Energy Client Testimonials
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ENERGY MOM
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 at home 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 that 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 caseworker. Her caseworker 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 caseworker 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.
A WARM LETTER FROM BARBARA
I apologize for not writing sooner to thank you for the “Operation Fuel” assistance you procured on my behalf on January 8th of this year. I cannot express my gratitude enough for this most timely consideration and your understanding concerning the unfortunate problem I experienced with my furnace Christmas Eve day. It is the most comforting feeling to know a warm home will be waiting for me on extremely cold weather this season. In this respect, I shall increase my donation each month through the UI toward “Operation Fuel” to hopefully contribute help to others in need. Again, I most humbly thank you for your kindness and your help during these last years.
A BOLD PLAN TO BEAT THE COLD FOR BEVERLY
I am writing to thank you for all that you have done for me this past summer. Words cannot be said for all that these crews of men have done for me. I am so appreciative. Each group that came into my home were so friendly and they explained to me all the work they would be doing and how they were going to do it – each day. I had my friend and neighbor come over to be with me, as i cannot go up and down stairs very well. These guys would explain to my neighbor what they were doing and she would relate the information to me.
They cleaned up after each job and were so friendly. They worked in the heat in the attic area and second floor, and believe me, it was very warm. My sincere thanks go out to all of them and I’ll always be thankful to your office for all that was done here in my home. I’m sure it will be a big help this winter. I can already feel that there’s not a draft at the bottom of my stairs. I now know that people do care about us seniors who are on small incomes. I’ll be grate always, believe me. The past few winters have been cold but now I think it will be better, thanks to your department and work that was done here. My thanks, again to all of you there at the agency...
Mature Adult Testimonials
EVERYTHING COMPUTES FOR ANNA MARIE
In 2014, Anna Marie enrolled in the “the surfing with seniors program" because learning how to use the computer was on her ‘bucket list.’ Anna Marie discovered it when she came to CAANH for energy assistance – and she’s very happy to have discovered it! “the instructors are so kind and gentle,” she said. “if the students don’t get it the first time, the instructors stay with you until you learn. They make you feel like you’re right where you’re supposed to be in the program. It’s a blessing for every last one of us.”
Lessons from the program even came in handy during a recent emergency. During the crisis, anna marie was traveling and needed to get to a hospital in Massachusetts to help a friend. “In class, the instructor had been surprised to see U had an iphone,” she said. “She told me I can do everything we do in class on my phone. Prior to that, I had just used it as a phone. So, when this emergency came up, I didn’t have a piece of paper so I used google to find directions to the right hospital! Ordinarily I would have called a hundred people to try and find out where to go and how to get there! Seriously!!”
According to Anna Marie, surfing with seniors “gave (her) the tools” to better use technology – and to weather an emergency! In fact, she’s now teaching her son techniques, and is urging her 80-year-old pastor to attend the class.
ABRAHAM CLICKED HERE TO MAKE OLD AGE GO OFF LINE
First of all, I like this group because it stopped me from getting old. I was at my house having nothing to do all day until this program came up. It was the best thing that ever happened to me … this and Surfing with Seniors are the best things that ever happened to me ... now I’ve got something to look forward to do in my day .. I’ve got a whole new family since I got here, I love it …I try not to miss it because it keeps me going and keeps my mind going … I don’t eat breakfast in the morning before I come here because the food is that good.
Abraham Gallishaw, New Haven
A GREAT ROADMAP FOR ALL WALKS OF LIFE FOR DOROTHY
When I retired I used to walk the trails, but when it got cold I couldn’t walk … so I found out about this from a friend and we started coming together, and I love it … my daughter wakes me up if I’m asleep and she’ll say c’mon Ma you gotta go … and sometimes I’ll say I don’t feel good and she’ll say you’ll feel better when you get there. And I do. I like all the people here, I’ve met so many people … I just love it!
Dorothy Bigard, New Haven
A WHOLE LOT GOING ON WITH VIVIAN
I look forward to just getting up and coming, rather than staying at home sleeping and getting more lazy. I enjoy going to different places and going out to eat and what not ... it’s wonderful because everyone here feels like family. We all stick together and help each other out, which I think is a beautiful thing. I just love coming here!
Vivian, New Haven
A PLACE TO MEET FRIENDS FOR ANNETTE
Everybody is so nice and friendly and we all look forward to getting out of our house …we’ve reached the age where we need some friends and company, but not everybody is coming to your house - so this way you can meet new people, enjoy yourself, and talk about things you need to talk about, enjoy life and look forward to where you’re going and what you’re going to do.
Annette Johnson, New Haven
A FULL CALANDAR AND STOMACH FOR EDDIE
I enjoy all the trips we go on. I have been to places I thought never existed… this is something to do and keep your mind occupied and I’ve met a lot of nice people who I enjoy to be around. It’s a good program.
Eddie Whitehead, New Haven
GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE FOR LYNN
Everybody is so nice and friendly and we all look forward to getting out of our house … we’ve reached the age where we need some friends and company, but not everybody is coming to your house - so this way you can meet new people, enjoy yourself, and talk about things you need to talk about.
Lynn, New Haven
Single Mothers Actively Reaching the Top program (S.M.A.R.T) assists women with meeting the demands of daily living, improving their parenting skills and increasing their levels of self-sufficiency. The program was designed to create an environment for shared learning and support and provides life-skills, job-readiness and financial-literacy training to help its clients achieve these goals.
GETTING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
SMART was a life changer! It brought me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to go to the classes, rather than staying home. I enjoyed the experience of the program and it has taught me a lot about money and finances. I didn’t have a goal, but once I was started going to SMART I began to think about what my goals were and I came up with some. One of them was to get a job. So after SMART I did an internship at CAANH and it was a good experience for me doing different jobs around the Agency. It was even more of a learning experience and also added to my resume skills.
- Sheree Murphy, New Haven, Energy client, SMART Women graduate and CAANH employee
THE RETURN OF HOPE
CAANH has given me hope back! When I first came in, I felt hopeless and felt as if my situation would never change; that it would be the way it always was. I felt helpless to change things, but the SMART women program gave me my hope back and taught me that there were things I could do to make my situation better. Now I’m hopeful!
- Kristin Calderon: SMART woman graduate, client and current Case Worker at CAANH
CONQUERING LIMITING BELIEFS
One of my biggest barriers was my limited English skills, the SMART Women Coordinator encouraged me and gave me tips on how to learn more and find resources. She said, “Don’t say you can’t speak English, because you are doing it!” Those words went down to my heart and they are still there. After I graduated from SMART, I started my internship at CAANH in the Family Service Department while I worked a part-time job in the afternoon. I also started working on my bachelor’s degree in Human Services at Albertus Magnus College! I was then offered a job as an Energy Case Worker. I was so excited, thankful and grateful for the opportunity.
- Yisel Ortiz: Client, Energy Assistance, SMART Women Graduate and now CAANH employee
Youth Program Testimonials
THE FUTURE BELONGS TO JOSEPH
Manage Your Future (MYF) provides youth between the ages of 14 and 18 with financial-literacy, job-readiness and social-development skills. CAANH recently received from the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) $300,000 per year for two years to expand the program locally and establish a similar program administered by the Urban League of Greater Hartford.
Part of the reason for the expansion of the program was the impact MYF has had on its participants. One participant, Joseph, joined the program in 2011 to complete a community-service requirement for his high school. During his time in the program, he learned how to better manage his money and his emotions. “I underwent a lot of character development,” he wrote in an essay. “I also got to see the [amount of] good that is done [at CAANH] in regards to helping people in need, especially with energy assistance.”
A BETTER PLACE FOR NEISHA RIVERA AND ZANAYA YANCEY-GORDON
“Manage Your Future is a place where I’ve met new people and a place that I started going to, to keep me from doing negative things. I’ve learned quite a few things from being here that I believe would benefit me.”