Fellowship Place’s mission is to help adults with mental illness lead more meaningful, fulfilling and healthy lives by offering resources, education, and opportunity.
Fellowship is the only agency in the greater New Haven area supporting the severely mentally ill population 365 days per year, offering a comprehensive program of supportive services that includes Homeless Engagement, Supported Education, Employment Services, Supported Housing, Social Rehabilitation, and an alternative to incarceration program. Our campus offers understanding, acceptance, and a safe place where the mentally ill can ask for and receive help overcoming the challenges of living with their illness. Over 600 people are served annually; the majority suffers from schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder.
The first symptoms of serious mental illness usually occur in one's late teens to early twenties. It is common for one experiencing symptoms for the first time to withdraw from family & friends. Fear, lack of understanding and stigma often interfere with them getting treatment. Common issues include unemployment, homelessness, incarceration, and substance abuse. Without a place to turn for support, many end up alone; sleeping in tents under bridges at night and wandering the streets by day. However, with proper treatment and a wide range of support services, many living with a serious mental illness can lessen the impact it has on their lives, maintain their independence, and lead a productive life in their community. Fellowship provides such services; our programming, which complements our clients’ clinical services, strives to improve an individual's level of functioning and own management of his/her illness through skill building groups, opportunities for socialization, and peer support. Without Fellowship Place, there would be many more homeless, mentally ill individuals wandering the streets of New Haven without a safe place to come to every day.
Founded in 1960 through the collaborative efforts of the Mental Health Association of New Haven, the Jewish Community Center, local psychiatrists, & community volunteer Phyllis McDowell. In its early years, functioned primarily as a drop-in social club for psychiatric patients discharged from state mental hospitals. Over the last 50 years, we’ve experienced significant growth & success, expanding to a full-service psychosocial rehab center located on a campus setting in New Haven. Now open 365 days a year, including all weekends & holidays, more than 600 a year are served. The majority suffer from schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder, 30% have a co-occurring substance abuse problem and 50% have been homeless at least once in their lives. Members work with staff advisors to set & achieve goals to enable them to manage their illness, learn new skills, be productive, & participate in the community. Our mission is carried out through 5 core programs:
-LifeSkills ClubHouse: Structured & unstructured activities, including illness management groups, peer-support groups, health & wellness groups, lifeskills & self-advocacy groups, social & recreational activities, daily meals, & monolingual Spanish-speaking support
-Career Development: Services to help develop the skills & confidence required to find and keep a job in the competitive marketplace, including on-site paid internships, and placement in competitive employment. Supported education services are available for those interested in returning to school. GED classes and assistance enrolling in post-secondary education programs are offered on campus.
-Fellowship Inn: Outreach & engagement for those staying in local homeless shelters. Monday-Friday, staff drive to local shelters and offer shelter residents transportation to and from the Inn where they receive counseling, access to support services, laundry & shower facilities, and meals during daytime hours when shelters are normally closed
-Supported Housing: Case management for tenants who reside in four apartment buildings (45 units of affordable housing) owned & operated by the agency
-CREST (Community Reporting Engagement Support and Treatment): Structured day reporting program with case management & counseling for people with mental illness referred from the criminal justice system. Operated in partnership with The Connection, Inc. & the CT Mental Health Center
The Supportive Employment program served 130 clients, up 20% from last year. 33 clients were placed in new competitive jobs. 70% of those employed maintained employment for 90 days or more. In 2013, Fellowship received grant funding to expand the program to include a peer-to-peer Graduate program to provide step down employment services to individuals with mental illness who have been successfully employed in the community and need less intense support services from Dept. Staff. Due to the Employment Program's successes, particularly in ranking 3rd statewide in employment placement rates, when a Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS) Vocational Program closed, DMHAS allocated the additional funding to Fellowship’s Supported Employment program, resulting in an increase in the program's capacity. The 2014 program’s service goal was increased to over 100 clients, a goal the agency exceeded halfway through the year. The Supportive Ed program helped 57 people return to school, up 6% from last year.
The PsychoSocial Rehab Center experienced a 6% increase in clients served, growing from 444-470. 176 clients used our Computer Learning Center for classes on word processing, to complete online job applications, and check e-mail. 155 participated in one or more of our Expressive Arts programs such as ArtShip, Recovery Through Music, Recovery Through Art, and Writers’ Group. Over 29,300 balanced nutritious meals were served to clients free of charge as part of the agency’s Healthy Meals initiative.
Completed architect plans & cost estimates for phase 3 renovations of our campus plan, currently developing a financing plan for the renovations.
Continue planning for phase 3 renovations, an expansion of the Fellowship Place Inn, Homeless Engagement Program
Fund porch renovations on our 276 Dwight Street Supportive Housing
Continue planning for Phase III renovations of our campus plan, an
expansion of the Fellowship Place Inn, Homeless Engagement Program. The agency
is currently developing a financial plan to fund the project.
our Meal Program so that we may continue to incorporate healthy choices into
the diets of the men & women we serve to address the serious health
problems associated with their illness, exacerbated by their poor nutrition and
a consequence of their severe poverty.
Funding of porch renovations on our 276 Dwight Street Supportive Housing
property. Fellowship Place’s Supported Housing Program provides a permanent
affordable home and case management for persons recovering from mental illness
who were once homeless, or entered the program from a transitional housing
program. Onsite case management & support services provided are designed to
help tenants reach a maximum level of self-sufficiency, independence, and
quality of life possible, help them be successful in maintaining their housing status,
and eliminate the risks of them ending up living on the streets. Tenants reside
in 4 apartment buildings owned and operated by the agency.
Each year Fellowship Place helps over 600 people who suffer from a serious and persistent mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The overwhelming majority of people we serve also face poverty, inadequate housing, unemployment, and poor physical health. Fellowship provides a safe and therapeutic environment where people may find productive ways to structure their day and connect with others who face similar life challenges. We are open seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year for meals, supportive counseling, and a wide array of activities that nurture the mind, body, and spirit.
Visit the Fellowship campus on any given day, and you may see artists and musicians at work, a yoga class, a computer class, a healthy eating group, or a relapse prevention group. Even more important, you will see people talking with each other, offering encouragement and support to face the trials and tribulations of life. Without Fellowship Place, many people would find themselves home alone or wandering the streets with nothing to do, no place to go. Our campus provides a beacon of hope for a better and healthier life.
This past year Fellowship Place experienced an increase in clients served in nearly all programs, and with the tireless efforts of our dedicated staff, kept up with the challenging demands that come with serving this population. We also expanded on our variety of high quality programming and services, including implementing a Cognitive Remediation program (CRT) for our Young Adult program, utilizing our state of the art Computer & Psychosocial Rehab Centers. We also created a new peer-to-peer Graduate Program in our Employment Program to provide step down services to individuals who have been successfully employed in the community and need less intense support services from Department Staff. Our Supported Employment program’s successes resulted in the program ranking 3rd statewide in employment placement rates, and when a DMHAS Voc. Program closed, the additional funding was allocated to our successful Employment Program, increasing its capacity from 70 to 80 clients and its service goal to 100 clients. The program has already exceeded its goals only halfway through the year.
The most tragic thing about mental illness is how little people understand it. At Fellowship Place, we are committed to helping our clients, their families, and the general public realize that with proper treatment and support, people with a mental illness can be successful and contribute to the vibrancy of our community.
Navigating the economic downturn has been a great challenge for all nonprofit organizations in our community. Fellowship is no exception. Between 2007 and 2012, our agency received flat funding from the CT Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, our primary revenue source. Despite this, the Board of Directors made a commitment several years ago to preserve direct services and to maintain our longstanding tradition of being open to our clients seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year. We reorganized our administrative staff, reduced our use of consultants, and actively pursued private funding from foundations and private individuals. Our strategy has paid off. Since 2009, we have added specialty programs for young adults, developed a Drama group and a Music group, collaborated with regional agencies on services to help our clients quit smoking, and expanded supportive housing and outreach services for monolingual Hispanic clients.
Our work is made possible by a committed and engaged Board of Directors, and employees who are not only qualified but who really care about the work they do. Every member of the Board serves on at least one Committee, and more than 94% support the agency financially. Most importantly, Fellowship recognizes the needs of our clients as vast and complex, making it very important to actively pursue partnerships with other community organizations and the business community. Our staff is an active member of the Community Services Network at the CT Mental Health Center, Opening Doors New Haven, the Dwight Central Management Team, and various other community groups committed to improving the quality of life in New Haven. We partner with a number of non-profit organizations on job training and other specialty services for our clients. This year, our agency began a Business Advisory Council to advise the Employment Program and network on its behalf. The council includes representatives from community employers, such as People’s Bank, Yale New Haven Hospital, Town Green Special Services, and Stop & Shop. The employer representatives conduct mock interviews, provide advice on resumes, and identify potential new employers for Fellowship’s Employment program.
There is no other program like Fellowship in New Haven, and I am certain that without Fellowship Place, there would be more homeless mentally ill people wandering the streets of New Haven, without a safe place to come to every day. At Fellowship, we offer practical help like meals, support to find a job or housing, and most importantly, positive ways to structure the day. We all know how important it is to feel useful and productive.
An annual consumer satisfaction survey is conducted where results are recorded and tracked, assessing quality of services. Also, as a member follows his/her service plan, other relevant data is collected; data related to daily attendance and activities; data from critical incidence reports to monitor for increases or decreases in crisis situation; data related to participation rates, assessments by staff and self-assessments. Every 6 months a member's service plan is reviewed, personal progress goals are adjusted and a revised service plan is put in place. Based on this approach, increases in positive treatment outcomes are experienced by both men and women as they continue learning critical skills & behaviors, improving their progress and overall health & wellness, greatly reducing the risk of relapse,hospitalization, or a setback in their recovery process.
Sound management & planning have resulted in a long history of exploring community resources to expand services. Our significant growth over the years, led by our Strategic Planning Committee and guided by research & data on the unmet needs of our target population, has resulted in endeavors into the supportive housing arena, the criminal justice system and young adult services.
In 1996 recognizing the need in our community for outreach & engagement for people with mental illness staying in local homeless shelters, the Fellowship Inn was established.
In 2002 responding to the needs of the growing number of mentally ill without a permanent place to live, our Supportive Housing program was established. With local funding, we purchased & renovated 3 buildings to provide 22 units of supportive housing. Additional funding was secured to provide onsite case management services.
In 2007 we partnered with the Connection & the CT Mental Health Center to establish CREST (Community Reporting Engagement Support & Treatment) to provide a structured day reporting program with case management & counseling services for people with mental illness referred from the criminal justice system.
In 2009 we completed renovations to Fellowship Commons Westville, an 18-unit apartment building purchased & renovated to provide more affordable housing to adults with psychiatric disabilities.
In 2010, with help from a local Foundation, we established a Young Adult Program to meet the specialized needs of a growing number of young adults suffering from mental illness. We also partnered with Communicare to add smoking cessation services to help our clients reduce or quit smoking.
In 2011 we secured private funding to hire a Clinical Coordinator allowing the agency to be more responsive to clients who present significant case management issues in the Clubhouse.
In 2012 we hosted the grand opening of a new state of the art Psychosocial Rehab center with expanded program & meeting spaces to help us better meet the needs of the people who come to our campus for rehabilitation, counseling and a variety of support services. We implemented Cognitive Remediation services in our Young Adult program, utilizing our state of the art Computer & Psychosocial Rehab Centers.
In 2013 we received grant funding to expand our Supported Employment services to include a peer-to-peer Graduate Program. We also began a Business Advisory Council to advise the Employment Program and network on its behalf.
In 2013, we began planning for Phase III renovations of our campus plan.
Executive Director Mary A. Guerrera, LCSW was appointed Executive Director in April 2007, following the retirement of the former Executive Director. She has more than 30 years experience in the human service field, having held direct service and management positions in child welfare, elder services and mental health. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Connecticut in 1981 and is a licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Connecticut. In her tenure as Executive Director she has significantly expanded the agency's programming, restructured operations for better efficiency, and increased the agency's fiscal status.
We are a
Community Service Network of New Haven partner, a collaborative of 18 agencies
that provide an array of coordinated behavioral health services to people
throughout the community. Clinical partners include CT Mental Health Center,
Continuum of Care, Yale Behavioral Health Services, Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital
and the CT VA. Hill Health Center has provided a Physician's assistant free of
charge to provide health screenings, blood pressure checks & group health
discussions on our campus. We are a partner in a Substance Abuse & Mental
Health Services Admin. Transformation Grant, to place a peer specialist in our
supportive housing program, who provides a variety of on-site activities to
enhance our supportive housing services. We formed a Business Advisory Council to advise our Employment Program and
network on its behalf; representatives from employers such as People’s Bank,
Yale New Haven Hospital and Stop & Shop conduct mock interviews, provide
advice on resumes and identify potential new employers for the program. Employment
& education collaborations with local employers, colleges, and universities
help provide opportunities in our Employment & Supported Education program.
The New Haven Board of Ed hosts GED classes on campus twice weekly.
In 2011, the Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS) announced the forthcoming of new reporting requirements for all DMHAS contract agencies. As a DMHAS contract agency, Fellowship realized that a more sophisticated system of data collection, tracking & reporting was necessary. We began the planning of a new system that would not only allow us to meet the newly announced requirements, but would grow with us as future requirements were announced and one that had the capacity to keep up with our growth as we followed through with our multi-phase Campus Master Plan. There were numerous challenges faced with the development of a new system, including the education & training of staff on new data collection methods & reporting procedures, and the unexpected financial burden of hiring an outside consulting firm for the development of a database that would meet the new requirements while maintaining the capacity to expand. After months of development & planning, the transition to the new system was successful and performed without interruption or down time in data collection or member services. All member-related information is stored in the database in member-specific case management file format. Each member file has all demographic information as well as utilization (attendance) and detailed progress notes recording changes in skills, attitudes and behaviors. Staff enters/updates data daily, so that data is current at any point in time. Individualized service plans are utilized to evaluate progress and develop service plan goals, and ongoing relationships with our member's clinicians and other service providers allow us to be pro-active in addressing potential problem behaviors. By providing regular assessments by staff and requiring self-assessments of members, we have successfully been able to monitor their changes. A variety of reports help track & evaluate individual members, program capacities, and agency-wide outcomes. Fellowship Place also conducts a consumer satisfaction survey annually. This past Fiscal Year, the agency scored an overall satisfaction rate of 97%.
the economic downturn has been a great challenge for all nonprofits in our
community; increases in health insurance costs, utility costs and food costs
have risen significantly over the past 5 years and continue to rise. Combined with
flat funding from the State for 4 out of the same 5 years, it is no surprise that
non-profits in our community serving the poorest of the poor are most affected;
struggling to provide quality services with less resources. An analysis of
our anticipated operational cost increases for FY15 & FY16 indicate $263,000
in private funding must be raised each year to help bridge the gap between
government funding and our true cost of doing business, and offset our annual
operational cost increases.
management and well-established systems & practices in fiscal control have
helped us address these challenges in the past and maintain the superior
quality of services we have been known for, for over 50 years. Our fiscal
responsibility & resiliency is best demonstrated by the 4-year period of 2009-2012
when consecutive years of significant operational cost increases & flat
funding from the state were endured. During this difficult economic period, the
Board of Directors held on to a commitment made years ago to reserve direct
services and maintain our longstanding tradition of being open to our clients 7
days a week, 365 days a year. To absorb the years of significant operational
cost increases & flat funding, without negatively impacting program
services or hours of operations, the agency took a number of measures. We
increased employee premiums & co-pays on our health plan, reduced the
employer's contribution to the retirement plan, postponed budgeted new hires,
delayed giving merit increases to employees, held off on non-essential repairs
& purchases and reorganized our admin staff. The agency actively pursued
and increased our diversification of private funding. Such measures helped Fellowship
internally absorb 4 years of operational cost increases & flat funding from
the state, maintain all programs & services, continue all hours of operation
and sustain all direct service positions. Funding diversification efforts led
to grant funds in support of our campus meal program, and funds to create a new
Supported Employment Graduate Program to provide step down employment services
to individuals with mental illness. We added specialty programs for young
adults and expanded supportive housing & outreach services for monolingual
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
A strong community not only meets its members’ basic needs but also works to create long-term solutions to their problems. Provide people with affordable housing, enough to eat and access to affordable health care and you enable them to envision a better future for themselves.
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