Established in 1988, The Windham Region Homeless Coalition consists of individuals and agencies concerned with the housing needs of the people in their respective communities. The Windham Region is made up of 22 towns and the Town of Mansfield that is actually located in Tolland County.
Programs that have come out of the Coalition are Holy Family Home and Shelter, Inc., established in February 1989. The Shelter has 23 beds and adds cribs when necessary. A “full house” is any number over 16; the ethnic breakdown is one-third Anglo, one-third Black and one-third Hispanic. The Shelter provides case management, in-house workshops, and a free on-site laundry; free local telephone service, three meals per day, and referrals to state agencies, health care providers, schools and jobs. The Shelter has an on-site education program that was started in 1993. This program includes a pre-school, a toddler time and after school tutoring. Volunteers come from the University of Connecticut and Eastern Connecticut State University to help with the education programs.
Windham Family Living was established in 1990 and is under the umbrella agency Windham Region Community Council. The program provides case management to families in scattered site housing, budgeting workshops and parenting programs.
The Windham Homelessness Intervention Fund was established in 1990 to help individuals obtain part of a security deposit or first month’s rent. The funds are administered by the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry and are a $250 loan. Funds for this program come from selling Munson’s Chocolates, House Pins and grants from local banking foundations. Two large fundraising events that take place each year include a fall goods and services auction held at Windham Mills Heritage Park and at Christmastime a Cardless Christmas mailing is sent to friends and businesses associates, asking for a contribution to the Coalition.
The Coalition meets the second Tuesday of the month from September to June. Presently, the Coalition is working on a Continuum of Care Proposal to HUD to bring in much needed monies to the rural programs in Eastern Connecticut that are concerned with housing.