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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It's a bird...It's a plane...It's The Great Giver!

Blighted properties are his nemesis. Generosity is his super power. 
Neighborhood revitalization is his mission. 
Meet Levon: The Great Giver!
Only 7 days left until The Great Give 2017!

This year, Bankwell has generously agreed to be our sidekick and match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $2500. When you factor in the matching funds from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, that means your gift will be more than doubled! 

How's that for a superpower? 

If you really want to help us power-up, make your contribution on May 3rd between 9:00am and 10:00am. During this hour, we will be battling the other housing organizations to get the most donations in hopes of winning an extra $3000 from The Liberty Bank Foundation.

Wednesday, May 3 
9:00am-10:00am 
Special thanks to our generous partners:

STAY CONNECTED:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

CT Marches for the Climate

MEDIA ADVISORY
April 17, 2017

Contact: John Humphries – 860-216-7972 (cell); john.humphries1664@gmail.com


CT Marches for the Climate

Senators Richard Blumenthal & Chris Murphy
join with CT Labor, Religious & Environmental Groups to Promote March for Science & People’s Climate March

Tuesday, April 18 @ 11:00am
Common Ground High School (358 Springside Ave.)
New Haven

Senators join CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
in speaking against Trump Administration’s policies; highlight local efforts 

As the Trump Administration seeks to roll back decades of progress on environmental and climate protection, local and state initiatives in CT continue to advance a shift toward a clean energy economy that creates local jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating healthier, more resilient communities.

The 4/18 press event will highlight:
  • Sat, April 22 - Earth Day events, including the “March for Science” in Hartford and New Haven, along with New Haven’s “Rock to Rock” fundraising bike ride; and
  • Sat, April 29 - People’s Climate March buses that will transport CT residents to the national march in DC from points all across the state

Speakers will include:
  • John Harrity, President, CT State Council of Machinists
  • Mustafa Salahuddin, President, ATU Local 1336 (bus drivers’ union in Bridgeport)
  • Pam Arifian, Director, United Church of Christ Northeast Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake Conference Center, in Sharon CT; and a board member of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network
  • Tyra deBoise, youth leader at Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church
  • Anna Ruth Pickett, Development & Outreach Manager, Urban Resources Initiative
  • Giovanni Zinn, City Engineer, City of New Haven

Launched in June 2012, the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs is an innovative partnership between the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN) and the CT AFL-CIO that seeks to strengthen collaboration among Connecticut’s labor, environmental, and religious groups in advocating for public policies that address urgent concerns about climate change while creating good-paying jobs for Connecticut’s workers.


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Friday, April 7, 2017

April is Financial Capability Month!

Emergencies don’t have to be financial disasters; start saving now! 


You’re laid off at work. Your car needs a new transmission. Your furnace blows. These are all costly emergencies that can’t usually be anticipated and cannot be avoided once they occur. Without a fund set aside just for such emergencies, they can trigger even greater disasters.



Last year, NeighborWorks America released the findings of its third annual consumer finance survey. Chief among them is the alarming fact that nearly a third of adult Americans (29 percent) have no emergency savings. Ninety-one percent of those with incomes of $100,000 reported holding emergency savings, compared to just 30 percent of who earn less than $20,000, 63 percent of those with incomes below $40,000 and 78 percent of those with incomes between $40,000 -$50,000.


A good rule of thumb is to have enough funds set aside to cover three to six months (some say four to seven) of living expenses. This will give you enough time, for instance, to find a new job or supplement your unemployment benefits until you do. However, anything in the bank is better than nothing — and $500 will get you out of many scrapes that would otherwise put you in the hole. In other words, start small if you have to, but start.

Here are a few tips:

Set up a savings account just for this purpose. Separate it from the accounts you tap into on a regular basis so you’re not tempted to dip into your reserves. Do not get access to it via debit card. And if you are issued a checkbook, hide it.


Arrange the automatic deposit of a portion of your paycheck into that savings account. Most employers allow direct deposits into multiple accounts. This is the most painless way to create a regular savings habit; you won’t even notice it! But make sure you’ve created a realistic budget. Otherwise, you’ll be pulling money out of savings regularly to pay bills, defeating the purpose.



Keep the change. When you get $1 and $5 bills after breaking a $20, drop some in a jar at home. When the jar fills up, move it into your savings account. And if you have money left after paying your bills at the end of a pay period, move some into your emergency fund.


Save your tax refund. The average refund is in the thousands, which can give a good boost to your emergency savings. When you file your taxes, consider having your refund directly deposited into your emergency account. Alternatively, adjust your W-4 tax form so that you have less money withheld, and direct the extra into your emergency fund.


Cut back on costs. If you’re still falling short on saving, track your spending for a month to find discretionary expenses you don’t really need. Meals out, stops at coffee shops, drinks with friends all add up fast, but you may not realize how much you’re spending in total until you’ve put it on paper. Remember: Expenses you should be able to anticipate, such as holiday gifts and annual auto insurance payments, are not emergencies! One of the most common problems people have with emergency funds is forgetting to plan for one-time expenses each year.

Remember: NHS of New Haven housing specialists offer financial education and coaching to help you follow these guidelines. Emergencies are upsetting enough. Don’t allow them to turn into financial catastrophes as well.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Local Advocates Meet to Highlight Solar Opportunity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2017

Media Contacts:
Zadie Oleksiw, Vote Solar Communications Manager, Zadie@votesolar.org, 202-836-5754



Local Advocates Meet to Highlight Solar Opportunity
Community solar is a major opportunity to empower Connecticut’s low-income customers

New Haven, CT. – Today, local clean energy and housing advocates held a public event highlighting the benefits of shared solar and other low-income solar programs for customers and communities. The recently updated Low-Income Solar Access Guide was also released with a Connecticut-specific fact sheet, which includes program and policy developments over the last year that better serve low-income customers.

“The clean energy economy is soaring nationwide, and neighboring states like Massachusetts and New York are expanding solar access to all of their communities – and reaping wealthier and healthier communities as a result,” said Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Low-Income Program Director at Vote Solar. “Now, it’s Connecticut’s turn to harvest those benefits, and community solar is how we do that. We’re asking lawmakers to bring clean energy choices, lower utility bills, and cleaner air to everyone in Connecticut through community solar.”

A well-designed community solar program, which doesn’t yet exist in Connecticut, would unlock lower customer utility bills, greater control over energy choices, and serve to support a local clean energy economy. Two years ago the legislature authorized a pilot program for community solar, but the pilot has been delayed several times and has still not moved forward, while neighboring states have made significant gains and opened up statewide programs in that time. Community and rooftop solar also promote a healthier environment by reducing the need for generating power from fossil fuel plants.

“Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven isn’t just about rehabbing houses and making them energy efficient; it isn’t just about the folks who buy our houses; it is about the neighborhoods we serve, and everyone in them,” said Kathy Fay, Deputy Director of Design and Construction at Neighborhood Housing Service of New Haven. “Everyone, regardless of income, pays a portion of their electric bill into a fund that helps to bring solar to local communities. Community shared solar in Connecticut will make it possible for everyone to take advantage of the solar opportunity, regardless of whether it’s on their roof or around the corner.”

“Shared solar is a way to make the technology of clean renewable energy available to many, if not all, of Connecticut residents,” said Paula Panzarella, speaking for the New Haven Energy Task Force. “Clean renewable energy is a concern of everyone. Especially in the inner-cities, we are already living with an overload of pollutants, asthma and automobile exhaust. Shared clean energy facilities would allow city-dwelling and low-wage earners to have access to clean energy. Everyone pays into the funds to support the clean energy programs, and shared solar allows everyone to reap the benefits.”

“The Green Bank is working to ensure that all Connecticut residents and businesses have equitable access to energy savings through our programs, strategic partnerships, and outreach,” said Madeline Priest of the Connecticut Green Bank. “We are pleased to support the state’s shared clean energy program with financing availability to community solar developers. Solar is affordable, and Connecticut businesses and residents can be excited for the opportunity to save money by saving energy.”

 
Kathy Fay, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven

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About Vote Solar:
Vote Solar is a non-profit organization working to foster economic development and energy independence by bringing solar energy to the mainstream nationwide. Learn more at www.votesolar.org

Thursday, March 30, 2017

First Resident Leadership Workshop a Great Success!

Art and Science of Leadership
2017 Resident Leadership Program
               
Last Tuesday, March 28, the Community Building & Organizing department at NHS hosted the first unit of the 7th Annual Resident Leadership Program. The Resident Leadership Program consists of five units that explore topics related to neighborhood, community and leadership development. 




Leslie Radcliffe, NHS’ board member, facilitated the first unit: “The Art and Science of Leadership”. This unit explored leadership as an art and science, and how the two subjects are interconnected. Radcliffe utilized Leonardo Da Vinci as a perfect demonstration of this philosophy. Da Vinci was an Italian polymath, whose work consisted of the interaction of science and art. 




Next, the group participated in a team building activity which centered on a ball of yarn. The purpose of this activity was to illustrate the interconnectedness of individuals based on the construction of knowledge emerging from their collective experience.




Overall, there was a great turnout for the first unit of the Resident Leadership Program. The program participants all come from diverse backgrounds and different neighborhoods. They each have experience with community initiatives and involvement and are interested in developing and/or refining their leadership skills.




We're so proud of this year's program participants and look forward to the next four workshops! 



Monday, March 27, 2017

8th ANNUAL MULTICULTURAL FAMILY FESTIVAL FULL STEAM AHEAD: CELEBRATING WOMEN & GIRLS IN S.T.E.A.M!



For Immediate Release
March 20, 2017
Media Inquiries: Maria Perez-Martinez | 475-227-0530 | mmartinez@nhsofnewhaven.org


NHS OF NEW HAVEN ANNOUNCES THEME FOR
8th ANNUAL MULTICULTURAL FAMILY FESTIVAL
FULL STEAM AHEAD: CELEBRATING WOMEN & GIRLS IN S.T.E.A.M!


New Haven, CT — Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven (NHS), positioning neighborhoods to succeed for 37 years, announced today the date and theme of their 8th Annual Multicultural Family Festival. The Festival will take place on Saturday, May 13, 2017 and is titled FULL STEAM AHEAD: Celebrating Women & Girls in S.T.E.A.M!  NHS’ family festival, which has become a community staple with residents from all over Connecticut, has featured past themes such as Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy, and Environmental Awareness. It is a chance to honor both the diversity and spirit of the New Haven Community and beyond.

From engineers to artists, from scientists to coders, women and girls are learning, excelling, and engaging in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). The festival invites families and children of all ages to explore hands-on activities, exciting games, and inspirational performers geared toward highlighting professional women in S.T.E.A.M. Admission is free and includes games, food, and activities.

“Our family festivals have afforded us with an opportunity to give back to the community,” said NHS of New Haven executive director Jim Paley. “We are thrilled with this year’s theme and are excited to bring the community together for a day of science experiments, refreshments, and meetings with friends to discuss the importance of highlighting women in the arts and sciences.”

“As Marian Wright Edelman once said, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see,” remarked HomeOwnership Center Managing Director, Bridgette Russell. “It is more important than ever for our young girls to have powerful, strong role models in the S.T.E.A.M. fields, to   learn the many contributions that women have made within these areas, and to ignite their enthusiasm around pursuing careers focused in math and science.”

The Festival will be held on Saturday, May 13 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm at NHS of New Haven's campus on Sherman Avenue. The official event page can be found on NHS' facebook site: facebook.com/nhsofnewhaven.


About Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven
Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven is focused on positioning New Haven’s neighborhoods to succeed by increasing homeownership; making homes beautiful, energy-efficient, and affordable; and helping residents take charge of their neighborhoods. We believe that increased homeownership, educated homebuyers, and rehabilitated houses will produce stable, revitalized neighborhoods that our clients will be proud to call home.
www.nhsofnewhaven.org

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven is part of the national NeighborWorks® network, an affiliation of more than 230 nonprofit organizations that increase homeownership, produce affordable housing and revitalize neighborhoods in more than 4,400 communities across the nation.  www.nw.org

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Monday, March 20, 2017

University of New Haven Students Spend Alternative-Spring-Break as NHS Volunteers

The staff in Community Building and Organizing (CBO) had the pleasure of hosting four students from the University of New Haven for four days of community service during their “Alternative Spring Break,” March 13 through March 17.  Although the cold temperatures and Tuesday’s disruptive blizzard created challenging circumstances for outdoor service work, the students persevered.

On Monday afternoon, CBO Specialist Adam Rawlings supervised the crew as they spread wood chips for walking trails in a section of Beaver Pond Park bordered by Sherman Parkway, commonly known as “Sherman Forest.” In doing so, the students chipped into ongoing efforts that have transformed this park space over the last few years, thanks to the joint effort of NHS of New Haven, Urban Resources Initiative, the New HavenDepartment of Parks and Recreation, and the Friends of Beaver Pond Park.   

After Tuesday’s snowstorm brought Greater New Haven to a standstill, the students returned on Wednesday and contributed to snow removal efforts in the Newhallville neighborhood.  Elias Estabrook, AmeriCorps VISTA and Residential Engagement Specialist, coordinated the crew as they joined ten employees of EMERGE CT, Inc. to clear snow and ice from the sidewalks around NHS-owned vacant properties (in NHS’ portfolio for future development). In the afternoon, Adam and Elias led the students in freeing the sidewalk around the Ivy Street Community Garden, a resident-run garden routinely supported by NHS. 

On Thursday, the students got a break from the cold and assisted staff of the CBO department and HomeOwnership Center by preparing attendees’ handouts for upcoming classes. By devising a coordinated “assembly line,” they printed, stapled, hole-punched and compiled the materials in record time.

Over the course of the week, the four volunteers gave a boost to all three NHS’ departments and witnessed the breadth of our organization’s programs. We greatly appreciate their service.

If you or your organization is looking to volunteer with NHS of New Haven, visit our website and submit a volunteer application.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Meet the Instructor! Resident Leadership Program Highlight!

About the Resident Leadership Program: 
In March 2010, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven launched its Building Leaders, Building Communities: Resident Leadership Program. The program was an essential element of the training and education component of our Neighborhood Revitalization Institute.

Instructor Highlight!
Kica Matos will be the instructor for the fourth session of our resident leadership program (Planning Successful Campaigns).

Kica Matos is the Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at the Center for Community Change (“CCC”), an organization whose mission is to empower the people most affected by injustice to lead movements to improve the policies that affect their lives. She has extensive experience as an advocate, community organizer and lawyer.

Since joining CCC, Ms. Matos has been a national advocate for immigration reform and coordinates the work of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, the nation’s largest network of immigrant rights organizations.

Prior to her work at CCC, Ms. Matos served as Deputy Mayor in the city of New Haven, where she oversaw the city’s community programs and launched new initiatives including prisoner re-entry, youth and immigrant integration. 

Matos was previously the Executive Director of JUNTA, New Haven’s oldest Latino advocacy organization.  She also worked as an assistant federal defender for death-sentenced inmates and with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Amnesty International on death penalty and criminal justice issues.


She has a B.A. from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, an M.A. from the New School and a J.D. from Cornell Law School. 



REGISTER TODAY -- JUST 1 WEEK UNTIL THE DEADLINE!
Participants must attend at least four of the workshops listed above in order to receive a NeighborWorks Certificate. Sessions will be held from 6pm-8pm at NHS of New Haven. Dinner will be provided at 5:30pm. 

March 28, 2017: Art and Science of Leadership
April 4, 2017: Mapping Community Assets
April 18, 2017: Understanding Power for Community Change
May 2, 2017: Planning Successful Campaigns
May 9, 2017: Leading Great Meetings

HOW TO APPLY:
There are a number of options you can utilize when applying for our Resident Leadership Program. The application, as well as $20 registration fee, is due by March 14, 2017:

1) Click this link and fill out the online form. Save the document on your computer and then email to cgibbs@nhsofnewhaven.org

2) Click this link and print the application. Then mail to 333 Sherman Avenue, New Haven, CT 06614 (ATTN: Chandel Gibbs). Application must be received by March 14, 2017

3) If you do not have access to a computer, feel free to stop by our offices during normal business hours to pick one up and fill it out in person. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Meet the Instructor! Resident Leadership Program Highlight!

About the Resident Leadership Program: 
In March 2010, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven launched its Building Leaders, Building Communities: Resident Leadership Program. The program was an essential element of the training and education component of our Neighborhood Revitalization Institute.

Instructor Highlight!
Stacy Spell will be the instructor for the third session of our resident leadership program (Understanding Power for Community Change).

Mr. Stacy Spell is the current Program Manager for Project Longevity – New Haven (PL-NH).  Mr. Spell attended New Hampshire College and is a veteran of the United States Army Military Police Corp. and retired from the New Haven Police Department as a Homicide Detective. During his time with the Police Department, he worked in the major crimes, firearms, and narcotic enforcement units and was assigned to the Connecticut State Police Gang Unit. He is one of the original founding members of the New Haven Police Department K-9 unit.  He is also the past president of the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation.

Mr. Spell has sat on the board of directors for the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation, The New Haven Land Trust, the Dwight Development Corporation, The Newhallville Community Center, and is currently a board member of Elmseed. Stacy is an active tutor at New Haven Reads, a member of the Urban League of Southern Connecticut and the chairman of the Deacon Board of Pitts Chapel U.F.W. Baptist Church. Mr. Spell lives by the motto that “a good man serves God, his family, and his community.  Mr. Spell has been the recipient of numerous civic awards for his community service and the 2011 New Haven Independent “Man of the Year.”


He is married to Virginia Spell, is the proud father of five children and five grandchildren.  Mr. Spell is an avid outdoorsman and gardener.  



REGISTER TODAY -- JUST 2 WEEKS UNTIL THE DEADLINE!
Participants must attend at least four of the workshops listed above in order to receive a NeighborWorks Certificate. Sessions will be held from 6pm-8pm at NHS of New Haven. Dinner will be provided at 5:30pm. 

March 28, 2017: Art and Science of Leadership
April 4, 2017: Mapping Community Assets
April 18, 2017: Understanding Power for Community Change
May 2, 2017: Planning Successful Campaigns
May 9, 2017: Leading Great Meetings

HOW TO APPLY:
There are a number of options you can utilize when applying for our Resident Leadership Program. The application, as well as $20 registration fee, is due by March 14, 2017:

1) Click this link and fill out the online form. Save the document on your computer and then email to cgibbs@nhsofnewhaven.org

2) Click this link and print the application. Then mail to 333 Sherman Avenue, New Haven, CT 06614 (ATTN: Chandel Gibbs). Application must be received by March 14, 2017

3) If you do not have access to a computer, feel free to stop by our offices during normal business hours to pick one up and fill it out in person.