Saturday, November 1, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

Trying to make the grass greener on the other side?

by Kayla Katt | September 24, 2014

While walking to class, I don’t appreciate getting wet from the sprinklers. I also dislike having to dodge the giant puddles in the walkways that the sprinklers make. Sprinklers should be used to water grass, not the concrete and especially not me.

Kayla-bw

The placement of the sprinklers boggles my mind. It’s as if the University of New Haven is trying to water both sides of the grass with one sprinkler; however this isn’t the case, because there are sprinklers on each side of the sidewalk. So why are they placed so close to the edge of the grass?

Something else that annoys me about this situation are the sprinklers on the grass behind Bixler. They are right in front of the windows on the first floor. What if residents have their windows open—wouldn’t the water get in through the windows?

The sprinklers by Bixler and Soundview aren’t the only annoying ones. The sprinklers by the library also water the walkway too, as if they are trying to reach the grass on the other side of the walkway—but again, they aren’t because there is already a sprinkler on that side, also watering the walkway. If the sprinklers are on when leaving the library, you are trapped. No matter which way you go, there is a sprinkler that is watering the concrete all the way down the walkways until you reach Buckman, down the stairs, or Gerhing Hall.

Lastly, UNH, it is not necessary to water the grass when it’s supposed to rain—or when it actually is raining. I know you want the grass to look good but the sky will take care of it for you for that one day. I’m not huge on the whole water conservation thing, but I’m pretty sure that watering your grass when it is raining is frowned upon. There’s also such a thing as overwatering grass; because of the constant watering, the grass gets muddy and swampy.

Photo from Twitter, where the Tweet read, “I was confused,  I thought this was UNH when they tried to ‘water the grass.’”

Photo from Twitter, where the Tweet read, “I was confused, I thought this was UNH when they tried to ‘water the grass.’”

On that note, my advice to you, UNH, is to not water your grass in the rain. Most importantly, when you “water the grass,” actually water the grass.

President’s Public Service Fellowship Presentations

by Samantha Higgins | September 16, 2014

The sixteenth year of the President’s Public Service Fellowship at the University of New Haven came to an end Friday Sept 5.

Over the course of 11 weeks, 11 UNH students of various majors were placed at different non-profit organizations in New Haven and West Haven for the fellowship. These organizations included the West Haven Mayor’s office, the Probate Court, New Haven Reads, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services and the Children’s museum, among others.

Dean Johnson says that they “normally place students outside of their comfort zone to provide them with an experience they might not normally seek for themselves.”

Because of this, every year there are fellows that think about exploring a different career path because of their experiences.

The fellows not only worked full time in their community but also focused on university competency journals, attended weekly dinners at various cultural restaurants in the area and attended many events, including the Arts and Ideas festival, a hike up the Sleeping Giant and the Savin Rock Festival.

In conclusion of their time at their placement sites, each fellow did a short presentation that included what their placement site contributes to the community, what their daily responsibilities were, what skills they gained or strengthened, what they learned and how they grew from the experience. Among the audience was President Kaplan, Phil and Susan Bartels, Mayor O’ Brien, Dr. Henry Lee, numerous other faculty, as well as supervisors from the placement sites.

Dean Johnson and Professor Marty O’Connor worked with the fellows throughout the summer. Johnson and O’Connor were heavily involved, doing everything from attending the weekly dinners to reading the journal prompts the fellows were assigned, and asking everyone about their experiences at their placements.

Graduate Assistant Maxine Swick was the coordinator of the program under Johnson and O’Connor and, in addition to her daily tasks, she organized the events the fellows attended.

The program is funded by the Bartels family. Phil Bartels thinks the opportunity is beneficial to the development of the students and that the 2014 fellows became more flexible in dealing with situations properly and handling different people and personalities.

The fellows gained skills that will be useful to them in future careers. These skills included communication, the ability to express themselves orally and increased self-confidence, teamwork and leadership skills, and adaptability.

Swick believes the program helps prepare the fellows for their future careers because it is “showing undergraduate students what it is like in the world after school and working full time.” The fellowship gives students an experience that includes working full time, having to make their own meals, finding their way to and from work each day and being able to learn how to balance a work and social life.

Stephen Shepard, a junior fellow, described his summer as “transformative in so many ways.” His placement was the Connecticut Yankee Council Boy Scouts of America, and while being the first fellows from UNH to be placed there, he showed them just how hard UNH fellows work.

Shepard had an important role, learning the management of a non-profit and the organization of Scouting; he also had roles of Den Leader and Scout Skills instructor at day camps around the state, but his main job was creating a curriculum for a STEM- based Cub Scout summer day camp.

He says that pioneering the relationship between UNH and the Connecticut Yankee Council was “scary but exciting.” Shepard intends to continue being involved, just as many other fellows plan to continue their involvement at their placements.

The overall consensus was that the 2014 fellows did a great job representing the university and gained a broader view of the world.

Phil Bartels says that they are “darn lucky” for “the opportunity to do something they have never done before, and maybe never will again.”

“The Fellowship is one of my favorite programs at UNH as it enables me to get to know a diverse group of students well and watch them grow and learn over an eleven week period,” said Johnson.

No. 10/11 West Chester Holds off Chargers, 35-30, in Season Opener at DellaCamera Stadium

by Charger Athletics | September 10, 2014

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Before a crowd of 3,291 fans at Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium, the University of New Haven football team was edged in its season opener, 35-30, by No. 10/11 nationally-ranked West Chester. Joey Bradley (Issaquah, Wash./Issaquah / University of North Dakota) went 32-for-48 for 311 yards with one touchdown in addition to a rushing touchdown in his first career start for the Chargers. The outing marked the first game at the helm for Head Coach Chris Pincince.

Chargers score a touchdown!  (Photo by Erica Naugle / Charger Bulletin Photo)

Chargers score a touchdown! (Photo by Erica Naugle / Charger Bulletin Photo)

Following the narrow defeat, the Blue and Gold start the 2014 campaign at 0-1. West Chester, which reached the NCAA National Semifinals last season and is picked by the conference’s coaches to win the PSAC East this fall, moves to 1-0. The Chargers maintain an 8-6-1 lead in the all-time series. Today’s contest was the ninth meeting between the two clubs to be decided by one possession (eight points or fewer).

The game also featured a 75-minute weather delay at the tail end of the third quarter as a severe storm passed through New Haven County.

Bradley’s 32 completions and 48 passing attempts are the most by a New Haven quarterback since Ryan Osiecki went 37-for-61 at Southern Connecticut State on Oct. 2, 2009. DeeJay White (Brooklyn, N.Y./Sheepshead Bay / Bowling Green State University) was the recipient of seven balls for 83 yards, while Henry Adegunle (Rockaway, N.Y./Channel View) reeled in six passes for 54 yards and a score. Also on the outside, Ty Headen (Newark, N.J./American History) snagged five passes of 44 yards.

Brandon Fowler (Prospect, Conn./Woodland Regional / Connecticut) added three receptions, and Isaiah Austin (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) and Roshawn Wilson (Miami, Fla./Miami Southridge) each caught two. Rounding out the action for the receiving corps was Courtney Moshood (Miami, Fla./Miami Palmetto) with a 16-yard catch.

Out of the backfield, Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) and Trevor Officer (Monroe, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury) had three grabs apiece for 34 and 30 yards, respectively. Officer was New Haven’s leading rusher with 42 yards and a touchdown, while Anderson picked up 32 yards and a score on the ground and Moshood scampered for 14 yards on an end around.

Defensively, three players making their New Haven debuts led the way. Matt Zakrzewski (Traverse City, Mich./Saint Francis / Indiana) made a team-best 10 tackles to go along with a fumble forced and recovered. Tarik Pusey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln / Rhode Island) also pounced on a pivotal fumble in the fourth quarter, and Matt Olivo (Carteret, N.J./Saint Joseph) reeled in an interception.

Tyler Condit (Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) added eight tackles from the linebacker position, and Dave Calderon (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) picked up a sack.

For West Chester, quarterback Sean McCartney went 17-for-31 for 262 yards with four touchdowns to four different receivers. The Golden Rams’ defense was led by D2Football.com Preseason All-America Al-Hajj Shabazz, who had an interception, recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown and later blocked a second punt.

The Golden Rams got on the board first, opening a fast-paced first half with a six-play, 84-yard touchdown drive. McCartney hit Mike Doty with a 38-yard strike to stake the visitors to a 7-0 advantage.

The Chargers responded in kind with an eight-play, 61-yard march to paydirt. A Bradley screen to Anderson for 26 yards was the big play on the drive, which ended with Bradley sneaking the ball over the line from one yard out.

After New Haven came away with the first defensive stop of the contest, the Blue and Gold scored again for the first of six lead changes in the game. The Chargers stormed into the red zone once again but, after a holding call erased a touchdown, settled for three points as Anthony Greenfield (Bloomfield, N.J./Paramus Catholic / Wagner) split the uprights on a 32-yard field goal to put the Blue and Gold on top, 10-7, with 5:03 to play in the opening quarter.

Olivo’s interception squashed the ensuing West Chester drive, but New Haven went three-and-out on its next possession and the snap on the punt attempt sailed over Greenfield’s head to put the Golden Rams in business at the New Haven eight-yard line as the first quarter expired.

After the squads moved to the other end of the field, McCartney connected with Shawn Driggins for a four-yard touchdown to put the visitors back in front, 14-10.

Each offense would stall in its next three possessions before New Haven took the lead once again. This time the drive consumed 3:34, spanning 10 plays and 80 yards, as the Chargers picked up five first downs through the air before Anderson finished off the march on the ground from three yards out. The Chargers did not convert the extra point but remained in front, 16-14.

West Chester would take a lead into the locker room, however, as McCartney hit Tim Brown with a 31-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the half. At the whistle, the visitors held a 21-16 advantage.

New Haven went three-and-out to open the second half, and West Chester’s Jeremy Irving broke through the line and blocked the ensuing punt from the Chargers’ end zone. Shabazz fell on the loose ball and, following the extra point, West Chester held the contest’s largest lead at 28-16.

The Chargers were undaunted by the special teams miscue, as they immediately set off on a 75-yard drive to paydirt. Bradley completed his final five passing attempts of the march, capped by a 29-yard hookup with Adegunle for a touchdown.

West Chester appeared poised to return the favor, as a McCartney scrambled would have set the Golden Rams up with a first down inside the red zone. However, Zakrzewski stripped the ball from the West Chester signal caller and recovered it to give possession back to the Blue and Gold.

The New Haven offense capitalized on the turnover, as well as an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the visitors at the end of the possession change. The Chargers would benefit from a second unsportsmanlike conduct flag and a 15-yard pass interference call on the march, capped by a three-yard plunge from Officer. After the extra point, New Haven grabbed a 30-28 lead with 2:41 to go in the third quarter.

The Golden Rams responded quickly on their next drive as a 44-yard McCartney bomb to Erick Brundidge put West Chester back in front, 35-30, with 21 seconds left in the third quarter.

At that point, inclement weather halted the contest for 75 minutes.

Neither team would score again when action resumed, but the final 15 minutes of play were not lacking for drama. The period began with a Shabazz interception, but New Haven held on third-and-two from midfield to regain possession.

The Golden Rams, however, would get a stop and blocked another punt – this time with Shabazz getting his mitts on the ball – to set themselves up with a first down at the New Haven 21-yard line. West Chester would surge to a first-and-goal situation at the two-yard line before a big goal-line stand for the Chargers.

The defensive line stepped up to stifle Eddie Elliott in the backfield for a loss of three and, on the next play, Pusey jumped on an Adam Dempsey fumble to give New Haven another chance on offense.

The New Haven offense marched back down the field with 6:35 left and 94 yards away from paydirt.  Bradley would connect on four straight passes to move toward midfield, but the Chargers soon faced a fourth-and-eight situation at their own 45-yard line. Adegunle was unable to haul in a ball dropped in between a trio of West Chester defenders, and the visitors reclaimed possession on downs.

The Chargers defense would hold on the next drive, using their timeouts and forcing a punt. The boot off the foot of Rich Bruno settled again at the six-yard line, forcing New Haven to once again drive 94 yards – and this time with just 69 seconds to play.

A series of short completions moved the Blue and Gold as far as their own 32-yard line before Drew Formica came up with a strip and recovery to end the drive with just 28 ticks left. West Chester took one snap in victory formation to escape DellaCamera Stadium with a 35-30 decision.

The Chargers return to the gridiron next Saturday, Sept. 13 to open the Northeast-10 Conference slate at LIU Post. The Pioneers also stand at 0-1 after ceding 20 unanswered points to fall to East Stroudsburg, 43-35, in their home and season opener this afternoon.

New Haven returns to the Blue and Gold turf on the following Saturday, Sept. 20, to welcome Assumption for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

The Game Changer

by Jenn Harrington | October 23, 2013

Candidates in West Haven’s Mayoral Race Debate on Current Issue

Elections for the office of Mayor in West Haven are less than a month away, and in preparation for polling, all three candidates took time out of their Wednesday night to meet at Carrigan Middle School to debate their ideas on the future of our city.

The line-up for November includes Edward O’Brien (D), Bart Chadderton (R), and incumbent John Picard (write-in). Each candidate sat on stage of the Carrigan Middle School auditorium, waiting for questions to be verified and attendees to find their seats. Each prepped with notes and talked to supporters to ease nerves.

The crowd was smaller, filling only a third of the room, but each West Haven resident was eager to hear what the candidates had to say. Former University of New Haven Professor, Gary Fetzer, hosted the debate leading in the evening stating that all questions were submitted by audience members and were verified for validity beforehand.

A hush fell over the auditorium and ears began to lean forward in an effort to hear which candidate chose the best response toward solving current issues that city residents find most imperative. If politics is a game, then a debate is the defining play on the field. Each candidate rotated turns in answering the proposed questions and followed with a 60 second rebuttal.

First question: What makes you qualified?

Picard started off in round one stating his experience, education, and ability to lead are qualities that make him the right fit for reelection. He went on to discuss local accomplishments in West Haven through job creation and tax revenue. O’Brien worked off his message of being born and raised in our city holding the qualities of honesty and integrity.

Chadderton, who began on a slightly different tone, referenced a recent article published in the New Haven Register regarding dirty politics and a feeling of being personally attacked. To keep in tow with tone, he also brought forward the lack of financial stability and the cities position of worst bond rating.

As questions continued each candidate stuck with a theme. Picard chose accomplishments to highlight success of the future, O’Brien pushed forward economic development on a large scale, and Chadderton ensured he would work on city finances and “get ducks lined up in a row.”

Through the debate as Chadderton worked to promote his platform ideas, a heated banter occurred through rebuttal with O’Brien and Picard. The idea of economic development was in discussion.

Picard promptly praised the planned addition of a CVS for providing 35 new jobs. O’Brien refuted that economic development is not a CVS or deli in an effort to provide examples of small-business, but what is needed is the addition of big business and large-scale developing.

Picard hit strong in his rebuttal. “Small business is the backbone of the country,” said Picard, “they account for 75% of jobs.” A round of applause resonated in the crowd.

O’Brien stood by his notion that big-business will bring in revenue, create more jobs, and provide for a friendlier city.

Chadderton resonated that “money is everything.” Finances are at the top of his priority list. “Take care of the money first.” Once that is handled then the city can work on spending in the right direction to balance the budget and get the city out of debt.

Another hot topic on the floor was Education; where funding should be placed and what changes could be made.

Don’t spend on structure; money can be used for resources. Books are old and classes are decrepit stated O’Brien. “We need to do better with what we have.”

Chadderton reminded the audience that grades and test scores are low. There isn’t a need for more money to be pumped in, but for it to be redirected and for the leadership in schools to become stronger.

Picard chose to show the positives on West Haven education. He mentioned the University’s initiative to provide scholarships for local students and said that more support through resources and lobbying can help the local education system.

Other topics in debate included zoning in Allingtown, high-end versus affordable housing, the asphalt plant, and consolidation of fire departments.

Each candidate was given the opportunity for a few final words. Chadderton’s closing remarks reiterated his fury at allegations from the Register article he mentioned in opening and stated that this is the example of a need for checks and balances.

Picard continued to delight on all of the great accomplishments the city has seen thus far. O’Brien revisited economic development and stated that the city needs to get a handle on its quality of life.

The evening closed with an overall feeling of interest in seeing the election results. Each candidate gave effort for their platforms, but the debate was one that provided for residents to hear how their political leaders think. Will our city have the right man in place? Only time will tell.

The debate was sponsored by the West Haven Chamber of Commerce, and updates on the West Haven Mayoral Race can be found online

Ra Ra Riot Ra Ra Rocked It

by Nicolas Weilmann | October 16, 2013

On Saturday, Oct. 12, I went to go see the Baroque Pop/Electronic Indie band Ra Ra Riot at the Center Church on The Green, located on Temple Street in downtown New Haven.

Photo by Elissa Sanci

Photo by Elissa Sanci

Having seen them twice already, I knew it would be a great show, but I had no idea how it could be any different than the other two times. As soon as I entered the church, I realize how unique the venue was. The Center Church was established in New Haven as a Puritan church in 1638, and even though it has been restored many times since then, it still looks very antique on the inside. Because of this, I was shocked when I realized that there would be a rock show right where the priest gives his sermons.It turns out that the congregation rents the church out many nights a year for various concerts. Even though the tickets are general admission, there was no standing room, and everyone had a seat in the pews. This sounds like an odd way to give a concert, but if you can imagine standing for about four hours straight, you’ll start to change your mind.

Two bands opened for Ra Ra Riot on this leg of their Fall Tour. The first band was Cayucas, an indie band that was formed by two twin brothers, Zach and Ben Yudin in Santa Monica, California. The second band was Caveman, who, regardless of their rugged stage presence, put on a fantastic show. Both bands did an amazing job at warming up the crowd and getting everyone pumped up for the headliners. By the end of both openers sets, the crowd was on their feet.

Like most churches, synagogues and temples, the Center Church had incredible acoustics. Good acoustics are needed in churches, because before the microphone was invented, it was necessary for everyone in the congregation to be able to hear the priest well. The acoustics of the church allowed the sound from all the speakers to be distributed perfectly among everyone, so the back row heard the band just as well as the front row did. Each band had their own sound engineer, which is a great advantage since every band is different, and engineers who know the band will know how to better design their sound.

Ra Ra Riot always had a great stage presence. The bassist, Mathieu Santos, always has a smile on his face. The singer, Wes Miles, hits spectacular high notes as if it was sampled straight from the album. That’s one of the things that are so great about Ra Ra Riot’s live performances. They are masters at reproducing the sound that they have on their studio albums, which is something very difficult to do when the vocals are in such a high pitch range. Most vocalists have to either change the key of their songs or just sing in a different register to be able to sound good live. Miles never disappoints the audience with his vibrant vocals.

Even though they only have three studio albums, Ra Ra Riot includes a balanced combination of songs from their first two Baroque Pop albums and their third album, Beta Love, which marked a change in direction in the band from Baroque Pop to Electronic Indie. They always do a good job in regards of pleasing both their new and old fans.

The live show has always been fun. They manage to play their music well, keep the audience captivated, and run around stage, keeping things fun all at the same time. Throughout their years of performing live this has always been a constant; however, this tour included something new.

Along with a great stage presence, they added an awesome lighting program. These last shows included lighting design that Ra Ra Riot hasn’t really implemented in previous tours. Multiple triggers such as the bass drum, snare drum, or certain vocal melodies cause certain light patterns to be seen by the audience. Instead of having regular lights hanging from the ceiling, the band had many thin cylinders surrounding the stage, which gave it a very fun yet minimalistic stage setup.

After the show was over, I stayed behind after everyone left, hoping to meet the band. One of my favorite things about Ra Ra Riot is that since they are not as well known as other artists, they are a lot more modest and down to earth. I met all of the members of the band, and I was able to talk to them both as a fan and as a musician. I talked to Mat (the bassist) about techniques that we had in common, along with ones that we didn’t share.

I’ve met many other well-known musicians and I’ve never felt like I’ve been able to connect with them on the level that I connected with the members of Ra Ra Riot. They have a great stage presence, they have a great sound, and they keep the audience entertained from the time they start, till their last song, so I would highly recommend seeing this band live to anyone interested in the indie music scene.

Community Resilience Program

by Samantha Mathewson | March 13, 2013

In wake of all the tragedies schools have faced, whether it be close to home such as Newtown, or farther and in the past like the Virginia Tech shooting, New Haven feels the effects and plans to act now to better protect themselves for the future.

A metal detector does not provide enough security, nor does it provide the feeling of trust or safety in schools. The solution is not to have armed personnel around every corner waiting for someone to open fire; however, the community is taking a step towards stopping violence with a new Community Resilience Program for the current generation of students.

The program was announced Monday, March 4, and will be built off of already existing support programs, such as Boost! and Alive (Animating Learning by Integrating and Validating Experience) that have been rolled out through the city’s schools.

“The program seeks to screen all students for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), create a New Haven Trauma Coalition to oversee the strategy, a citywide campaign to educate the public on mental health and childhood trauma, and continue efforts to support families,” said Mayor John DeStefano Jr. to the New Haven Register, when the program was announced.

This “proposed expansion of set of interventions,” will be available to every public school student. Healthy development of children is necessary for them to thrive in schools. Trauma has led students to a life of violence, incarceration and or development problems.

According to an article in the New Haven Register, “City officials cited a pilot program administered to kindergarteners in the Strong School. According to the pilot, 90 percent of kindergarteners reported some kind of ACE, though only 23 percent were displaying symptoms.”

State Sen. Toni Harp, co-chairwoman of the Mental Health Working Group of the Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety, said that up until now, it has been ignored that violence is a public health issue. “Now is the time, and Connecticut is probably the most appropriate place to make a stand for non-violence and enhance public policy. Violence is an epidemic. It is a public health epidemic,” she said.

For this new Community Resilience Program to work, there will be annual screenings preformed on every student, numerous intervention programs, crisis teams established, advancements of mental health services, and the ultimate challenge of spreading awareness.

All the costs of the efforts made to support the new program add up. A total of $70,000 was requested to hire one new staff member, $4.7 million to expand intervention services at each school, $1.3 million for technical assistance and training, and approximately $450,000 to raise awareness through campaigns to inform the public.

Boost!, The United Way of Greater New Haven, the New Haven MOMS partnership, Clifford Beers Clinic, the Foundation for Arts and Trauma, New Haven Public Schools, the city, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Comer School Development Program, the Yale Child Study Center and the New Haven Family Alliance are programs included in the entire collation.

“By addressing the needs of our children when they are young, we can ensure we have healthy happy and productive lives down the road,” Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo said.

However, while the schools and the community want to do all they can, a citizen commented on the article released in the New Haven Register regarding the new program and asked, “Meanwhile, what are the parents doing? Isn’t it like part of their job in raising children to install good character?”

So the question remains, will this new program work? Or is there more they can do?

 

College of Crime Fighting

by Katerina Sperl | February 14, 2013

The education level of police is constantly changing. A couple of decades ago, few police officers ever attended college. Today, the large amounts of criminal justice majors contribute to having more disciplined, obedient units. What is in the future for pushing education levels even higher?

New Haven now has the answer. The New Haven Police Department has teamed up with the University of New Haven and Yale University to create a college that will give the department even more tools to do their job. This summer, 50 police chiefs and hopeful executive officers will attend the first session of the “Command College.” While an entire department does not have time for the training, training the heads will hopefully transfer the knowledge down to other officers.

The focus of the program, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, is to apply the academics to real-life situations. John DeCarlo, who will serve as the primary investigator, pointed out that there is “no mandatory certification program specifically for police chiefs.” Well, now there is!

Connecticut is taking the opportunity to be a role model for police departments around the country. The goal is that other states will take up similar programs, making policing even more effective with the right education. This program will also emphasize the same goal that the New Haven Police Department emphasizes: community policing.

 

Shelter Believes Help from Churches could “Rid” City of Homelessness

by Sara J Dufort | November 28, 2012

In any city, there are citizens that are homeless and looking for a place to stay warm during the coldest months of the year. It is a problem that plagues every urban area, as there is never enough space or beds to accommodate all those who are suffering from severe poverty.

In New Haven, one shelter is trying to change this by encouraging local churches to increase their support of shelters, and perhaps incorporate their own shelter as a part of their mission.

Emergency Shelter Management Services Inc., previously known as Immanuel Baptist Shelter, is the oldest and largest black church in New Haven and believes that it is their spiritual and moral duty to lend a giving hand to those who are poor and disadvantaged.

“Our shelter is the only black shelter in the city, and at last count, there are 44 shelters in the state,” executive director Holmes said. “We have to raise $30,000 each year to keep our contract with the city to make sure we do our part with assisting the homeless population.”

The problem is that one shelter is not going to be able to house all those that are homeless. In 2011, New Haven had more than 600 people who identified themselves as homeless, including 251 school-aged children. While there is another overflow shelter operated by the Columbus House, it still only has a capacity of 75 people.

While Emergency Shelter Management Services believes that churches need to do more to address the problem of homelessness in New Haven, other churches, including mosques and Islamic centers, are acting within their means to address the crisis.

“This time of year we do collect food and we donate to the local food banks, and because we are so visible within the community, folk come to our church and we provide whatever food or assistance we can,” said Jean Bowen, chairperson of the Deacon Board at Dixwell Congregation United Church of Christ. While they are seriously thinking about opening their own shelter, they said that sometimes finances do not permit them to do so.

Other churches and mosques are also having these problems. President of the board at Masjid Al-Islam on George Street said that they have been working with the Columbus House for over 25 years by donating coats, hats and gloves, but he also stated that they do not have the resources to provide shelter. This mosque is not the only one that is suffering from a financial burden, and many other churches also indicated that while they try to provide for the homeless, they do not have the means to give them shelter.

However, due the mounting problem of homelessness in New Haven, the city has collaborated with more than 12 churches to start a program called “Abraham’s Tent.” This will allow the churches to host up to 25 people for a week instead of indefinitely. This will be less of a financial burden on the churches, but still allow them to help those who are homeless. In addition, one church leader said, “I’m open to make that connection with the shelter and provide any assistance that’s needed.” He added, “Awareness and open dialogue is key for all of us to aid the needs of the entire community life.”

In the coming winter months, Marshall Brooks stated that three city-funded shelters would be operational. This includes Emergency Management System, Life Haven, and Martha’s Place. Life Haven is a shelter for homeless, pregnant women and women with young children. They have the capacity to serve 20 families at a time. In addition, Martha’s place is a shelter for 24 single women with children under the age of 18. They have a minimum 60-day initial stay that can be extended up to five months if needed.

In addition to the homeless adults, the 251 schoolchildren that are homeless also need help. Susan Weisselberg, director of wraparound services for the school district, said support services that address needs of homeless children are offered through a partnership with New Haven Home Recovery. Those services include making sure they have access to meals, school supplies, clothing or a school uniform. “No child should have to experience what it’s like to be without a home or to come to school hungry,” she said.

While homelessness is a serious problem in New Haven, local churches and organizations are doing all that they can to rid the city of this problem. With additional churches doing their best to help others, there is no doubt that this goal could one day be accomplished.

 

New Haven Fed Up With Violence in the City

by Lesha Daley | October 24, 2012

New Haven residents are outraged with the escalating violent activity that is happening in their neighborhoods every day.

The recent shooting of a toddler in the middle of the afternoon has infuriated the city’s citizens, especially those living in the neighborhood of Edgewood and Kensington Avenue. Fortunately, 18-month-old Tramire Miller survived the shooting and is currently doing better.

Violence in New Haven has not just become an issue, however the drive-by shooting that almost cost a child his life has put the city in a recent state of panic. Miller’s shooting is a prime example of how the innocent can be unnecessarily affected gang violence. Area residents have also complained of other fowl play which they believe leads to the large homicide count.

Residents are happy that Miller’s shooters have been arrested, but are still furious about how the violence has gotten out of control and want to take measures to improve safety their neighborhoods. Communities reach out to the police, anti-violence groups such as Ice the Beef, and public officials such as Mayor John DeStefano and Alderman Frank Douglas for support in helping to keep their city safe. Alderman Frank Douglas suggests that a community center should be opened, such as the former Dixwell Q House, as place that gives the youth refuge from the streets.

Since the shooting, the violence has only gotten worse with retaliation attempts. New Haven police officers are patrolling the area as a safety precaution in hopes to help de-escalate the hostility. Volunteers and outreach workers have gone through the high-crime activity neighborhood and encourage residents not to react violently.

Keeping the neighborhoods safe is an ongoing process that requires all community occupants’ participation. Residents must report any seen violent activity that could possibly lead to other shootings and homicides, as a step to fight against violence.

Walking For a Cure

by Cara Petitti | October 10, 2012

Thousands arrived at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven last Sunday, Sept. 30, to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease. The New Haven walk, along with numerous other walks throughout Connecticut, marked the close of Alzheimer’s disease Awareness month.

Walkers were encouraged to plant artificial flowers in the sand, with the color of each flower corresponding to the walker’s relationship to Alzheimer’s disease.

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to “eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.”

The Alzheimer’s walks began in 1989 when nine chapters around the United States raised $149,000 for the cause. Last year, 650 walks took place, raising over $4.5 million dollars. Numbers were expected to improve for the 2012 walk season.

The New Haven event opened at 9 a.m. for team and participant registration. Starbucks, in addition to other local organizations, donated refreshments. Raffle tickets were also sold for a variety of themed prize baskets. However, despite the excitement seen in the faces of walker’s and Alzheimer’s Association volunteers alike, no one could forget why they were all there: to find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Through the building of the “Promise Garden,” a staple for the Alzheimer’s walk, it was clear that many participants had different reasons for being there. To build the “Promise Garden,” walkers were encouraged to plant artificial flowers in the sand, with the color of each flower corresponding to the walker’s relationship to Alzheimer’s disease. Blue flowers indicated that the walker was living with the disease. Orange flowers represented those who were caregivers to a person with Alzheimer’s. Purple stood for those who had lost someone to the illness, and yellow symbolized those there to give their support to the cause. Their promise? To find a cure.

Brittany Langer, a participant in New Haven’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease, planted her purple flower in the sand near the waterfront. Langer, 21, is a native to the southern Connecticut area and an active volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association. “Both of my grandmothers had it,” she explains, “and they both lost their battle.”

She explained the debilitating disease not only affects the people suffering with it, but their families as well. This experience drove her to get involved with the Connecticut chapter headquartered in Hartford.

As a volunteer, Langer gained valuable experience in planning and advertising the event. “People think that it magically all comes together, but in reality we have to make a lot of sponsorship phone calls. We have to recruit team members, and get people to register team captains and put out flyers.”

The New Haven Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease raised nearly $185,000 dollars in donations, but the association expects that number to keep growing. “People can keep donating until November 30,” Langer stated. She hopes the next two months will bring the New Haven Walk over its goal of $202,000 dollars.

Although the New Haven event has passed, there are still opportunities for those interested to lend their support for the cause. The Southport Racquet Club will be hosting a 5k race on Nov. 3, with all of the proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association. More information can be obtained at www.southportracquetclub.com.

Nearly 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer ’s disease. It is the “sixth-leading cause of death,” and cannot be “prevented, cured, or even slowed.” As seen in the “Promise Garden,” not all people affected by the disease suffer from it. Many have lost a family member, or currently care for those affected. The aim of The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is to end the suffering. The organization encourages people to get involved, as volunteers, like Langer, are the backbone of this effort.

“I wanted to be active in an organization that would be working to find a cure. That was the Alzheimer’s Association,” she said.

For more information about events and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.alz.org.

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