Building Hope Together (BHT), the New Britain Work Plan to End Homelessness, began through a collaborative process involving New Britain’s municipal, business, civic and philanthropic leaders, and its non-profit service providers under the leadership of former Mayor Tim Stewart. Mayor Erin Stewart has long championed the Plan, serving as the Chair of its Executive Committee when the program was housed at the YWCA.
Building Hope Together is now an initiative under New Britain Recovers as envisioned by Mayor Erin Stewart. New Britain Recovers is a one-stop-shop of holistic community care, unifying the City's Opioid Task Force, Homelessness Plan, and Local Prevention Council under one umbrella to comprehensively address homelessness, addiction, and youth prevention. By working in partnership with the City’s Opioid Task Force and Youth Prevention initiatives, Building Hope Together is better equipped to serve those seeking to avoid or overcome homelessness.
Between 2008 and 2022, BHT’s Homelessness Prevention Programs prevented homelessness for over 400 imminently at-risk households, and rapidly re-housed over forty additional households through the provision of rental payments made directly to landlords. BHT has also brought on over forty new units of decent, affordable housing, and in the spring of 2018, Howey House, a project created by the BHT Housing Committee, opened its doors. This project, operated by the Friendship Service Center, provides permanent supportive housing to 11 chronically homeless individuals.
Now under the auspices of the City’s Community Services Department, BHT’s Prevention Programs are vitally important to prevent homelessness for primary earners who have had a temporary setback that’s caused them to fall behind in their rent. These earners and their families are likely to face homelessness and enter an already strained shelter system without BHT’s assistance.
The City’s Homelessness Prevention and Housing Coordinator has coordinated the program since its inception while also serving as Co-Chair of the Central Coordinated Access Network (CCAN), a collaborative regional approach to end homelessness. Building Hope Together, which is a part of CCAN, is committed to its goals to identify, reach out to, and provide housing for those verified as chronically homeless, to rapidly re-house those who become homeless, and to prevent others from entering homelessness in the first place. The Building Hope Together initiative is proud to partner with community agencies like the Friendship Center, the Salvation Army, SVDP, and Journey Home to approach ending homelessness regionally, while remaining committed to working on the local level. BHT provides direct service to the most vulnerable residents through its Homelessness Prevention, Fresh Start, Path to Employment, and Bus Pass Programs.
The Hope Connection Center, located at 61 Arch Street, opened in February 2022. The City of New Britain provided start-up funds for this resource center that provides laundry, showers, access to computers and services for people experiencing literal homelessness in our community. The Friendship Service Center operates the Hope Connection Center.READ MORE