NEW BRITAIN, CT – The Salvation Army’s Men’s Shelter in New Britain reopened the week of June 7th with a 12-bed capacity. While licensed for 30, due to COVID and the need to ensure physical distancing as recommended by the CDC, a reduced census will be in place for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the shelter is now open 24 hours/day, to provide a safe place for the homeless to spend their day and reduce community spread.
“The Salvation Army is grateful for its supporters, including the State of Connecticut – Office of Policy and Management’s Nonprofit Grant Program which provided a grant enabling us to better serve men struggling with homelessness in New Britain,” said Lieutenant Willie Rodriguez of The Salvation Army in New Britain. “The Salvation Army has been present and helping the New Britain community for more than 130 years. We remain an active part of the community, helping those who need it most.”
Shelter renovations were completed in June and included improvements to the kitchen, dorm and laundry areas, as well as upgrades to the HVAC, electrical, alarm, camera monitoring, lighting, telephone and internet systems.
These renovations improved the safety, functionality and efficiency of the shelter to provide a more comfortable environment for both shelter guests and staff. Improvements to the kitchen, such as shelving, flooring, lighting, and new appliances, addressed health and safety issues. Additional renovations were made to the bathroom, as well as installing new windows, expanding the living area and accessibility enhancements.
“I have been privileged to provide services to 78 individual homeless men and housed 59 men during my time at The Salvation Army” said Kyren McCrorey Housing Specialist at The Salvation Army Men’s Shelter in New Britain. “I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to give back to those in need.” During the renovation project, The Salvation Army has been actively engaged in the community by conducting 211 appointments for multiple communities in the Central Coordinated Access Network (CAN), performing community outreach to identify undocumented and unsheltered individuals, and speaking on the behalf of homeless individuals for the communities in the central CAN.
The Salvation Army in New Britain has been a participant on the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness and is an active member of the Central CAN, a group of agencies providing prevention, emergency sheltering and housing services in Berlin, Bristol, New Britain, Plainville, and Southington.
“The Salvation Army is fortunate to partner with many local organizations in our efforts to serve others. Our ability to address the needs of New Britain’s homeless, is possible thanks to our volunteers, partners, donors and supporters, like the State of Connecticut.” Lieutenant Rodriguez went on to say.
The Salvation Army’s EDS department is coordinating with state and local leads to determine gap feeding needs for vulnerable populations across the state. With the growing need, EDS is continually working to secure the food from multiple sources and assemble and then distribute hundreds of these food boxes to hard hit areas each week. We are committed to helping those impacted by COVID through all phases of their recovery and rebuilding.