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 began in New Haven in 1987 when a group of volunteers started the Connecticut AIDS Residence Program (CARP) to house individuals with AIDS who had been isolated from society. CARP has changed its name to Liberty Community Services and expanded its programs. However, the theme of reaching out to the homeless in New Haven has been a constant mission of Liberty Community Services for more than 20 years.
Our programs and services range from outreach, case management, housing access services and rental assistance to a variety of transitional and permanent housing programs that not only provide a home to those who need one, but offer supportive services.
In 2005, we opened Liberty Safe Haven, a 33-bed permanent housing facility located in New Haven's Ninth Square District. The facility is designed to serve the hardest-to-reach homeless (or chronic homeless) living with HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and addiction, by offering permanent housing, intensive supportive housing case management and other support services.
Liberty’s most pressing needs for additional funds include both projects that are direct support of clients plus capacity building for the organization so that we can assist more in New Haven. For the direct support, Liberty provides a Sunday brunch every winter that serves between 60-100 people every Sunday from November to March. Each year, we fund raise specifically for that program and this necessitates contributions of approximately $15,000. Liberty currently provides a Day Program for people who are living in shelters or on the streets and additional contributions would allow us to expand services in those programs. In particular, funds would be used to contract with additional mental health professionals who could be resources to the men and women who use the program. Our final need for direct services would be funds to start a Transitional Employment program for people who find it very difficult to find a job due to limited work history or criminal background. The funds would be used to expand our current program. Our goal would be to raise $10,000 for such a program. Finally, Liberty is seeking $15,000 to review and improve its communication strategy so that our name and our organization are better understood and recognized in New Haven.
Liberty provides services to over 250 men and women annually and manages a variety of programs. Liberty provides housing for over 100 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 hardship 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.
Housing and Support Services for People Living with HIV/AIDS include the following programs:
Transitional Living Program (TLP)
Sixteen slots in shared suites in multi-family houses. TLP is for people living with HIV who are homeless and also dually diagnosed. Maximum time of residence is twenty-four months. Required to commit to substance-free living. Income is not required. Program fee.
Supportive Living Program (SLP)
Seven units in shared suites in multi-family house. SLP provides permanent housing for homeless people who are living with HIV. Residents must be substance-free for six months and have an income. Rent is 30% of income.
Independent Living Program (ILP) Social Innovation Fund (“SIF”) Program
Forty units in private apartments in the community. These two programs provides permanent subsidized housing for homeless people who are living with HIV. Rent is 30% of income and the client subsidy pays the remainder.
Our short-term measure for the success of these programs consists in the number of individuals that we can help to secure housing. Evidence shows that people with HIV/AIDS are healthier when they have housing so we are trying to reach as many people as possible in the short-term to ensure that their medical, mental health, and housing status improves.
Our long-term success for these programs consists in the number of people who are able to secure and maintain permanent housing. We measure success by the number of individuals who leave transitional housing and move into permanent housing, and by the number of people who remain in permanent housing. We hope 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.
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 consistently do well on program audits. 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 came into Liberty Community Services as a client in our Transitional Living Program (TLP). 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 TLP facility, he exhibited determine, a 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 TLP had helped him in recovery. During his time in TLP, Sam was able to obtain a temporary employment position at a Yale University dining hall. That position became permanent part-time and he has been working there steadily for about three years. He hopes to secure a full-time job at the dining hall as openings become available. Also during his time in TLP, Sam encountered a serious medical condition but he faced it with optimism and strength; it did not slow down his drive to move ahead. Sam has now moved out of TLP and into Liberty’s Independent Living Program, where he rents an apartment in the community with the help of a subsidy from Liberty.
Housing and Support Services for People Living with Mental Illness include the following programs:
Twenty-two units located on the second and third floors of 210 State Street. Residents must be chronically homeless with a mental illness. A percentage also have HIV. Permanent housing. No income required. Rent is 30% of income.
Safe Haven, Fourth Floor (Open Door)
Eleven units on the fourth floor of 210 State Street. Shelter Plus Care provides rental subsidy. Residents must be homeless, living with HIV, and have a mental illness.
Open Door Alliance
Eighteen units in the community. Shelter Plus Care or DSS provides the rental subsidy. Residents must be homeless and have a mental illness.
Our short-term outcome measure for these programs consist of the number of people that we have helped to secure housing. Based on annual counts of people who are homeless, we know that there are hundreds of people in New Haven who are living in shelters or on the street. Our objective is to reach as many people as possible to reduce this number.
(The client's name has been changed for the safe of confidentiality).
Tom had a long history of drug use and selling drugs. His partial paralysis was possibly a result of his drug use, leaving him wheelchair bound. Tom came to Safe Haven excited about the opportunity to be able to have his own apartment. Shortly after moving in, Tom began to reconnect with his daughters. Also, with the support of Liberty staff, he made his dream of opening his own business into a reality. In addition to this, Tom volunteers his time in New Haven schools, where he discusses crime, drugs, and violence in the streets, attempting to steer students in a healthier direction. Tom has also taken steps to begin to walk again and his depression symptoms have decreased. He has not needed mental health services for some time. He has also been able to learn skills in budgeting and is now able to handle his own finances. He takes pride in paying his rent on time every month. Having his own apartment has allowed him the stability he needed to live out his dreams.
Liberty Day Program Includes meals, access to showers, laundry, medical care, and groups for people who are in shelters and need a place to go during the day. Safe and Secure Outreach program for people who are homeless and need treatment. Sunday Brunch Program Safe Haven Sunday Brunch program serves the homeless community in New Haven during the winter months. It serves healthy food to approximately 100-120 people come in from the isolation of the streets on Sundays when all of the public buildings are closed. In addition to serving a warm, hot meal and fellowship, it is our goal to place these people in programs. Liberty Women's Group This year Liberty Community Services is very excited to announce the start of our first agency wide, Women’s Group. The group is regularly held Monday through Thursday from 9-11 next to our Safe Haven building. This group is open to any woman that is receiving services from LCS. Groups include topics ranging from stress management to knitting and sewing. Outside speakers from the community will also offer groups to participants.
LCS manages funds from private and public sources intended to prevent evictions and end homelessness through emergency assistance to pay arrearages on rent to those in the process of an eviction that live in New Haven. The program covers both Singles and Families. Certain income requirements apply.
Liberty administers the Eviction and Foreclosure (EFPP) Protection Program funded by the CT Department of Social Services.
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 Safe and Secure and the Day Program.
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.
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 two years. He is also the Program Director for the Safe Haven Day Program and for the Safe & Secure Program, which is a five-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-funded grant awarded to Liberty Community Services. 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 continues to serve Liberty well.
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. Subrena is well known in the New Haven social system. 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. She is currently a Program Director at Liberty Community Services, Inc. in New Haven. 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 is transitioning to Coordinated Access and Liberty has been an integral part of those discussions. The New Haven community now has a common application which makes application to multiple programs much easier.
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 has also been funded as part of a program to administer DSS Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program. We subcontract with TEAM, Inc. and work closely with the Community Action Agency of New Haven.
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. She assists with accessing medical care. We also formally collaborate with TEAM, Inc. for the EFFP Program and with Yale University on the mHealth program.
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.
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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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