Shelter for Older, Ailing Homeless Men to Stay Open Thanks to Hartford Foundation
May 27, 2009
Threatened with closure due to a lack of funding, a five-month shelter program in Hartford for older, homeless men will remain open, thanks to a $75,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
“While we have had wonderful, generous public support, without the Hartford Foundation, we would not be able to remain open for our normal mid-May through mid-October schedule to serve 60 men who often are the oldest and most sickly of the area’s homeless,” said Cathy J. Cohen, interim executive director at Immaculate Conception Shelter & Housing Corporation.
The shelter, at 55 Park St., opened as scheduled on May 15 but with only about 40 percent of funding in place.
“In these very trying economic times, we are pleased to be able to offer this assistance to the Immaculate Conception shelter,” said Linda J. Kelly, president of the Hartford Foundation. The grant is one of the first from an expanded program at the Hartford Foundation to help nonprofits deal with unanticipated declines in revenue and increased demand for services.
“Immaculate’s ability to operate at capacity for the full five months will lessen overcrowding at other Hartford shelters, and result in fewer men being turned away,” said Cohen. “We cannot thank Hartford Foundation enough for its funding and support, which will enable us to serve the truly vulnerable in Hartford."
Immaculate has operated the Summer Respite Program with private funding since 2004. It provides shelter every night, as well as breakfast and dinner. The men are able to use the mental health and social services at Immaculate. For this population, the services provided through the respite program are not duplicated elsewhere.
Immaculate and four other homeless shelters in Hartford – South Park Inn, Mercy Housing & Shelter Corporation, The Open Hearth, YMCA and the Salvation Army – have been conducting a public appeal for funds to replace those lost due to serious declines in donations.
Last year, the Hartford Foundation issued grants totaling more than $2 million to 10 Greater Hartford agencies to support programs to aid the homeless. Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for the 29-town Greater Hartford region, dedicated to improving the quality of life for area residents. The Foundation receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals and families, and last year, awarded grants of more than $27 million to a broad range of area nonprofit organizations. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.hfpg.org or call 548-1888.
Reprinted with permission of the NorthEnd Agent's.
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