News & Events
CTLN Opinion+: Deb Polun
CTLN Opinion+ had the opportunity to speak with Deb Polun, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA). CAFCA is the Connecticut-based association of the state’s nine Community Action Agencies (CAAs) which aim to combat poverty. The association’s mission is “to support, strengthen, and promote the work of the Community Action Agencies statewide to advance economic, racial, and social justice.” Polun says they implement this by remaining deeply rooted in their communities.
Child Care Centers Say They Need Federal Funds to Help Through COVID-Related Staff Shortages
Child care providers told state officials that federal aid is necessary to address ongoing staff shortages and nearly 100 classroom closures due to COVID-19. The shortage comes as the state’s coronavirus daily test positivity rate hovered just above 23% on Monday, with confirmed community spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant. In 2020, Connecticut data shows that 27 child care centers and licensed family child care homes closed due to COVID-19.
Organizations Address Health Equity Issues to Receive Grants from Connecticut Health Foundation
The Connecticut Health Foundation has awarded 24 grants totaling $1.2 million to organizations on the frontlines of health equity and to media organizations that are devoting reporting to the subject, which has gained greater attention – and concern – during the pandemic. The Connecticut Health Foundation is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving health outcomes for people of color.
Data: Nearly Half of CT Residents Live in a ‘Child Care Desert’
Child care provider Tara Kennedy hears from more prospective families than she has the space to enroll. “I get several requests weekly from families looking for child care, either moving into the area or going back to work, or wanting their children to get back out into the socializing world after not seeing people for the last year and a half,” said Kennedy, the director and owner of Cedar Gables Preschool & Childcare in Danbury.
Help Available for Those Needing Help with Energy Bills
Globalized economic pressures, crippled delivery systems, depleted energy supplies, escalating inflation, and new COVID-19 challenges have catalyzed an increasing number of Connecticut residents to seek energy assistance this year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently projected 54% price increases for propane, 30% for natural gas, 43% for heating oil and 6% for electric heat. U.S. Census Bureau surveys indicate more than 21% of Connecticut residents were unable to meet their energy costs last year.
Hartford Finalizing Contracts with CRT, Wheeler for New Civilian Crisis Response Team
The city of Hartford is in talks with two local agencies about running a new civilian crisis intervention team to complement the police department, a program Mayor Luke Bronin initially hoped to launch this past summer. The mayor’s office said it may award contracts to both Community Renewal Team and Wheeler Clinic to implement the new Hartford Community Responders program, which will provide an alternative to an armed police response in certain non-violent situations.
Winter Heating Costs are Expected to Spike: How you can get Financial Help
With winter weather approaching and heating costs rising, Gov. Ned Lamont is reminding Connecticut residents about home heating assistance. Lamont and the commissioners of the Department of Social Services, the Department of Housing, and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spoke at the Human Resources Agency. The commissioners said their agencies have resources and programs for people who need help paying their heating bills.
Travelers Donates Car to CRT on ‘Giving Tuesday’ to Deliver Meals to Those in Need
On “Giving Tuesday,” a global movement that encourages people to give back to their community, Travelers made sure needy families get the help they need to put food on the table. Travelers donated a refurbished car to the Community Renewal Team. The CRT said the vehicle will be used to deliver meals to those in need across the state. "Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for people around the world to come together through generosity and kindness.
To Keep Up with Increased Need in 39 Connecticut Towns, a Bozrah Commissary Gets a Remodel
Eugene Theroux, director of nutrition services for the Thames Valley Council for Community Action, has seen the need for area senior citizens' food access increase over the years. “We have more individuals that are retiring, because of the baby boomers, so as time goes on, that will only increase the number of people that will be in our service as they get older,” Theroux said. This increased need led the organization to revamp its commissary.
Free Weatherization Program to Help Residents Save Money Gets Funding Infusion
As the cold weather moves in and Connecticut braces for soaring home heating costs, a program to help low-income residents save money is getting a huge infusion this year. The recently passed federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill includes $3.5 billion earmarked for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), a federal program administered by the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. This is about 10 times what was allocated last year.