Waterbury Hospitality Center, Community Rebuild After Fire

In the wake of a fire that devastated CHD’s Hospitality Center in Waterbury in February, the Waterbury community, including emergency personnel and other community partners, offered a vast outpouring of support that took many different forms, and ultimately helped the Center rebuild and relocate to the same neighborhood as their original location.

As a day facility that serves individuals experiencing homelessness and housing instability, the program was not occupied during the night of the fire, and there were no injuries. The program’s new location at 690 East Main Street in Waterbury will be able to facilitate all of the same services it offers its visitors: access to showers, laundry, a computer, a warm/cool space, coffee, group sessions and other services, including counseling, coaching, employment and housing connections, and more.

“The Waterbury community and people from the surrounding area have been amazing in coming together and supporting us in our time of need with material and financial contributions,” said Program Director Belinda Arce-Lopez. “People have really gone above and beyond, and we’re so grateful.”

The program functioned temporarily in CHD’s main Waterbury office on 965 Main St., beginning the day after the fire, continuing services as we simultaneously worked to rebuild. With the help and energy of CHD’s Waterbury staff and volunteers, as well as this community support, the program has been able to maintain its service to those experiencing homelessness and housing instability.

In relocating to their new space at 690 East Main Street in Waterbury in March, the Center’s dedicated staff transitioned not only many newly donated materials but also the powerful spirit of the program, and the dedication that helps propel it forward.

“While the [original] building is not here anymore, we’re still here,” said Hospitality Center Program Manager Shakirah Wade. “What we built—the relationships, the spirit, and the energy—that is still there because it’s within us.”