer Kellyann Day.
New Reach designed its new location with some of the attributes of commercial incubator hubs, where startups share common spaces, back-office resources and knowledge. In March, the nonprofit began the transition to 269 Peck St., part of a building complex that was once home to the A.C. Gilbert toy factory. A recent two-year, $75,000 grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is supporting the effort.
The food pantry and delivery service FISH of Greater New Haven will work out of the new campus, along with volunteers with the Vertical Church, who have played a significant role keeping the shelter food pantries stocked during the COVID-induced increase in demand. The campus also includes New Reach’s furniture co-op, the Diaper Bank and New Haven’s Sex Workers and Allies Network (SWAN).
New Reach's work to strengthen support for families in crisis comes amid a looming eviction crisis as increasing numbers of families struggle to make rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 39,000 renters in Connecticut are “likely” to face eviction in the next two months, and another 69,000 families, or one in seven households, are behind in rent.
New Reach's mission is to inspire independence for those affected by homelessness and poverty through housing and support using the most innovative and progressive methods. It serves women, children and families, and seeks to end homelessness addressing the multiple, interrelated barriers to attaining a self-sustaining life.
Did You Know?
In a typical year, about 20,000 eviction complaints are filed in Connecticut. Source: CT Mirror
This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.