Liberty Community Services, Inc., founded in 1987, strives to end homelessness in greater New Haven. We offer services to people who live with HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and addiction and we help people achieve permanent housing in the community.
Liberty Community Services started operating in 1987, when a group of volunteers incorporated the Connecticut AIDS Residence Program (“CARP”) whose mission was to house individuals with AIDS who had no alternative living situation in the community. Over the years, CARP changed its name to Liberty Community Services and expanded its mission and programs. The theme, however, of reaching out to people who are homeless in New Haven in order to help them lead full lives has been a constant element of our organization over the last 28 years.
Liberty Community Services’ programs range from homeless prevention, outreach, case management, assistance with basic needs to a variety of transitional and permanent housing programs. All the programs are intended to empower individuals seeking assistance so that they may be as self-sufficient as possible.
Liberty Community Services has been an innovator in working with people who are the most difficult to serve. In 2005, we opened our Safe Haven housing program which is designed for people who are chronically homeless and we introduced harm reduction housing in New Haven. As a result of Liberty’s leadership efforts and those of similar organizations, New Haven has seen progress in housing people who are chronically homeless and is viewed as one of the most advanced communities in the country in this effort.
Liberty Community Services continues to increase the number of people for whom it provides permanent housing despite funding challenges. We have realigned our funding, created efficiencies, and secured incremental new funding to now provide housing and support for 200 single men and women, which is approximately 60% more people than two years ago. This increase in services has come at a time of minimal increase in grant revenue.
Liberty Community Services has become the leader in New Haven in homeless prevention services. Starting with pilot funds a few years ago, we created an Eviction Prevention program. This program over the years has expanded and helped hundreds of low-income people with good rental histories remain in their apartments after they encountered a financial setback. Due to State cutbacks we have had to scale back this program. Liberty also administers the Security Deposit Guarantee program with a combination of State and private funds. We have been the lead agency in developing a Shelter Diversion Program for single men and women. We have received funds to administer the program on behalf of all New Haven agencies. This has resulted in dozens of people avoiding the shelter and solving their housing crisis in other ways.
Liberty Community Services has significantly increased the support it provides to its clients in employment assistance. Liberty was part of a national initiative from the federal government on improving employment support for people living with HIV/AIDS. Identifying a gap in services for people with long-term unemployment, three years ago our organization began a Transitional Employment Program to employ clients to clean streets in lower State St and Union Avenue areas. We have since been awarded funds from Alexion to start a mobile, transitional employment program for people who are homeless.
As a medium sized non-profit serving people with high service needs and low-income, we have multiple goals and projects for which we seek support.
Housing: New Haven’s success in securing funding for permanent supportive housing programs now leads our community to develop other programs for people who service needs are not as great but who are homeless. These individuals will mostly move out of homelessness through employment, family support, and affordable housing options. One area that Liberty would like to support is to develop existing housing stock into shared housing for singles where the rent could be more affordable than currently exists. The funding required would be for down payment and rehabilitation of housing in the order of about $60,000.
Employment: Liberty has had success in its Transitional Employment program and would like to expand funding to increase that type of program. The work that we have undertaken, cleaning streets, does not have a revenue stream so the funding would allow us to continue the program and build support for its continuation. The funding amount needed is $30,000.
Basic Needs: Liberty provides a free Sunday Brunch in the winter months and has just initiated a breakfast café at a downtown church that provides free breakfast five days per week. These programs are both sustained through private fundraising so ongoing support for these programs is always needed. The annual budget for these two programs is $95,000 per year.
Liberty provides services to over 500 men and women annually and manages a variety of programs. Liberty provides housing for over 200 people annually as well as a Day Program for people living in shelters or on the street, an outreach program for people who are homeless, an HIV testing and outreach program, a Women's Day Program, and a Sunday brunch in the winter months. The program facts are important but they become real when you hear the voices of the people who receive the services. One woman said "When I was on the streets, I didn't care whether I lived or died. I can't describe the feeling the day I entered my own apartment".
Our country is coming through a period of economic transition which has prompted a discussion as to the role government needs to play in our communities. Our programs are predominantly funded by the government and our success is based upon the conclusion of government that everyone in this country should have access to decent housing. Liberty has always faced obstacles in our work but also found support in the New Haven community. You can be part of our effort to make a better community, one where everybody has housing no matter their circumstances, by donating, volunteering, advocating, voting, and supporting the work we do to help those in our community who are in need.
John BradleyExecutive Director
One of my strongest memories of Liberty was when I had the opportunity to thank a group of volunteers from UnitedHealthcare. Liberty was fortunate to have these volunteers dedicate their work day to us during the summer. I remember hearing their stories of what they had accomplished during the day and what they learned about Liberty and Liberty’s clients. They briefly experienced the important work that Liberty does and the unique way that we fulfill our mission of ending homelessness. I also shared with these volunteers my belief that their work extended beyond their hours at Liberty. The volunteer hours, the donations given and general support of the community help us assist the people of New Haven that have been overlooked and forgotten. When we pay attention to the problems of HIV/AIDS, homelessness and mental illness, we help to build hope that these issues can be overcome even though they seem enormous.
Permanent Supportive Housing:
Permanent Supportive Housing includes the financial and case management assistance necessary to end homelessness. This housing is accessed through the New Haven Coordinated Access Network ("CAN") which begins when the person who is homeless calls 211. If selected the applicant pays 30% of his/her income for the rent.
Liberty provides Rapid Rehousing to single men and women who are literally homeless. The program involves short-term to medium term subsidies and case management. Subsidies are capped by a dollar and time with the intention that the tenant will afford independently a permanent unit after the assistance has ended. Client chooses his/her preferred apartment in a location determined by the client.
Our short-term measure for the success of these programs consists in the number of individuals that we can help to secure housing.
Our long-term success for these programs consists in the number of people who are able to secure and maintain permanent housing. Our goal is that at least 85% of those who enter permanent housing are able to stay there. In order to achieve this outcome, we assist our clients with finding employment, budgeting their resources, and helping them to medical and mental health provisions. We routinely meet this goal.
Our program success is monitored through our case management software, which tells us the numbers of clients we have served and their progress in achieving their individual goals.
Clients who are settled in permanent housing generally stay in such arrangements (approximately 90% remain). The following story exemplifies our success in providing permanent housing for our clients (the client's name has been changed for the sake of confidentiality):
Sam had been dealing with an addiction for almost two decades and had made a decision to change his life. When he moved into our one of our programs, he exhibited a determined, positive attitude, and acted as a role model to other clients. When our Program Director talked about advocacy, Sam was always ready and eager to help. He spoke to Liberty’s Board about his experiences that brought him into homelessness and how we had helped. During his time at Liberty, Sam was able to obtain a temporary employment position at a Yale University dining hall. Sam moved into permanent housing and rents an apartment in the community with the help of a subsidy from Liberty now.
Our short-term measure of success consists in the number of people that we provides services for. We offer access to case management, treatment, and other resources through multiple programs.
Our long-term measure of success consists in the number of individuals who are able to access treatment, secure housing, and receive employment.
Our program success is monitored through our case management software, which tells us the numbers of clients we have served and their progress in achieving their individual goals. We are audited by multiple supporters of our programs. We also conduct surveys of our clients. We measure success by increased medical care, mental health care, access to housing, and access to employment.
(The client's name has been changed for the safe of confidentiality).
Jane had been homeless off and on for several months when she first arrived at the Day Program. She was struggling to put her life back together while also trying to stay connected to and provide for her children who did not live with her. Jane had been told by many people that with her mental illness she was incapable of living independently, being a good mother, or even taking care of herself. Yet each day, she came to the program and worked to stay organized and move forward with her life. After a long wait, she moved into a transitional housing program for a few months and then good news arrived—her name had come to the top of the waiting list for a subsidized apartment and she moved in. She continues treatment with a mental health provider and keeps in contact with her children. Jane’s story is an example of how the Day Program can fill the missing pieces in a client’s service network. Stories like Jane’s are great motivation to continue this work.
Michael Hall has been the Program Director at Liberty Safe Haven for five years. He is also the Program Director for the Safe Haven Day Program and for the Greater New Haven Behavioral Health Collaborative. Prior to working at Liberty he was the Project Director for the Community Health Care Van Project at Yale University’s AIDS Program.
Mike Campbell has been the Director of Property Management at Liberty Community Services since 2002. Mike attended Marist College and Quinnipiac University. He played an important role in the construction of our Safe Haven building and maintains leases and tax credit compliance for 210 State Street and manages all property.
Subrena Winfield has been the Director of Program Management at Liberty Community Services, Inc. since 2006. Prior to her arrival at Liberty, she worked as a Research Associate at Yale University for five years. She has spent 12 years in the Human Service field. Subrena received her Bachelors degree and Masters in Human Service Administration from Springfield College. She is also one of the co-authors of Kitchen Table Wisdom: A Freirian Approach to Medication Adherence (J. Assoc. Nurses in AIDS Care, 2005 Jan.-Feb; 16(1): 3-12.
Silvia Moscariello has designed and implemented community based human services for almost 35 years throughout Connecticut. These have included employment (supported employment, occupational training, placement, etc.) housing, and a wide range of supportive services to people with behavioral health concerns, HIV, developmental disabilities, homelessness, youth at risk, children with autism and their families, and families living in unstable housing. Ms. Moscariello holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Post University with a concentration in leadership development.
When a client seeks services from Liberty, our mission is to connect that individual to all the services that are available in the community. Liberty’s Coordinated Access Specialist often makes those connections to other agencies. For example even if a person is presenting with a housing request, we will ask if they have HIV and if they would like a Medical Case Manager to help keep them connected to medical care. The New Haven community has transitioned to Coordinated Access and Liberty has been an integral part of that design.
Liberty also participates with the Community Services Network, which organizes the system of outpatient care and support for people living with mental illness. For the clients that qualify, Liberty works with partner agencies for mental health support, housing support, and employment support. A CSN agency with supportive employment counselors meets regularly with Liberty to support those seeking employment.
Liberty also participates in a number of other coordinated care efforts, which include:
In terms of specific collaborations, we participate in a program whereby a Peer Advocate paid by Continuum of Care is hosted at one of our programs through the Greater New Haven Behavioral Health Collaborative. She assists with accessing medical care. We also formally collaborate with BH Care for a housing program and with Yale University on the mCharts programs.
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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