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CAA President and CEO Amos Smith spent the day with Dr. Bill Cosby and Dr. Reginald Mayo, Superintendent, New Haven Public School System www.southernct.edu/news/billcosbyvisitssc_292/
Energy Assistance / HSI
On the last day to apply for energy assistance, a single mother of two, after being referred by Info-line/ 211, came into the Agency to get help because her gas had been shut-off. This woman recently had been through a series of unfortunate events, including the loss of employment. After being instructed by our receptionist, to have a seat and fill out the necessary forms she was greeted by one of our staff who reviewed her documentation and assured her that things would be okay. She stated that this staff member must have been a mind reader because it was just the assurance she needed at that time. Once her name was called, she said she was greeted with yet another smiling and welcoming face which was that of her case worker. Her case worker not only referred her to DSS but into HSI Case Management services where she received information through referral for job placement assistance. Even though this client had been denied DSS services in the past, her case worker guided and instructed her on the necessary steps to take, given her current circumstances. Her case management referral brought her full circle because she is now a part of the CT Works Work Experience Program, working here at the Agency. She is also applying for a permanent position as a part of our full-time staff.
Individual Development Accounts / IDA
Recently one of our IDA participants, a single mother of five who was recruited in 2007 and educated thru the homeownership classes here at CAANH has achieved success with her goal of owning a home. An employee of Yale University Dining Services, this client was tutored about the programs in the New Haven area that foster 1st time homeownership. She quickly asserted herself and became a part of Empower New Haven’s HomePower Initiative which helps first-time home buyers of one to four family homes, as well as Yale University’s Employee Homebuyer Program; she eagerly set out to save the necessary money to reach her goal. This IDA participant has stayed dedicated to her “Savings Plan Agreement” and last month, located a house through the Housing Rehabilitation Institute, another one of our community partners. The beautiful home has three floors with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, with access to the basement. The second and third floors have been combined to accommodate this family with four bedrooms, two full bathrooms, living room, dining room and kitchen. The house is equipped with all new kitchen appliances, including a dishwasher. There is a three car driveway and a completely fenced-in yard.
Energy Assistance/ Weatherization / HSI
In October 2007, a single mother applied for and was approved for CEAP Energy Assistance by CAANH. This Hispanic and non-English speaking single mother owns a house in West Haven. Along with her, resides her handicapped mother and her 5 year-old child. In October 2007, this CEAP recipient was referred to the Weatherization Department from the Energy Assistance Department. After being approved for weatherization assistance, her house was audited by a CAANH Certified Energy Auditor. Subsequent to the Energy Audit, weatherization work was assigned to 3 separate contractors to perform various weatherization improvements to her house. Those improvements included the installation of insulation in her walls, in her attic on her attic hatchway in her closet, the installation of weather stripping and door sweeps on her exterior doors, caulking around her vinyl windows on the inside of her house and the cleaning of her heating system. During the cleaning of her heating system, it was discovered that her oil-fired hot water boiler was in very bad condition and really needed to be replaced. However, by the time this was discovered, the 2007-2008 CEAP funds for Heating System Replacements had been depleted. So, the single mother was placed on a Waiting List, until such time as the CEAP funds were replenished. In October 2008, the CEAP Heating System Replacement Program was re-funded. The single mother was then referred back to CEAP, where her name was selected from the Waiting List. By the end of October, this CEAP and Weatherization client had her new oil-fired hot water boiler installed and working, just in time for winter. This story demonstrates how the Energy Assistance and the Weatherization Departments worked together through referrals and intra-departmental communication and coordination to improve the quality of life of one family in the New Haven area.