Anybody with a truly tough life problem knows that the first step is the hardest – actually mustering the nerve to make a move for the better. Well, if the problem is domestic violence, women and children in New Haven have an extraordinarily safe, supportive and encouraging partner at New Reach. They just have to come in the door.
New Reach can be the gateway to a new life. During an up to five-month stay, New Reach clients have access to all its resources to help them achieve independent living. There are so many routes to independence, and women are free to set and work towards the goals most important to themselves and their children.
In most cases, the first priority is finding housing. And this is where New Reach is at its best. Every day, representatives from local housing organizations in the greater New Haven area (including New Reach) discuss the needs of everyone in shelter and prioritize each situation by urgency and type of housing needed. This keeps people from ‘falling through the cracks’ and ensures that housing solutions are timely and appropriate.
New Reach has 20 apartments of various sizes that can accommodate individuals or families for up to five months. But residents don’t spend a lot of time in your apartments — it’s a living arrangement designed to encourage community among everyone at New Reach.
There’s extensive programming and support for moms and children: a community kitchen, play areas for younger children, study areas for older kids, recreational opportunities, free clothing and household goods, and counseling. This is the time residents work on building their own network of supports– religious organizations, neighborhood groups, family — that they can rely on after they leave shelter.
Even after residents transition to their own housing, they still have access to New Reach counseling services. It’s needed reassurance to keep them on track toward rebuilding a life and taking full command of their situations.
Many currently or formerly associated with New Reach maintain a strong connection. Graduates come back to bring food or to talk with current residents; recent grads might come back for cleaning supplies if they can’t afford them. And then there are the dedicated donors and volunteers who do so much to keep New Reach running and to make it a welcoming, thoughtful place.
Hats off to the New Reach team. We’re proud to support your vital work.