News Flash

Town of Hamden

Posted on: January 9, 2020

Hamden Opens “Overnight Winter Warming Center” In Partnership with Columbus House, Inc.

Hamden – Mayor Curt Balzano Leng is very pleased to announce that the Hamden Legislative Council recently approved a seasonal “overnight warming center” for a second year in a row, in partnership with Columbus House, Inc., for those experiencing homelessness in our community.

The Hamden Warming Center will operate from January 6th, 2020 through February 23rd, 2020 at Grace & St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (2927 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, CT 06518- near the intersection of Dixwell and Whitney). The Warming Center will be operated by trained Columbus House staff who will monitor overnight shifts from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., 7 days a week. The warming center is not a “shelter”, as no beds will be provided. It will offer a clean, safe, indoor overnight space to protect those in-need from harsh weather conditions, those who would likely otherwise spend their nights outdoors. Hamden Police will provide walk-throughs on a nightly basis.

Mayor Leng commented, “I am very proud to report that the Town will again be offering an overnight warming center. Last year we were able to have a regular nightly warming center for the first time in our community and it proved helpful to so many people in need. Not only did the efforts provide temporary safety and warmth, but also lead to other services and even to permanent housing for some clients. We prioritized the warming center again for this year knowing that this is what local government is all about - helping people.”

Adam Sendroff, Community Development Manager, remarked, “In reviewing the Warming Center data from last year, it is clear that it provided a needed service. It kept people safe and connected them to shelter, case management services, and even housing in some instances. I’m thankful we can offer the Warming Center again, and am grateful to our partners, Columbus House and Grace and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.”

Cynthia Fox, Interim CEO of Columbus House also commented, “We are very pleased to be embarking on year two of our collaboration with the Town of Hamden and Grace and St. Peter’s Church to provide the Warming Center, which will serve people who are the most vulnerable among us.  The Warming Center will provide a warm, safe place for people to stay through the harshest winter months.  Columbus House on-site staff will provide overnight staffing and referrals to additional services to help people resolve their homelessness.”

Residents wishing to contribute to the warming centers may do so by donating items such as non-perishable, pre-wrapped snack food items like protein bars, cookies, chips, and other snacks. Fruits such as apples, bananas, clementines, etc. are also requested, in addition to beverages including tea bags, coffee, instant hot-cocoa, sugar, non-dairy creamers, and bottled water. Columbus House respectfully requests that other items such as prepared foods and party leftovers be donated to other charities and community service outlets as applicable.

Donations of new socks, new underwear, gloves, hats, umbrellas, and rain ponchos are also welcome.

Donations may be dropped off at the Keefe Community Center (11 Pine Street, Hamden) between the hours of 8:30 and 4:30. Donation receipts will be available.

If you would like to make a financial contribution to support the warming center or to help fund Columbus House’s programs designed to move people out of homelessness and into housing, please make checks payable to Columbus House and drop off at the Keefe Community Center or mail to: Columbus House, PO Box 7093, New Haven, CT 06519, or online at www.columbushouse.org

For further information, please contact Deputy Chief of Staff, Patrick J. Donnelly, at 203-287-7009 or pdonnelly@hamden.com.

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