Providing for those in need
Since 1965, TEAM has assisted low income families in the Valley and surrounding towns.
|During winter, TEAM helps qualifying individuals and families secure home heating assistance.|
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, laying the foundation for initiatives aimed at ending the cycle of poverty. Community Action Agencies, Head Start, and Legal Services were just some of the programs born from this legislation and have since aided millions of Americans on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.
A year after Johnson's signature, TEAM Inc. opened its doors as the anti-poverty agency for the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Milford, Orange, Woodbridge, and Bethany. A half-century later, it continues its mission to strengthen the community through its multi-generational support of families, children, and the elderly.
"We are eliminating the effects of poverty on individuals and families so they are stable and not out on the street," says TEAM Executive Director David Morgan.
The share of the Valley population living at or near the poverty line has been growing in recent decades. Nearly ten percent of the households in the Valley live in poverty, which is defined as $16,000 per year for a family of two; and one-third of the households are low-income, which is defined as an annual income of $32,000 for a family of two.1
TEAM's support services programs are designed to help individuals and families avoid crises and achieve stability. They combine basic-needs assistance with comprehensive case management.
During the winter months, both homeowners and renters in TEAM's service area can receive help paying heating bills. Families and individuals may qualify for help if they fall below these income limits: $33,880.70 for a household of one, $44,305.54 for a two-person household, $54,730.37 for a three-person household, $65,155.00 for a four-person household.
Residents wanting to learn more about energy assistance can call 203-736-5420 and follow prompts to schedule an appointment with TEAM's Energy Assistance staff.
Other support services provided by TEAM include housing and residential services; income management services that encompass household financial counseling, tax counseling/filing, asset-building, and personal credit; and assistance in job skill acquisition to enhance opportunities for securing employment.
TEAM also runs the Head Start preschool program and services for the elderly including meals on wheels.
To learn more about TEAM Inc., visit its profile on giveGreater.org.
Out of the nearly 6,000 families TEAM serves each year, four out of 10 are at the Federal Poverty Level, which is $20,090 for a family of three. Source: TEAM, Inc.
This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
1. Valley Community Index: Understanding the Valley Region 2016.