Awarded by the Waterbury Board of Aldermen, the Hospitality Center will receive a grant of $400,900 to support their services as they continue amid the pandemic and colder months approach.
The federal grant at large is focused on providing support to those who experience homelessness and housing instability in the community. The Hospitality Center, which supports this population in taking care of basic needs and connecting with resources to guide them toward stability, also serves as a respite for individuals and families who experience homelessness. At the Center, participants can take a hot shower, do laundry, use a computer, make phone calls, collect mail, take shelter from the elements, and enjoy a small break from daily struggles.
“This funding and support will truly make a difference with a population that is already very vulnerable.” said Program Director Belinda Arce-Lopez.
Some of the funding will be used to purchase a large tent that can be heated so the Hospitality Center can continue services to all participants who visit while having the capacity to do so at a safe distance outdoors, even in the colder months. In those months, the Hospitality Center serves around 80 people daily, which is about a 30-person increase compared to warmer months, and has even served as the city’s emergency heating and cooling center during severe cold and hot weather, respectively.
The funds will also help the Hospitality Center add a second outreach worker to their team to help connect those in need to supportive services in both Waterbury and Torrington.
The grant will also be funneled into other organizations in Waterbury dedicated to sheltering, re-housing, and homeless prevention efforts, including St. Vincent De Paul Mission, Salvation Army, and Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury.
PHOTO: The Hospitality Center’s new location at 690 East Main St. sits directly across from their previous site, visible in the window’s reflection, which was impacted by a fire earlier this year. Thanks to the generosity of the community and the hard work of staff, the Center was able to continue services the very next day at CHD’s offices in Waterbury while they worked to secure this new, permanent space.