CHD’s Hospitality Center in Waterbury, CT a place where people experiencing homelessness can take care of basic needs so they can move toward stability, is marking its 10-year anniversary with a celebration on Friday, August 26.
The event at the Center, 690 East Main Street, will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will include food, beverages, and a resource fair. At 11:00 a.m. Anthony Hebert, CHD’s VP of Mental Health Services, CT, will deliver remarks, as will CHD President and CEO Jim Goodwin, Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, Connecticut State Rep. Geraldo Reyes, Kenny Curran from Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy’s Office, Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spanolo, and a Hospitality Center participant.
Free haircuts will be offered from Luis Rodriguez, known as “Hulk the Barber” at his Torrington, CT barber shop. For the past year, Rodriguez has provided free haircuts biweekly for the individuals served by the Hospitality Center. A tour of the Center will be conducted at 11:30 a.m.
In its decade of being a safe haven for the homeless, the Hospitality Center has been a fixture in Waterbury and a vital resource where guests can take a hot shower, do laundry, use a computer, make phone calls, collect mail, take shelter from the elements, and enjoy a brief respite from daily struggles.
In addition to meeting these basic needs, the Center provides information about programs designed to move people out of homelessness and toward independence.
The Hospitality Center has also served as emergency overnight warming center during the coldest nights in the winter, when Governor Ned Lamont enacted a severe cold weather protocol that connects vulnerable populations to services.
The Center’s importance in the community was evident after its former location was devastated by a fire in February of 2020. People in the Waterbury area came together with donated materials, financial contributions, and volunteers, enabling the Center to maintain its services and rebuild at its present site in the same neighborhood as its past address.