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The Connection Golf 2018 — First Annual Fundraiser Tournament

Middletown and Fairfield, CT. The Connection is proud to announce the First Annual Golf Tournament taking place on Monday, September 24, 2018 at H. Smith Richardson Golf Course in Fairfield. Golfers will enjoy an exciting day of golf on a beautifully maintained public course that will include 18 holes of golf with cart, continental breakfast, lunch and dinner sponsored by Kieran’s Place, and hole-in-one prizes that include a car and a trip to Ireland!

Funds raised at The Connection Golf Tournament will be used where they are needed most at the agency’s diverse programs across the state. The Connection helps nearly 500 families and individuals in Fairfield County each month with stable housing, behavioral health, and substance use treatment.

Sponsorships are still available for this event at a variety of levels for organizations that wish to support clients and programs of The Connection. Custom packages are also available. For more information about sponsorship for this event, please contact Betsy Cronin, (860) 343-5500 x. 2102,

To register for the tournament contact Nanci Jutras, (860) 343-5500 x.1602 or Ticket prices are $160 per individual golfer or $50 for dinner only. Reservations are needed, space is limited! We hope to see you on the course!

For more information, including sponsorship and registration, please click below to view/download the event brochure.

Joey Logano Foundation Awards $30,000 Grant to The Connection’s Connecting Children and Families Therapeutic Foster Care Program

Middletown, CT. The Joey Logano Foundation has awarded The Connection’s Connecting Children and Families therapeutic foster care program $30,000 in funding to support program services and foster family recruitment efforts.

“The Joey Logano Foundation has been a wonderful resource for The Connection since we first partnered with them in 2014,” said Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore, CEO of The Connection. “Their generous support has allowed us to make a real difference in the lives of so many Connection clients and their families.”

Connecting Children & Families is a licensed, therapeutic foster care program that matches youth of all ages with dedicated foster parents who have opened their hearts and homes to welcome a child. Connecting Children & Families staff members take the time to help prospective parents with all the information and training needed to become a foster parent. Families that provide patience, guidance and structure for children who have experience behavioral health challenges can create a positive outcome for the most vulnerable children in our state. Every child has the potential to develop into a positive member of their community.

For more information, please contact: Allison DeBlasio, The Connection Associate Director of Communications, 860 343-5500, ext. 1603,

Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut Awards $9,000 to The Connection’s Mother’s Retreat Program

Funds will support expansion of Groton-based substance use treatment program for pregnant or parenting women as part of The Connection’s response to growing opioid crisis.

Middletown and Groton, CT. The Connection’s Mother’s Retreat program will increase the number of clients served each year with a $9,000 grant awarded by The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. This funding will support the agency’s continued response to the growing opioid crisis.

“We are delighted that the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut has chosen to support this program expansion,” said The Connection’s CEO Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore. “These funds will help ensure that every woman who enters the Mother’s Retreat program feels welcome, safe, and fully equipped to begin the process of rebuilding her life.”

Mother’s Retreat, established in 1995, provides intensive, short-term residential substance abuse treatment for pregnant or parenting women struggling to overcome addictions. Through quality clinical services and individualized case management provided in a warm, supportive, homelike setting, clients participate in an array of activities. Program services include relapse prevention assistance, trauma services, drug and addiction education, relationship and communication skill building, life skill building, health and wellness support, vocational and educational coaching, parenting support, and community outreach activities. Program staff, community, and natural supports provide the resources and guidance clients need to create, develop, and strengthen healthy relationships and build a recovery community.

For more information, please contact: Sherrie Weaver, Program Director, Women & Children’s Programs, (860) 235-7058,

CFA Society Hartford Corporate 5K

Join us after work with your friends, family and co-workers for the CFA Society Hartford Corporate 5K benefitting The Connection! The race starts at 6:20 pm on Thursday, August 2nd in Bushnell Park features live entertainment, a post-race cookout and celebration, computerized race results and awards.

The course is a flat out and back 5K that passes the State Capitol, historic buildings and the picturesque Bushnell Park. It is a great course for walkers too!

Compete as a team or run/walk as an individual. Teams must have three or more racers – be sure to note your team information on your registration form (each individual must register).

Visit to register and/or fundraise for The Connection. If you raise $100 or more your race entry is complimentary.

Not just a place to live: From homelessness to citizenship

Twenty years ago, Jim lived under a highway bridge in New Haven, Connecticut. He was in his 50s and had once been in the Army. A New Haven mental health outreach team found him one morning sleeping under the bridge. His neon yellow sneakers stuck out from underneath his blankets. Read on to find out more about Jim, and how his story is connected to the Citizenship research projects at the Institute for Innovative Practice.

Connecting criminal justice, mental health, and family support for better delivery of human services

The Connection’s uniquely flexible and cross-disciplinary service approach has been featured in a special World Health Organization-curated issue of the International Journal of Public Health. The article explores the elements of the institutional culture at The Connection, and outlines the role that The Connection Institute for Innovative Practice plays in integrating research practice and advocacy. The article was authored by Bandy Lee in collaboration with the Institute staff. Click to read the full piece.

Leading the Way to Recovery
2018 Masquerade Ball

The Connection will hold its second annual Masquerade Ball on Thursday, April 19, 2018, from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. at Woodwinds, 29 School Ground Road, Branford, CT. This Connection signature event will include dinner, social hour, a silent auction and music for dancing as well as performances by community groups.

The theme of Leading the Way to Recovery was selected for the Masquerade Ball as a way to de-stigmatize the complex issues of addiction recovery by sharing the heart-warming and inspiring stories of the clients we serve. We are proud and grateful that we have, during our 46-year history, helped many individuals and families find safe and stable homes, recovery, and successful reintegration into their communities. A current Connection client who is in recovery and has a history of homelessness will share his story about the ways in which our caring staff and programs have helped him find success in life.

Funds raised at the Masquerade Ball will be used where most needed — providing support to unfunded and underfunded initiatives in programs that serve clients in each of the Agency’s three service areas: Behavioral Health, Family Support Services, and Community Justice.

Tickets and sponsorships are available by contacting Allison DeBlasio at 860-343-5500, x1603 or at To view and print the event flyer and ticket/sponsorship information, please click the links below.

Transform Lives Today

In the 45 years since The Connection opened its doors, the agency has touched the lives of tens of thousands of men, women and families struggling with homelessness, mental health conditions, and addictions. Their success has been made possible through our partnerships with individuals, organizations, and institutions throughout the state who are invested in the principles of our core mission: building safe, healthy, caring communities and inspiring people to reach their full potential as productive and valued citizens.

Willie Miller, a client of The Connection’s Milestone permanent supportive housing program in Bridgeport, is one of our successes. Last June, Willie received the Reaching Home Campaign’s Carol Walter Supportive Housing Tenant Award, given each year to two supportive housing tenants in the state who show commitment to supportive housing advocacy, leadership, and making their community a better place.

Willie’s path to Milestone and the Carol Walter award was long and difficult. After losing his mother at age 14, he stopped going to school and began drinking, using and dealing drugs. Willie spent many years on the streets and many more years in prison. “I spent 56 years of my life in addiction. I missed out on an awful lot, but I didn’t know how to ask for help,” he says.

For a time, Willie’s only shelter was a cardboard box nestled against a building in downtown Bridgeport. Soon after the City of Bridgeport’s Homeless Outreach Team found Willie, he met Helen McAlinden, Director of The Connection’s supportive housing program at Milestone. Willie applied for an apartment, and when the building opened its doors in the spring of 2016, became the program’s first resident.

Today Willie is an active and passionate volunteer working with recovery organizations in Connecticut. “When you’re thinking of doing the next right thing, you don’t worry about doing something wrong,” he says.

We hope you will keep success stories like Willie’s in mind as you plan your giving for the end of 2017. You can make an online donation to the agency by clicking the link below.

Donate Now!

Intensive Outpatient Program

The Connection is pleased to announce that the New Haven Orange Street Connection Counseling Center and the Norwich Connection Counseling Center are now providing Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) services.

IOP services are a level of care available to individuals with mental health and substance use disorders whose symptoms are not adequately managed with traditional outpatient services. Services consist of group therapy, counseling, case management and medication management services for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week.

We have an active group for women on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 9:30-12:30 with rolling admissions. We are also planning to start men’s IOP programming starting in September with day and evening programs.

Clients can be referred at any time through our Central Intake at or by calling our toll free help line, (855) HELP955 • (855) 435-7955.

Please contact Suzanne Rosenberg at 203-833-1059 or and see our Program Flyer for more information.

2017 Connection Agency Conference

Addictive Disorders: Innovative Approaches ♦ Reclaimed Lives — 2017 Connection Agency Conference to be held Monday and Tuesday, October 23 and 24 at Wesleyan University

Middletown, CT
The Connection has finalized the schedule for its 2017 annual conference on Addictive Disorders: Innovative Approaches ♦ Reclaimed Lives, to be held on Monday, October 23 and Tuesday, October 24 on the Wesleyan University campus in Middletown.

The Keynote speaker for the conference is Kathleen F. Maurer, MD, MPH, MBA, Director of Health and Addiction Services and Medical Director of the Connecticut Department of Correction. Dr. Maurer was recently awarded the Coalition of Correctional Health Authorities national award for Leadership in Correctional Healthcare. She is board-certified in internal medicine, occupational and environmental medicine, and addiction medicine.  Dr. Maurer earned the MD and MPH degrees from Yale University School of Medicine and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.

The conference features multiple breakout sessions on topics regarding addictive disorders:

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment, by Marc Bono, PsyD, will explain the use of pharmacological medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies.
  • Virtual Addictions, David Greenfield, MD, Center for Internet Technology and Addiction
  • The Neurobiology of Addictions, Meg Chaplin, MD, will explore the science behind addiction and its effects on the nervous system.

Additional breakout sessions include:  Gambling Addictions, Eating Disorders, The Importance of Peer Supports in Addictions, Addictions Recovery Coaching, and Yoga of 12-Step Recovery. The conference will end each day with a talk and performance session entitled Holistic Approaches to Recovery led by Advocacy Unlimited and Toivo Executive Director Deron Drumm and colleagues.

The conference will be of interest to mental health professionals, community providers, community justice professionals, and anyone interested in the prevention and treatment of addictive disorders to create healthier individuals, families and communities. Conference offerings are comparable on each day; those interested in attending may register for either day.

This program has been approved for 7 Continuing Education Credit Hours by the National Association of Social Workers, CT and meets the continuing education criteria for CT Social Work Licensure renewal. 6.5 CEUs from the Connecticut Certification Board are also be available. Pre-Registration is required and the cost is $100 for one full day, with breakfast & lunch included. To register, please complete the below registration form and return to by October 17, 2017. Please call Nanci Jutras, 860 343-5500 x1602 for assistance with registration.

Driving Hope Home 2017 Golf Tournament

The Connection and The Joey Logano Foundation invite you to Driving Hope Home, the annual Joey Logano Foundation (JLF) charity event in Connecticut. The special day will feature a golf tournament, dinner, VIP dinner, car show, live and silent auctions, and raffle on July 13, 2017 at the Southington Country Club and Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Conn. The Middletown, Connecticut native and 2015 Daytona 500 Champion Joey Logano returns home each year to meet fans and play golf with attendees at this annual fundraiser.

In 2016, The Joey Logano Foundation invested nearly $800,000 in 84 organizations across 26 states, including Connecticut. Each year the JLF raises money for children with illnesses, military families in need, and community development support. This year Driving Hope Home will benefit three charitable organizations, The Connection’s foster care program, The Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut & Western Massachusetts, and The Joey Logano Foundation.

The Connection is proud to again be partnering with the Joey Logano Foundation for the fourth year and we look forward to enjoying the day with our sponsors and supporters!

9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Southington Country Club
150 Savage St.
Plantsville, CT 06479

4:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Aqua Turf
556 Mulberry St.
Plantsville, CT 06479
Dinner Ticket Prices: $75 for adults; $30 for children ages 5 – 12
Golf Packages: $200 per adult (Golf, Lunch & Dinner)

All event registration must take place by July 3rd. There are a limited number of spots available for each event. You may take part in either the golf tournament, which includes dinner and the auction; or attend just the dinner and auction. This is a family-friendly event! We encourage you to bring your young (ages 5–12) racing fans to meet Joey at the dinner and auction event.

For additional information, contact Beth Connor at (860) 343-5500 x1600 or at
Click here to view the event brochure.

The Connection’s Brand New Radio Show is Here!

Co-hosted by Ann Baldwin and our very own CEO Lisa Dematteis-Lepore, the two talk about various programs offered by The Connection as well as some obstacles people in our state face when trying to access the right services for behavioral health issues.

Tune in to WTIC Newstalk 1080, each week on Sundays at 5:30am; or catch the broadcasts online over at CBS Connecticut, where you can subscribe to or download podcasts of the shows.

Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore Selected as The Connection’s CEO

The Connection today announced that Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore is named Chief Executive Officer of the organization.

The Boards of The Connection, Inc. and The Connection Fund, Inc. selected Ms. DeMatteis-Lepore as The Connection’s Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Peter Nucci, who retired in 2016. This appointment is made after the Board’s Search Committee conducted a national search through a professional executive recruitment firm. After extensive interviews and review of several candidates from across the country, “it was decided last night by all Board members from both Boards that Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore was the best person to lead this agency, and both Boards voted unanimously to elect her as CEO of the Connection”, said Gloster Aaron, Board Chair, The Connection, Inc.

Ms. DeMatteis-Lepore, who previously served as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer and Interim CEO, has more than 25 years of service to all areas of the agency and is an accomplished, results-oriented leader with proven success in the strategic development and growth to the organization. She was the force behind the growth of the agency’s Family Support Services, which comprises the largest service sector of The Connection.

22nd Annual Greater New Haven Pizza Fest

Don’t miss The Connection’s 22nd Annual Greater New Haven Pizza Fest scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 21, 22, 23, 2017, during the International Festival of Arts & Ideas Lunchtime Concerts on the New Haven Green! Enjoy pizza by the slice from Greater New Haven’s finest and most generous pizzerias. Pizza, beverages, and Italian ice are available from noon to 1:30 daily.

Unmasking Homelessness
2017 Masquerade Ball

Announcing our newest event: The Connection’s first annual Masquerade Ball, themed “Unmasking Homelessness”. This special event will take place on Wednesday, May 24th, from 6–10 pm at The WoodWinds in Branford. For additional information, sponsorship, or tickets, contact Beth Connor at 860 343-5500 x1600 or email Click the images below to view the event flyer and sponsorship/ticket registration form. Click here to download a printable version of our promotional flyer.

Now Offering
Accelerated Resolution Therapy® (ART)

The Connection Counseling Centers are now offering a new technique to overcome the effects of trauma, addiction and anxiety. Accelerated Resolution Therapy® (ART) is recognized as a SAMHSA evidenced-based practice which uses eye movements and guided visualization to allow clients to change the imagery associated with a memory or behavior.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy was created in 2008 by Connecticut native Laney Rosenzweig, LMFT. The Connection will be collaborating with Ms. Rosenzweig, as part of our on-going initiative to train clinicians in this ground-breaking technique. She describes her technique as “different than any other therapy in the world,” due to its combination of visualization and eye movements.

Clients who have been through Accelerated Resolution Therapy often experience rapid results from the treatment. Clients are guided through a series of eye movements which allow self-directed image replacement. When images are altered as part of the procedure, the facts and memories of the incident remain, but the negative feelings about the trauma change. Because the experience is guided by the clients themselves and they do not need to share their internal process, the procedure is very safe for both the client and the clinician.

Ms. Rosenzweig developed the framework for Accelerated Resolution Therapy after being trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 2006. She instinctively began developing the voluntary image replacement techniques and incorporating them with the eye movements learned in EMDR. She immediately realized how quickly clients were responding to the treatments and how effective it could be for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, and Accelerated Resolution Therapy was formalized.

The Connection has clinicians available statewide to offer this excellent technique. Evening and weekend appointments are available. Bilingual clinicians trained in this technique are available if needed. Accelerated Resolution Therapy is not only for those who have survived trauma, but also those struggling with compulsive behavior, substance addiction, or phobias. Please contact our helpline at (855)HELP955 – 855-435-7955 to schedule your session now!

The Hometown Foundation & Bozzuto’s to Donate Thanksgiving Turkeys to The Connection

More Than a Dozen Supportive Housing Residences Received 45 Turkeys

Many Connecticut residents struggling with homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, and recovery had a warm turkey meal this Thanksgiving thanks to Bozzuto’s Inc. Through its charitable arm, The Hometown Foundation, the Cheshire-based food wholesale distributor donated 45 fresh turkeys to The Connection, which distributed them to its supportive housing residences across the state.

The Hometown Foundation’s ‘Dream Ride Experience’ decorated van delivered the fresh turkeys from Bozzuto’s on Tuesday, November 15th at 100 Roscommon Drive, Middletown. Bozzutos, Inc. and Hometown Foundation staff were on hand to help deliver the turkeys to The Connection program managers and clients. The Dream Ride Experience ( is one of the largest fundraisers for Special Olympics and other charities, raising more than $6.2 million since 2002.

“The Hometown Foundation’s mission includes supporting our communities and its residents in need. We have a long history of donating food where it is needed most,” Bozzuto’s Inc. President and CEO Michael A. Bozzuto said. “Being able to donate a holiday meal – a nourishing resource and a gathering focal point for many families during the holidays – is a very special way of giving back.”

For more than 40 years, The Connection has been one of Connecticut’s leading private, non-profit human service and community development agencies offering unique solutions to the problems of homelessness, mental illness, substance use and community justice rehabilitation. The Connection’s statewide programs reunite families, break the generational cycles of abuse and neglect and create stronger and safer communities.

“We are very grateful for this turkey donation from Bozzuto’s, Inc.,” said Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore, Interim CEO at The Connection. “Our many clients will now be able to enjoy a delicious turkey dinner on this special holiday.”

The Hometown Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation dedicated to supporting the community in conjunction with Bozzuto’s Inc. and its IGA retailers. Founded in 2002, the Hometown Foundation, Inc. supports six core community needs: the military, children in need, intellectual disabilities, life threatening illness, emergency response personnel, and animal welfare. Through its signature event, The Dream Ride Experience, The Hometown Foundation has raised more than $6.2 million for Special Olympics and other charities as well as donated police K-9s to area law enforcement agencies. For more information visit and

Bozzuto’s Inc., founded and family-owned since 1945, is one of New England’s largest total service wholesale distributors based in Cheshire, Connecticut. For more than 66 years, Bozzuto’s provides goods and services to independently owned retailers. As a company, we understand our customers’ success depends on our effectiveness and efficiencies as procurement and distribution specialists. Our state-of-the-art distribution centers use the latest technology designed to maximize customer service and offer the most in product variety. Visit

Introducing Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore, Our Interim CEO

The Connection’s Boards of Directors have appointed Lisa DeMatteis-Lepore Interim Chief Executive Officer. Lisa, who previously served as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer, has more than 25 years of service to all areas of the agency and is an accomplished, results-oriented leader with proven success in the strategic development and growth to the organization. She was the force behind the growth of the agency’s Family Support Services, which comprise the largest service sector of The Connection.

I look forward to hearing from you! Contact me directly at 860-343-5500 x1302 or at

Re-Entry Assisted Community Housing (REACH) Receives Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award for the Northeast Region

The Connection, one of Connecticut’s largest nonprofit human service and community development agencies, today announced The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) honored the Re-Entry Assisted Community Housing (REACH) program with its Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award for the Northeast Region in recognition of their work in reducing recidivism.  The award is given out annually to five criminal justice programs that merit recognition for providing effective services to address crime-related issues in their communities. This year’s awards were given out at the National Forum on Criminal Justice on August 9th, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Re-Entry Assisted Community Housing (REACH) program reduces recidivism by providing transitional housing and case management services to high-risk individuals transitioning into the community from the correctional system. It is designed to address the needs of individuals in the correctional system who are eligible for parole or probation, but unable to locate appropriate housing. The intent of the program is to assist individuals in successfully re-entering the community and provide the supports necessary for independent living. REACH provides scattered site apartments that are subsidized based on the tenant’s income. Participants are provided with intensive case management and have an estimated length of stay of four to six months.

About the National Criminal Justice Association
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) is a national voice in shaping and implementing criminal justice policy. As the representative of state, tribal and local criminal and juvenile justice practitioners, the NCJA works to promote a balanced approach to communities’ complex public safety and criminal and juvenile justice system problems. For more information about the National Criminal Justice Association, please visit To learn more about the NCJA Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Awards and to see previous winners visit

Department of Housing Awards The Connection $2.75 Million 
to Create Affordable Rental Housing in New London

Former St. Mary Star of the Sea Elementary School will be converted to 20 apartments

The State of Connecticut has awarded The Connection up to $2.75 million to rehabilitate and convert the historic St. Mary Star of the Sea elementary school in the heart of New London to 20 units of affordable rental apartments. The rehabilitation of the school built in 1899, will preserve the building’s historic character. The project is within walking distance of many New London amenities, including transit, shopping, restaurants, employment centers, and medical facilities.The award is part of nearly $28 million in funding directed toward affordable housing projects in eight communities throughout the state that will create, rehabilitate or preserve approximately 200 units of affordable housing that focus on expanding access to transit-oriented development, creating new veteran’s housing units, and adding supportive housing for those who are living with disabilities. A portion of the apartments will be set aside to provide housing for chronically homeless individuals. The funding was made available under the state’s Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties (CHAMP) program. 

In making the announcement, Governor Dannel Malloy said, “Affordable housing is key to creating vibrant communities that attract families, workers, businesses, and private investments. Access to housing helps boost competitiveness, attracts business, and builds our economy. That’s why our administration has been so committed to making these critical investments.”
“We are delighted that the State of Connecticut has once again chosen to invest in The Connection. The beautiful St. Mary Star of the Sea property will not only help to fulfill the goal of ending chronic homelessness, but will also help The Connection fulfill its mission of “building safe, healthy, caring communities and inspiring people to fulfill their potential as productive and valued citizens,” said Connection President and CEO Peter Nucci.
Connecticut Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne M. Klein stated, “Affordable housing is a key component of economic growth and stability,” Commissioner Klein said. “These investments throughout the state ensure Connecticut’s continued economic recovery and the ability to remain an attractive state to call home, work, and raise a family. The CHAMP funding rounds provide an excellent opportunity for municipalities to attract a workforce, keep seniors in their community, give young families a start, and provide a home to someone who has been homeless.  I am proud to say that we have made real progress when it comes to expanding access to affordable housing, while working to prevent and end homelessness.”
Many thanks to Connection Development Project Manager Beth Hogan for her work on this project.

Photo: Architectural rendering by Patriquin Architects

21st Annual Greater New Haven Pizza Fest

Don’t miss The Connection’s 21st Annual Greater New Haven Pizza Fest scheduled for Thursdays and Fridays, June 16-17 and June 23-24 during the International Festival of Arts & Ideas Lunchtime Concerts on the New Haven Green. Enjoy pizza by the slice from Greater New Haven’s finest and most generous pizzerias. Pizza, beverages, and Italian ice are available from noon to 1:30 daily.

Senator Chris Murphy Visits The Connection on Five-City Tour to Gather Information about Heroin Addiction

On Monday, March 28, Senator Chris Murphy stopped at The Connection’s 48 Howe Street facility in New Haven to meet with clients of The Connection’s addiction recovery programs, which include Recovery House and Elm City Women and Children’s Center in New Haven, Hallie House in Middletown, and Mother’s Retreat in Groton. His visit was part of a five-city, statewide tour to gather information about heroin addiction, which claimed the lives of 415 people in Connecticut last year.
“We have an epidemic in this country and we are closing our eyes to it by failing to provide emergency funding,” Murphy said. “We spent (an estimated) $4 billion making sure that Ebola didn’t become an epidemic in the United States. We’re living in an epidemic of heroin deaths and we won’t appropriate a single dime for it.”
One of the people who spoke at the meeting was Trish, a graduate of The Connection’s Mother’s Retreat program, a long-term, residential treatment facility for pregnant and parenting women working toward living a clean and sober life. Trish had used heroin for more than 15 years, starting at age 15. Now 38, she has been sober for over seven years. For the past six years, Trish has worked as a house manager for a substance abuse treatment facility in another part of the state and finds considerable fulfillment in helping and inspiring others to overcome their addictions.
To read more about Senator Murphy’s visit and The Connection stories he gathered, please read on at: The New Haven Register, New Haven Independent, and Hartford Courant.

Photo: Senator Chris Murphy at The Connection. Photograph by Allan Appel, New Haven Independent.

Governor’s Nonprofit Grants Program Awards The Connection $908,851

Funds will be used for facilities upgrades at 48 Howe Street, New Haven, and upgrades to telephone and IT systems at agency locations throughout the state.

The State of Connecticut has awarded The Connection $908,851 in funding from the Governor’s Nonprofit Grant Program. These funds will be used to support upgrades to The Connection’s 48 Howe Street, New Haven, property and to upgrade telephone and Information Technology systems at agency program and administrative sites throughout the state.

The five-floor, 90,000-square-foot 48 Howe Street property, built in 1929 by the YWCA, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to eight Connection programs that provide transitional housing and case management services to hundreds of adults and 20 children each year. The $460,391 Howe Street renovations project will allow the agency to install 11 commercial grade stainless steel showers to replace current showers and tubs and restore 173 individual window sections that are original to the building. Installation of water-tight energy efficient screened replacements will improve air quality and reduce utility costs by at least 20 percent. 

HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and other Dignitaries Celebrate Grand Opening of Milestone Supportive Housing Project

The Connection will provide case management services to residents in need at Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust’s newest affordable housing development

On Friday, January 15, Federal, state, and local officials gathered at 1803 Stratford Avenue in Bridgeport to celebrate the grand opening of the Milestone Apartments, a new, 30-unit permanent supportive housing development designed for low-income adults with special needs and with a particular preference for veterans in Bridgeport’s East End. 

Built by affordable housing developer Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust (BNT), Milestone will help revitalize the neighborhood. The first floor of the complex has 9,000 square feet of commercial space that will be home to a new early learning center operated by Action for Bridgeport Community Development, Inc. (ABCD).
 The project was financed by a grant approved from the Interagency Committee on Supportive Housing under the state’s Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative for the City of Bridgeport HOME funds, financing from Corporation for Supportive Housing, LISC, and Wells Fargo Bank. BNT has a long-standing relationship with the City of Bridgeport and has a direct grassroots connection with the East End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ), civic groups and the various governmental entities in the City.

milestone-insetPhoto: HUD Secretary Julian Castro with Director of Housing Development Betsy Cronin, and Director of Homeless Outreach Helen Lavin McAlinden

(Ribbon cutting photo) Front row, from left: Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust Board Vice President Kim Bianca Williams, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, State Representative Jim Hines, U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust Executive Director Liz Torres, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, and Department of Housing Commissioner Yvonne Klein.

First Ever Spa Day at Eddy a Great Success!

Thirteen guests of Eddy Shelter and Logano Place receive professional haircuts, manicures, massages, and more!

On Wednesday, December 23, 13 guests of the Eddy Shelter participated in the first-ever Spa Day at Eddy. Participants received chair massages, manicures, haircuts and styling, and makeup applications donated by community volunteers and staff. Many of the guests had never had a professional haircut, professional massage, or manicure and were thrilled to have the opportunity to be pampered in that way. The Spa Day was inspired by a larger event held at Ascencia Homeless Shelter in Glendale, California.

Many, many thanks to Libby Carrier, owner of Main Street Massage in Portland, for donating the massages. Thanks also to Susan Ardolino of Reflections Hair Studio for donating shampoo and conditioners, capes and curling irons for the day, Sarah Wiliarty and helpers who donated $50 toward the purchase of gift bag items, and Stephanie Huffman, owner, and Corinne Gingras, manager/stylist of Echo Salon in Guilford, who donated hair products for the goody bags.

Many staff contributed to making the day memorable and fun. Special thanks to Grants Manager Denice Calabrese, who had been a professional hairdresser and still maintains her license. Denice had a full schedule of 13 haircuts and was busy the entire day. Thanks also to Mackenzie Tyson and Lee Anne Borkowski for organizing the day’s events and taking photographs and videos; Nadia Karachristos and Mackenzie Tyson for donating their manicuring skills; Nicole Bajek for applying makeup to all the women participants; Claire Bien for logo design and photography; and Beth Connor, Lisa Hansen, and Nanci Jutras provided general assistance.

Cornerstone Society Announces First Grant Awards 
to New Haven Clients and Programs

We are pleased to announce the first round of Cornerstone Society grant disbursements have been made to two clients and two programs in New Haven.

  • $243 to a client of The Connection’s Park Street Residence and Yale School of Drama graduate to attend the Yale School of Drama’s annual Gala in New York City.
  • $500 to an avid gardener and client of the Park Street Residence to provide a stipend for the work he does as a volunteer for the New Haven Parks and Recreation Department.
  • $780 to The Connection’s Recovery House program to purchase new bed linens, including sheets, pillows, and comforters, as well as pictures and other room decor making the clients’ lives more comfortable while they are in the program.
  • $1,000 to the New Haven-based Behavioral Health Programs to help defray the costs associated with taking clients to see the Holiday Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.  An annual tradition since 2000, this trip provides an opportunity for staff and clients to share fellowship, take in the sights, and enjoy the wonder of the holiday season.

The Cornerstone Society was formed in May 2015 to honor the name and legacy of the former Cornerstone and ALSO-Cornerstone, the New Haven-based mental health and addiction services agency that merged with The Connection in January 2010. Our goal was to help ensure that the Cornerstone name, which for decades stood for quality mental health services in New Haven, would continue in the minds and hearts of members of the community.

To make a gift to the Cornerstone Society, please send a check made payable to The Connection Fund and mail to:

The Connection Fund
c/o The Cornerstone Society
100 Roscommon Drive, Suite 203
Middletown, CT 06457

Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Awards 
The Connection $15,000 Grant for Culinary Arts Program

The Connection has received a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven to develop a culinary arts program to prepare clients for living wage jobs in the community. Funding will be used to build a demonstration kitchen, to be located at The Connection’s 48 Howe Street, New Haven property.  Our intention in Year One is to expand a modest food preparation program developed by The Connection’s Executive Chef, Craig Langdon, to a more extensive 12-week program that will provide interested clients in all of our New Haven programs with culinary arts instruction.

Interested and qualified graduates of The Connection’s Culinary Arts program will be encouraged to move on to the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology’s (ConnCAT) significantly more rigorous, 10-month Culinary Arts program. 

The Culinary Arts Program is part of a larger effort to develop a robust workforce development program for clients in all Connection programs that will prepare them to seek and secure living-wage jobs in the community.

Winter Grove Apartments Open Doors to Low-Income Elderly

Two former guests of Eddy Shelter now occupy two of Winter Grove’s eleven
Supportive Housing Units

On Thursday, November 5, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Winter Grove, an apartment complex for low-income elderly in Southington, held an open house to celebrate the most recent development by NeighborWorks® New Horizons. The Connection is providing on-site counseling services to Winter Grove residents

Pictured clockwise from above left are: The first supportive housing resident of Winter Grove in front of the complex; Steve DiLello, Department of Housing; Bob, the second supportive housing resident of Winter grove with Alison Brinkmann, Founder and CEO of Simply Sharing, a nonprofit that receives furniture and other household items and donates them to people in need; a group shot with (from left) Steve DiLello, Maris Wacs, Martina Hutley, case manager, Eddy Shelter, The Connection; Bob, Mackenzie Tyson, program manager, Eddy Shelter; Sarah Fox, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness; Alison Brinkmann; Dawn Parker, Project Manager, The Connection; Helen Lavin, Program Director of Homeless Outreach & Development, The Connection.

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Always one to go fast, Joey Logano proved he can push the limits on anything with four wheels — even if it is a golf cart.
The 2015 Racing for Hope event held on July 16th in Portland, CT was a partnership between The Joey Logano Foundation and The Connection. The event hosted 96 golfers at Quarry Ridge Golf Course along with 310 dinner guests at Saint Clements Castle. Attendees were able to celebrate Joey’s racing roots while supporting work of two charities working to make a positive impact in the community.

Family and friends from the community spent the day with the driver of the #22 Shell Penzoil Ford as he worked his way through the course, occasionally taking a swing. At dinner, guests listened as he and emcee Mike Massaro traded racing stories on the stage. Proceeds from the event will benefit Logano Place, a transitional housing program for homeless adults run by The Connection.

Joey was thrilled with the day’s turnout.

“We had such an amazing day. To see hundreds of supporters take time to celebrate with us was inspiring. From this event, Logano Place will receive over $50,000 in funding to continue working with homeless adults who are actively working to recover from behavioral health and substance abuse issues. This funding will be used to provide these individuals a second chance.”

In 2014, Logano Place opened at The Connection with a $35,000 donation from The Joey Logano Foundation. The Connection has been one of Connecticut’s leading private, nonprofit human service and community development agencies. Each month thousands of people throughout Connecticut are assisted by The Connection’s diverse behavioral health, family support and community justice programs. These programs reunite families, break the generational cycles of abuse and neglect, create safer, healthier communities and assist with mental illness and addiction issues.

“We are grateful for the tremendous support that Joey has provided to our program”, said Peter Nucci, President and CEO of The Connection. “Logano Place has given its residents reason to have hope for the future”.

To learn more about the charities involved and see picture from this year’s Racing for Hope event, visit

About The Joey Logano Foundation
The mission of the Joey Logano Foundation is to Inspire and assemble the NASCAR community to assist those across the nation who are in need of a second chance due to natural or human disaster. The Joey Logano Foundation partners with other organizations to provide comfort and relief to those in need after such unforeseen circumstances.

Blue State Coffee Selects The Connection as a Nonprofit Partner

Patrons of 320 Congress Avenue, New Haven, Store Can Help Support The Connection

The 320 Congress Avenue, New Haven, Blue State Coffee has selected The Connection as one of its nonprofit partners for the second half of 2015! Donors and friends who frequent the Yale-New Haven Hospital/Yale School of Medicine area are encouraged to stop by and drop a wooden nickel in The Connection’s donation box. 

Blue State Coffee donates 2% of sales to local non-profit organizations suggested by our customers. The innovative and community spirited restaurant chooses four local non-profit organizations at each of their stores twice a year for a six-month period. Each time a customer makes a purchase he or she may vote for one of the selected non-profits we are supporting at that time. At the end of the six-month donation period, Blue State allocates 2% of sales based on the number of votes each organization has received.

Since their first store opened in July of 2007, Blue State has donated over $535,000 to more than 200 non-profit organizations.

The Connection Receives COA Accreditation

We are pleased to announce that our organization has achieved accreditation through the Council on Accreditation — also known as COA. COA is an independent organization, separate from the government, that ensures all of our programs and services are being delivered at the highest possible standards. Achieving accreditation was not easy; it took us over a year to complete this challenging process. During that time, COA reviewed all aspects of our organization’s programs and services. COA accreditation will provide you with the confidence that our services are among the best in the nation. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. We are truly excited about this milestone.

CFA Society Corporate 5K Benefits The Connection

Join us on Thursday, August 6th, at beautiful Bushnell Park, Hartford, for the CFA Society Corporate 5K. The CFA Society Hartford is the new title sponsor of the Corporate 5K. This road race benefits The Connection, a statewide non-profit human service and community development agency.

Organized by Race Director John Bysiewicz of JB Sports, since 1990 the event has raised well over $100,000 for charity. Over 1,000 participants are expected to compete in this year’s race. Walkers and runners are welcome to for the flat out-and-back course that passes the State Capitol, Bushnell Park and a number of historic buildings. Corporate teams are also welcome to compete! Team members must be employed by the organization for at least one month prior and applications must be received by July 31, 2015. Teams can be unlimited in size but must have a minimum of three members. We encourage participants to visit our site,, to learn more about fundraising for The Connection. Those who raise $100 or more will receive a complimentary race entry!

The race features on-course entertainment and tech running shirts for the first 700 entrants. All participants, families and friends are invited to the post-race party with food, beverages, live music and an awards ceremony. Awards will be given to the three fastest men and three fastest women divided into nine age divisions. Awards will also be given to the fastest CEO/President in three company size categories, the team and individual who raise the largest sum of money, and the largest team to participate.

Additional event sponsors include Anthem BlueCross & BlueShield, Insurity, Eversource, Aix Group, 102.9 The Whale, Stop & Shop, Farrell Geenty Sheeley Boccalatte & Guarino, PC and Chabaso Bakery.

Race day registration and packet pick-up will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. near the carousel at Bushnell Park on August 6th. For more information or to volunteer for the 2015 CFA Society Hartford Corporate 5K, please call JB Sports at (203) 481-5933 or visit

Joey Logano’s Racing for Hope Golf Tournament, Dinner & Auction

The Connection and The Joey Logano Foundation invite you to participate in a special day of golf, dinner and auction prizes with the 2015 Daytona 500 Champion Joey Logano. Benefitting The Connection and The Joey Logano Foundation, the event is Thursday, July 16, 2015 at the Quarry Ridge Golf Course and Saint Clements Castle, Portland Connecticut.

» Meet Joey and other local sports stars at the golf event;
» Enjoy a dinner and auction, with emcee Mike Massaro of NBC Sports;
» Get to know Joey at the dinner, as he tells his story on and off the track; and
» Participate in an evening autograph session with Joey.

Golf Tournament
9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Quarry Ridge Golf Course
9 Rose Hill Road
Portland, Connecticut

Dinner & Auction – SORRY, SOLD OUT!!
4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saint Clements Castle
1931 Portland Cobalt Road
Portland, Connecticut

Dinner Ticket Prices: $75 for adults; $30 for children ages 5 – 12
Golf Packages: $200 per adult (Golf, Lunch & Dinner)

All event registration must take place by July 6th. There are a limited number of spots available for each event. You may take part in either the golf tournament, which includes dinner and the auction; or attend just the dinner and auction. This is a family-friendly event! We encourage you to bring your young (ages 5–12) racing fans to meet Joey at the dinner and auction event.

For additional information, contact Beth Connor at (860) 343-5500 x1600 or at

Click here to download the sponsorship/registration form
Click here to view the event brochure

20th Annual Greater New Haven Pizza Fest

Don’t miss The Connection’s 20th Annual Greater New Haven Pizza Fest scheduled for Thursdays and Fridays, June 18-19 and June 25-26 during the International Festival of Arts & Ideas Lunchtime Concerts on the New Haven Green. Enjoy pizza by the slice from Greater New Haven’s finest and most generous pizzerias. Pizza available from noon to 1:30 or until we sell out. Slice of pizza $3.; Italian Ice $2.; Beverage $1. Proceeds to benefit The Connection, a non-profit human services and community development agency. If you would like to donate to pizza fest with a financial sponsorship or by donating pizza, please contact Claire Bien at 203 733-8109 or

The Great Give® 2015

On May 5 and 6, friends of The Connection can help us raise much-needed matching grant funding — from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and Valley Community Foundation — by making a donation to The Connection during a 36-hour period beginning Tuesday, May 5 at 8:00 a.m. through Wednesday, May 6 at 8:00 p.m.

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. are providing a matching pool of $50,000. All donations made during the 36-hour period of The Great Give® 2015 to qualified nonprofits will receive a prorated portion of the match pool. (For example, if the match pool is $50,000 and the total amount raised that day is $350,000, then a one dollar donation would become one dollar and fourteen cents.)

Matching grants from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven will be applied to all donations.

The Great Give® 2015 is part of a national day of local giving celebrating the centennial anniversary of community foundations called Give Local America. We join more than 100 communities in this national day of giving to support local nonprofits. Give Local America is a network of hundreds of local giving events coordinated on a national scale.

We hope that friends of The Connection will give generously during this period. The unrestricted funds raised through the Great Give® will allow The Connection to meet special client and program needs that are not supported by traditional funding sources. Every dollar can make all the difference. We urge you to mark your calendars for The Great Give® 2015 and make your donations go even further.

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.

The Connection Congratulates Joey Logano, Daytona 500 Winner!

Middletown, CT native Joey Logano was the second-youngest driver to ever win the Great American Race. Joey is much more than a great NASCAR driver. Through his Foundation, he’s a passionate supporter of those who need a restart in life. With gratitude, The Connection named its new transitional housing program for homeless adults, Logano Place, in honor of Joey and his commitment to second chances for folks from his hometown state.

Meet Joey in person! Please SAVE THE DATE for Joey Logano’s Racing for Hope Golf Tournament, Dinner & Auction, featuring NBC Sports’ Mike Massaro, on Thursday evening, July 16, 2015. More details will be announced soon.

Joey Logano Gives Back To His Hometown Community Through The Connection

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano, a Middletown, CT native, returned home to kick off the Inaugural Joey Logano Hometown Showdown at On Track Karting in Wallingford on Thursday, September 18, 2014. The night provided an opportunity for fans to test their racing skills against Joey in a fun competition along with other racers while raising money for The Connection. Hundreds of individuals gathered at On Track Karting to get the opportunity to meet Logano, take pictures and ask for autographs.

“It’s an honor for me to host this event in Connecticut where my racing career began and give back to the community who helped me get where I am today.” said Logano “I have wanted to do something like this for a long time and seeing it come together is really exciting for me. Thanks to partnering with us for the event it has become a reality.”

Prior to the Hometown Showdown, Logano participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Connection’s Logano Place. Logano Place is a new transitional housing program for up to 28 homeless adult men and women who are actively working on their recovery from behavioral health and substance abuse issues. The goal of the program is to provide supports to these men and women so that they can successfully re-enter the work force and permanently exit from homelessness. The program, located in Middletown, CT will offer second chances to those who are working to achieve independence in their lives.

Says The Connection President and CEO, Peter Nucci, “We are thrilled that Joey Logano has reached out through his foundation to better the community where he got his start. It is our honor to name this program for Joey and know that the program residents will be grateful for Joey’s support of The Connection’s services.”

Joey Logano Foundation Presents: Hometown Showdown! Inaugural Karting Event to Benefit The Connection

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano will be heading back to his home state of Connecticut to race for a cause at his foundation’s inaugural Hometown Showdown Driven by This friendly go-karting competition is set for Thursday, September 18th from 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. at On Track Karting in Wallingford, CT. The night will provide an opportunity for fans to test their racing skills against Joey and other participants in fun competition, all while raising money for The Connection.

In addition to the on track racing, the event will host a variety of activities, such as a silent auction, a raffle, swag bags with great gear, and plenty of face time with Joey. The competition will be a team-based race, with multiple heats to start the evening and a final tournament style showdown with Joey himself. There will also be a race for individuals to race against each other for a $2,000 Dash 4 Cash. A limited number of spectator passes are also available. is the Internet’s ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website and is the leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers.

For more information about how to sponsor, register and participate in the event, please visit their event page on or contact Savannah Smith with the Joey Logano Foundation at

The Connection’s Prevention Program Sponsors 4th Annual LEAD Conference

Eighty people, including high-school aged youth and a cadre of adults from eight towns across Connecticut including Clinton, Durham/Middlefield, East Haven, Guilford, Madison, New Haven, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook, gathered at the Clinton Town Hall on June 27, 2014 for the fourth annual Leadership Encourages Asset Development (LEAD) Conference 2014. This year’s theme, “Finding and Using Your Voice,” featured activities that explored coalition building, youth perspectives on decision making, and how adult leaders can express value to youth in their communities.

In the morning, teams comprised of youth from different towns were formed in an intentional effort to give the young participants an opportunity to work with people they didn’t already know. Each team was then told that they would spend the morning engaged in a “Human Scavenger Hunt.” Armed with clues, maps, and four questions, the teams were sent out into the town of Clinton to find adults representing many of the sectors that gather to form community coalitions. When the participating adults, who had been stationed in or around different buildings in the Clinton municipal district were discovered by the youth teams, they were asked the following questions: 1. What is your role in the community? 2. Are youth involved at all in the sector you represent and how? 3. How does your sector value youth in the community? 4. Share a pearl of wisdom (something you wish you’d known as a teen). At the end of the interview, adult participants gave the team a puzzle piece with the name of the sector the adult interviewee represented. This year’s “finds” included a teacher, reporter, youth services specialist, doctor, parent, pastor, civic group representative, a senator, community health liaison, and a policeman, all from various towns. When the groups reconvened at the Town Hall, and put the puzzle together, they discovered that one sector was missing: the Youth Sector!

After a discussion on what they had learned about the sectors of a coalition, and how youth can be involved in decisions made in their towns, participants formed two large groups that explored decision-making, opinion-forming and communication activities. At the end of the day the original, smaller teams gathered to discuss such topics as marijuana use, underage drinking, social media, relationships, and health topics.

Facilitators for the LEAD conference included Robin Callahan, representing The Connection’s Prevention Services program; Mary Varunes, Town of East Haven Youth Services Commissioner and a member of East Haven PRYD Coalition; Stephen Driffin, Sector Leader and Youth Services Specialist, City of New Haven; Tomi Veale, Coordinator, City of New Haven Youth@Work; and Gwendolyn Williams, Program Manager, City of New Haven Youth@Work. At this time, the The Connection’s Prevention Department has coalitions in New Haven, East Haven and Guilford.

The City of New Haven, which participated in the conference for the first time this year, will likely host next year’s LEAD 2015 conference. The plan is to include other regional towns in the region, including Hamden, Middletown, the Naugatuck River Valley towns of Seymour, Shelton, and Derby. The planning process is being led by The Connection’s Prevention Manager Simone Powell, The Connection’s Prevention Coordinator Robin Callahan, Tomi Veale and Steve Driffin of the City of New Haven. Next year’s themes will include cultural diversity and “thinking outside the box.”

Funding to support the youth was provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS); Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council (VSAAC) and also the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) (2014) Town Hall Meetings.

—Robin McNally Callahan

(Photo: Youth from six different Connecticut towns interviewed Hilary Kumnick from the Killingworth Lions Club. Mr. Kumnick was one of 10 statewide sector representatives who participated in the LEAD conference.)

Corporate 5K Benefits The Connection

Join us on Thursday, Aug. 7th, at beautiful Bushnell Park, Hartford, for the Corporate 5K. This road race benefits The Connection, a statewide non-profit human service and community development agency.

Organized by Race Director John Bysiewicz of JB Sports, the first Corporate 5K was run in downtown Hartford in 1990. The inaugural event had over 600 runners and 60 corporate teams. Since 1990, the event has raised well over $100,000 for charity.

The Connection became the event’s charitable partner in 2013 and added enthusiasm to the race. A new event logo and a flatter out and back course was introduced. Our race t-shirts were very popular, and we had the largest event in a decade as hundreds of spectators watched nearly 1,000 runners from 80 corporate teams raise thousands of dollars for The Connection.

This year’s event promises much fun and excitement. In addition to the race, participants will enjoy a post-race party cookout with live music. To register or support the event, please click here for our race application form. For additional information, please contact Beth Connor at 860 343-5500, x2125.

Partnership for Strong Communities Honors Helen Lavin

Helen Lavin, Director of Homeless Outreach and Development at The Connection has been selected as the 2014 recipient of The Partnership for Strong Communities’ Reverend Richard Schuster Advocacy Award. This award is given to an individual who shows a strong commitment to preventing and ending homelessness and working to raise awareness about the needs of individuals and families in danger of becoming homeless.

Helen has demonstrated true leadership in advocating for supportive housing and has made ending homelessness her life’s work. As part of her work with the Continuum of Care networks in Bridgeport and Middletown, she has chaired the Point in Time Count in Bridgeport, has provided testimony before the State Legislature and has presented at local and national conferences to advocate for the needs of the homeless. She chairs the Supportive Housing for Families Annual Award Ceremony and is co-chair of District 1 Constituency Building Committee for The Connection.

Helen is relentless in her pursuit of her passions. The Pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Fairfield recently said, “When Helen Lavin calls, you eventually are going to say yes. You might say no at first, maybe even a few times, but she is going to make the same request in 40 different ways without you realizing it and one of those times you will say, “Yes.” So when she calls, it’s really just a matter of how long you want to spend in the conversation with her before you come around and agree to help those she is advocating for. And at the end of it all, you’ll be glad you did!”

Helen began her career in Bridgeport almost fourteen years ago with The Connection’s Supportive Housing Program. She obtained her MSW from Fordham and was promoted to Program Director providing clinical and housing oversight of the Supportive Housing for Families® (SHF®) Program, as well as the Eddy Shelter in Middletown. Helen is currently developing a self-sufficiency track for families in the SHF® program.

Reverend Schuster, who passed away in August 2009, was a true leader in advancing and advocating for supportive housing. He made ending homelessness his life’s work for over 40 years and led St. Luke’s LifeWorks as Executive Director for 22 years. A founder of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition, Reverend Schuster was also a founding member of the Reaching Home Steering Committee, which he chaired for three years.

Great Give® 2014

On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 6 and 7, friends of The Connection can help us raise much needed matching grant funding from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and the Valley Community Foundation by making a donation of $25 or more through the Great Give® 2014 online giving challenge. Only donations made between May 6 at 8:00 a.m. and May 7, at 8:00 p.m., will be eligible for the matching grant funding.

Follow this link to be a part of the Great Give® 2014 and DONATE NOW.
Matching grants from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven will be applied to any donations made by people living throughout the United States and world.

Matching grants from the Valley Community Foundation will be awarded for contributions by donors who live or work in the Lower Naugatuck Valley towns of Ansonia, Derby, Shelton, Seymour and Oxford.

This year, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has set aside a matching pool of $55,000. All donations made during the 36-hour Great Give® period will receive a prorated portion of the match pool. For example, if the total amount of donations made to participating nonprofits is $350,000, then each $1.00 donated will be eligible for a 14 cent increase. ($50,000 pool divided by $350,000 = 14%). The Valley Community Foundation has set aside a matching pool of $20,000. All donations made by donors living or working in the Valley during the 36-hour period of The Great Give® 2014 will be similarly prorated. Thus, if the total amount raised is $60,000 then a $1.00 donation will be increased by 33 cents ($20,000 pool divided by $60,000 = 33%).

The Great Give® 2014 initiative is part of a national day of local giving called Give Local America, which celebrates the centennial anniversary of community foundations. Through this initiative we join with more than 100 communities in this national day of giving to support local nonprofits.

State Senator Paul Doyle Visits Connection House, Middletown

When Connecticut State Senator Paul Doyle, who represents the City of Middletown learned that Connection House received $14,000 in funding from the State’s Nonprofit Grant program, he arranged a visit to learn more about the program and agency. He liked what he learned and saw.

“The Connection is a leader in the Middletown community and throughout the state,” said Sen. Doyle. “Over the years this agency has seen tremendous growth, and with this new state funding I look forward to the continued success of The Connection.”

The funds will be used to install backup generators to ensure that the program is able to continue to function in the case of power outage. This short video was taken during Senator Doyle’s visit.

State of Connecticut Awards The Connection $880,250 in Funding

Governor Dannel Malloy’s office announced that The Connection will receive a total of $880,250 in funding from the state’s Nonprofit Grant Program. The Connection’s proposal was one of 81 nonprofit grant proposals funded. The funds will allow The Connection to make energy efficient and other structural renovations at our 48 Howe Street property in New Haven as well as to purchase new stand-by generators for Connection House in Middletown and Pendleton House in New Haven.

Peter Nucci, President and CEO of The Connection states, “The Connection applauds the administration for making this unique grant opportunity available to address program infrastructure needs. This award will provide emergency preparedness support and save our agency and Connecticut tax payers valuable dollars.”

Academy Award Winning Actress Patty Duke is Keynote Speaker at 6th Annual Connecting with Hope Gala

Show business legend Patty Duke, who at age 16 was the youngest person to win an Academy Award for her performance as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, will be the keynote speaker at The Connection’s Sixth Annual Connecting with Hope Gala, to be held at the Laurel View Country Club in Hamden on Friday, June 6. Ms. Duke, who suffers from bipolar disorder, has written two New York Times bestselling memoirs: Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness, which chronicle her struggles with the illness. For additional information, please click here, or contact Beth Connor at

19th Annual Greater New Haven Pizza Fest

Nearly 500 pizzas from Greater New Haven’s finest and most generous pizzerias will support programs and services of The Connection. This year’s Pizza Fest will be held on Thursdays and Fridays, June 19–20 and June 26–27, from noon to 1:30 p.m. on the New Haven Green during the International Festival of Arts & Ideas free lunchtime concerts. On those four days, music and pizza lovers will have an opportunity to sample some of Greater New Haven’s finest pizzas donated by generous, community-spirited pizza restaurant owners. For more information, contact Claire Bien at

Contact Us

Main Office
100 Roscommon Dr, Ste. 203
Middletown CT 06457
(860) 343-5500

Fraud Alert Line: To report a concern or fraudulent activity, please call 1-855-868-5656. All calls will be handled anonymously and in a timely manner.

For easy access to our services call our Toll-free Helpline at (855)Help955 — (855)435-7955 anytime during business hours. A trained staff member will assist you with your questions and will guide you to the appropriate Connection service.