Cornerstone Society Established

We are pleased to announce that The Connection Board of Directors recently approved the renaming of our Dwight House Group Home to Cornerstone. The program is being renamed to honor the Cornerstone legacy and to ensure that the Cornerstone name remains part of the history of mental health services in the New Haven community.

Cornerstone was conceived in 1967-1968 when Joel Finkle, a New Haven businessman, and Dr. Thomas Detre, a psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine, gathered together a small group of community leaders to discuss the need for an intensive aftercare service for mentally ill men and women who had been discharged from public and private psychiatric hospitals. These visionaries, all with ties to the mental health community, included Mary Arnstein, Reverend Edward Dobihal, William F. Farrell, Brad Gesler, Lindy Lee Gold, Ruth Lord, Phyllis McDowell, Robert Oliver, Esq., and Virginia Sperry. Cornerstone, Inc., was officially incorporated on July 17, 1968, and in August 1970, Cornerstone Halfway House opened its doors and began serving 15 adult men and women.

Over the next two decades, Cornerstone, Inc. grew significantly, adding the Norton Court Supportive Independent Residences program, the HUD-funded Pendleton House dual-diagnosis program, and the Park Street Residence. In September 1997, in an effort to expand its operations and include an outpatient clinical service, Cornerstone began collaborating with Alcohol Services Organization of South Central Connecticut, Inc. (ALSO, Inc.). The two organizations merged formally in December 2001 under the name ALSO-Cornerstone, Inc.

In 2010, again after a period of affiliation and collaboration, ALSO-Cornerstone, Inc. merged with The Connection, Inc., a statewide agency that, like Cornerstone, was founded as a single halfway house to serve men and women struggling to overcome addictions who had recently been discharged from treatment. The partnership between ALSO-Cornerstone and The Connection has been highly successful, resulting in the agency’s continued growth in the areas of behavioral health, supportive housing, and community justice in New Haven and beyond.

On May 14, we will hold a gala reception in New Haven to announce the formation of the Cornerstone Society, which will create a fund similar to the Kätchen Coley Society, to support the needs of the clients and recent graduates of our New Haven-based behavioral health programs. The Cornerstone Society will honor the legacy of the former Cornerstone and ALSO-Cornerstone and build a fund that will support individual client and programmatic needs of The Connection’s New Haven-based behavioral health programs. Gifts to the Cornerstone Society will not only honor the Cornerstone legacy, but also continue to serve the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.