203 Main Street
300 Plaza Middlesex
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203 Main Street
300 Plaza Middlesex
Middletown, CT 06457

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State Assistance, Tips Available To Help Handle High Heat Bills

There are some lingering signs of summer, but behind them, fall is here. Soon, Connecticut will have the inevitable frigid nights, and it will be time to turn on the heat. The National Energy Assistance Directors Association predicts heating a home could cost up to 30% more this year due to economic recovery from the pandemic. The winter months can mean a freeze on spending for Jalissa Banks, whose apartment does not equate to a smaller energy bill.

Hartford Artist Paints Mural Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Other Female Leaders

State and local officials honored the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) and other female leaders at the Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford. If you’ve been to Market Street recently, you’ve likely seen some recognizable female faces on a wall. “Former First Lady Michelle Obama, first Latina Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, we’re looking at the ‘notorious’ RBG, we’re looking at Ella Grasso, who was the first elected governor in Connecticut and the U.S."
NOI Farm (1)

New Opportunities Opens Hydroponic Farm in Torrington

Ten years ago, New Opportunities President and CEO Dr. James H. Gatling wanted to fund his organization in a sustainable way, with less dependence on grants and donations, which were dropping off. His first brainstorm was to build a fish farm. That idea evolved into a hydroponic farm for herbs and greenhouse vegetables. Finding the right location took time, and brought the agency to Torrington where Gatling set his sights on a plot of land on Technology Park Drive.
Home Heater

Connecticut’s Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs Ended. Here’s Where You Can Still Get Help.

For Lee Carenza, the state moratorium on utilities shutoffs was important for as long as it lasted, helping people who lost their jobs or were furloughed. “It got them through to where people are back to work for the most part and able to meet their needs,” said Carenza, director of community services for Thames Valley Council for Community Action (TVCCA). Carenza said his organization has taken in over 2,155 applications since Aug. 1.
Alliance Early Learning Ribbon Cutting

Alliance For Community Empowerment cuts ribbon in Bridgeport’s East End

An anti-poverty agency is making critical services like rental and utility assistance available to residents of Bridgeport's East End. Alliance for Community Empowerment held the ribbon-cutting at their newest facility on Stratford Avenue and Carroll Avenue in the East End of Bridgeport today. For the first time ever, the agency will be making critical services available - everything from energy, rental, and utility assistance to COVID shots and help finding jobs.
Heating Assistance

Community Action Agencies Now Accepting Energy and Heating Assistance Applications

The Connecticut Community Action Agency (CAA) Network is now accepting energy assistance applications for the 2021-2022 heating season. Connecticut residents who need assistance paying their utility bills and primary heating costs can apply for energy assistance at their local CAA. Community Action Agencies are the only nonprofit agencies administering the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in all 169 cities and towns.

Opinion: The action in Community Action Month

They say it takes a village to raise a child. What does that mean, exactly? That their community interacts with and supports them, which is crucial in helping that child grow in a safe and healthy environment. As a little girl in the Head Start program run by my local Community Action Agency, I had no way of knowing just how true this is — and how it would come to shape the trajectory of my life.

Valley Residents Detail Housing Troubles During Team Inc Forum

Valley leaders from all walks of life, from caretakers and clergy to school superintendents and state lawmakers, have joined forces to help people find safe and affordable housing here. TEAM Inc., the Valley’s nonprofit human services agency, hosted a virtual housing forum March 30 via Zoom, which was then posted on YouTube. The forum is posted at the top of this story. The forum drew more than 70 people, and included often heartbreaking input from tenants living in public housing.

Rybczyk fills shoes of CEO at New Opportunities, Inc.

There’s a new opportunity for William Rybczyk. After spending his entire professional career at New Opportunities, Inc., Rybczyk was tapped to replace James Gatling, who retired last week after decades as the social service organization’s president and CEO. “There’s no replacing Gatling,” Rybczyk said. “You don’t just walk in and replicate 42 years of experience and the legacy that he’s had. What you can do, is gain what you’ve learned during that time.” He said he worked directly with Gatling for the past...

After spending 42 years helping those less fortunate, New Opportunities CEO retires

Sometimes, James Gatling said, you think you know what you want to do with your life, but life has different plans. “I went to college, I studied and I became a chemist,” he said. “Sometimes you find out what you’re supposed to do in life and if you listen to that inner voice, you find out you’re in the right place.” Gatling, 73, stayed in the “right place” – New Opportunities of Waterbury, Inc. – for 42 years.
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