News & Events

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Beth-El Center and TEAM Inc. Partner to Provide New Housing Assistance Program for COVID-Impacted Households

Beth-El Center is partnering with TEAM Inc., a nonprofit human services agency in the Valley, to provide housing services and financial aid to individuals who've experienced hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Supported by funding through TEAM from a Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) via the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this short-term housing assistance program will provide up to fifteen households who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic with housing assistance, financial aid and case management services."

"This program helps folks who are experiencing hardship as a result of COVID to find housing and it provides financial aid to help them make their rental payments," says Ruth Menard, Beth-El Center Director of Programs and Facilities. "Beth-El Center's staff will work with tenants for six months to make sure they're utilizing necessary resources that will help them maintain the housing. The goal is for tenants to achieve self-sufficiency, sustain a healthy relationship with their landlords and to continue to stay housed long term." [ more ]

Beth-El Center Receives Grant from The Milford Bank Foundation

Beth-El Center was the recent recipient of a $1500 grant from The Milford Bank Foundation which provides support to local not-for-profit organizations that serve low-income families.

Funding from The Milford Bank Foundation will be used to prevent homelessness through Beth-El Center's shelter diversion services which include identifying and supporting individuals and families who are unstable and on the brink of homelessness. Our shelter diversion specialist assists those who are at high risk for homelessness by finding alternate housing arrangements and helping this vulnerable population return to permanent housing without entering into the emergency homeless response system. [ more ]

A Plea for the Homeless

Press conference speech by Jenn Paradis at Columbus House in New Haven on September 1, 2021:

I am here representing the Beth-El Center, a committed partner of the Greater New Haven Regional Alliance to End Homelessness. We are a group of advocates who have dedicated our careers to amplifying the voices of people experiencing extreme poverty in our communities. We end homelessness daily. Some of you have heard me say that we eat it for breakfast, and that is true. We understand that this is an art and a science.

The scientific approach is clear. Ask the question, strategically theorize and implement. If you do it right, nobody knows you are doing it at all. We will never take public health for granted again...but thankfully and why we are all here today is that the scientific approach requires:

1.) Information we know, and;
2.) Resources that ( with your leadership today and moving forward) could be available to us.

Here are the facts:

As of August 16, 2021 while 45,000 Connecticut residents were not caught up on rent, 157,000 had little or no confidence in their ability to pay rent next month. The global view is that there is not one state in this union where a person can afford a two-bedroom apartment on minimum wage. I know we are doing a lot on that in Connecticut right now however the perspective here is important. [ more ]

Staff Profile: Ruth Saint Vil, Director of Programs and Facilities

Working with her team to help clients succeed is Ruth Saint Vil's favorite part of her job. As Beth-El Center's Director of Programs and Facilities, working with the Center's Case Managers to optimize each shelter client's experience and outcome is an important and rewarding part of her position.

Ruth joined the Beth-El Center in 2018 as a Housing Specialist and was promoted to her current position in November of 2020. She oversees the day to day operations of the shelter and food programs which includes responsibility for a staff of sixteen people (including hiring and ongoing training) as well as maintenance of the facility at 90 New Haven Avenue in Milford. [ more ]

CT Coalition to End Homelessness Advocacy Brief
  • Do you believe that housing is a right for all?
  • Do you want to learn more about how to support housing systems that do not discriminate against people who have a history of homelessness?
  • Are you interested in learning how we can best support frontline workers in the Homeless Response System?

Sarah Fox, the Director of Policy at the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness walks us through the legislative priorities of CCEH and discusses how these efforts will support the work to END HOMELESSNESS in Milford CT.

See the entire video here: ]

Editorial: HUD’s New Transgender Shelter Access Rule

As the Executive Director of the Beth-El Center, an inclusive emergency shelter program but more importantly as a member of the LGBTQ+ community I experienced homelessness as a queer youth throughout high school and college. Knowing firsthand how quickly one's stability can be lost and how important formal shelter supports are to meeting basic survival needs and realizing one's full potential, I hope to provide context to the proposed changes of HUD's Equal Access Rule and to stand with other leaders in the LGBTQA+ and housing justice community to say: NOT IN OUR NAME. [ more ]

Heat Wave Assistance

Beth-El Center is providing the following services on Thursday 8/4 and Friday 8/5 during the forecasted heatwave:

Cooling Center: Beth-El Center's Soup Kitchen Dining Hall will be open from 9am-3pm as a Cooling Center. Capacity: 12 individuals.

Health Assessments will be completed for all guests upon entry; this included a health assessment and temperature screening. Any symptomatic cases will require a Rapid Test and any positive tests will require an immediate referral to isolation.
All participants are required to remain masked at all times, with exception of when they are seated and eating. Participants must immediately return to wearing a mask upon meal completion. [ more ]

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