The Corner of Hope and Love
Youth Continuum tackles teenage and young-adult homelessness with the construction of Winchester Manor.
|Officials break ground on Winchester Manor. Photo Credit: Matthew Higbee|
Teenagers who couch surf and live on the streets are at a high risk of growing up to be homeless adults. Working to break this cycle, Youth Continuum is constructing Winchester Manor, housing with supportive services for vulnerable young men and women ages 18 -24.
"This is the first permanent supportive housing for youth in Connecticut and will be a model for the nation," Ilene Crawford, past president of the Youth Continuum board of Directors said at the recent groundbreaking.
Gov. Dannel Malloy and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp were on hand to celebrate the project along with other state and local officials and representatives of partner organizations, including The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, which provided Youth Continuum with a two-year general operating support grant of $95,000 in 2016.
The new building is under construction on the corner of Winchester and Landen Streets, formerly the site of a group home for young adults. The project is supported by the state Dept. of Housing, Dept. of Children and Families, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Melville Trust, and the Seedlings Foundation.
Kim Harris, a Landen Street resident and member of the neighborhood management team, praised the project and offered a welcome mat as a gift.
"We have a saying on our street. It's LOL, and it stands for Love on Landen," said Harris. "I welcome you to the corner of hope and love."
Winchester Manor will have seven single-bedroom units and provide a range of services to help the young men and women transition from homelessness into stability. To qualify for the housing, each resident will have experienced chronic homelessness and have a disability. They will be required to sign a lease and pay one-third of their income toward rent. While the ultimate goal is to see each resident move out to live on his or her own, no time limits will be put on their lengths of stay, according to Vice President of Operations Paul Kosowsky.
Founded in 1966, Youth Continuum has worked with the at-risk youth population since its inception. The agency serves over 1,500 young people annually with comprehensive services for homeless and runaway teens, those leaving the foster care system, and youth in the criminal justice system.
To learn more about Youth Continuum, visit its profile on giveGreater.org.
Did you know?
An estimated 3,000 youth in Connecticut are experiencing homelessness. "Connecticut Counts 2015 Report on Homelessness in Connecticut," Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.
This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.