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HARTFORD TO BENEFIT FROM $1.1 MILLION IN GRANT FUNDING FOR JUSTICE-INVOLVED YOUTH IN PROMISE ZONE

HARTFORD TO BENEFIT FROM $1.1 MILLION IN GRANT FUNDING FOR JUSTICE-INVOLVED YOUTH IN PROMISE ZONE

 

HARTFORD, CONN (July 25, 2017) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin announced that Our Piece of the Pie (OPP) will receive $1.1 million from a U.S. Department of Labor Reentry Project grant to help justice-involved youth in the North Hartford Promise Zone successfully re-enter their communities.  National non-profit FHI-360 received the grant from the Department of Labor and chose OPP as an implementing partner.  The total grant is for $4.5 million and it will also fund similar endeavors in Los Angeles and St. Louis.

 

“Young people in Hartford face systemic challenges to successful re-entry, and this grant funding will help 160 of them get the support they need to find work or enroll in school,” said Mayor Bronin.  “We have seen all too clearly in recent weeks that young people who have been through the justice system need the kind of support this grant will provide, because without that support, they are more likely to end up back involved in crime and violence.  Our community is committed to working with these young people, and we need to provide even more resources like this.  Our Piece of the Pie’s deep involvement in youth engagement work and their experience working with justice-involved youth makes them particularly well-suited for this grant.”

 

“This program will provide formerly incarcerated young people with the opportunities to develop themselves so they can live productive lives outside of prison,” said Hector Rivera, Chief Operating Officer of OPP.  “We look forward to working with these young people and to providing them everything we have to offer as they reintegrate into society.”

 

“I am pleased to hear that our North Hartford Promise Zone youth population will be afforded the opportunity to receive services that will aide them in being reintegrated in the workforce environment,” said City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II.  “I applaud the administration for collaborating with OPP to submit a competitive application in the attempt to continue to build up our Promise Zone.”

 

“It’s not enough that we as legislators and elected officials pass state laws and city ordinances supporting Second Chance Society legislation,” said City Councilman James Sanchez.  “We must provide the funding and tools necessary for youth to make the transition away from lives filled with crime and violence.  We must help them change by providing the necessary support for them to change.  This grant does just that.  I look forward to seeing OPP’s success.”

 

In Hartford, OPP will recruit approximately 160 young people ages 18-24 from the Promise Zone to work with.  They will receive legal services, work readiness training, professional development and job placement support, as well as educational services, to help them become self-sufficient.

 

With this grant, FHI-360 is launching the Compass Rose Collaborative, which will include OPP as well as corresponding organizations in Los Angeles and St. Louis.  Through the Collaborative, FHI-360 will provide management, coordination, and technical assistance to help develop and share new and existing tools and approaches between the various implementing partners. 

 

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HARTFORD’S MY BROTHER’S KEEPER ALLIANCE LAUNCHES “100 MENTORS 100 DAYS” CAMPAIGN

HARTFORD’S MY BROTHER’S KEEPER ALLIANCE LAUNCHES “100 MENTORS 100 DAYS” CAMPAIGN

 

HARTFORD, CONN (July 11, 2017) –  Today, Mayor Luke Bronin, Council President TJ Clarke II and members of the Hartford My Brother’s Keeper Alliance launched the “100 Mentors 100 Days” campaign to recruit 100 new mentors for young men and boys of color in Hartford over 100 days.  The campaign will direct anyone interested in becoming a mentor to existing programs run by a number of groups, including but not limited to the Urban League of Greater Hartford, the YMCA of Greater Hartford and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford.

 

Hartford’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is chaired by Hector Rivera, Chief Operating Officer of Our Piece of the Pie and Sam Gray, President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford.  It was re-convened this past April to serve as an organizational hub for ongoing efforts by various community groups to engage and serve young men of color in Hartford.

 

“Hartford’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance re-focused this year, with a strong emphasis on mentorship,” said Mayor Bronin.  “The MBK Alliance is committed to carrying on President Obama’s initiative to engage and support young men of color, and the ‘100 Mentors 100 Days’ campaign is the first step in bringing organizations throughout our community together in a unified effort.  If you’re looking for an important, rewarding way to carry on President Obama’s legacy and strengthen your community right here in Hartford, I encourage you to sign up.”

 

“Mentorship is a great compliment to my work in the legislature,” said State Representative Brandon McGee.  “As a State Representative, I try to expand the opportunities available to the next generation through legislation.  However, it’s not enough for opportunity to simply exist – young people need mentors to awaken them to their own potential.  Mentoring young people is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

 

“I am excited about the MBKA announcement and I'm thankful for the commitments from the Mayor, our co-chairs Sam and Hector, and Rep. McGee to see this campaign to fruition,” said City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II. 

 

“It is imperative that we find ways to bridge the experiences between those adult men of color that are willing to mentor a young person and have a stake in the Hartford community and young men that need someone for advice, guidance, positive role modeling and someone to confide in,” said Hector Rivera. “Young men in our communities are very keen to know who has their best interests in mind! Therefore, we have to show these young men that they are not alone in their journey into adulthood.”

 

Anyone interested in becoming a mentor can sign up here: http://bit.ly/2tH4PTb.  The various programs accepting mentors through this campaign have different eligibility requirements, so interested individuals will be appropriately directed after they have signed up.

 

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CITY OF HARTFORD RETAINS GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP AS RESTRUCTURING COUNSEL

CITY OF HARTFORD RETAINS GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP

AS RESTRUCTURING COUNSEL

 

HARTFORD, CONN (July 6, 2017) –  Today, the City of Hartford announced that it has engaged the law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP to provide legal services as the city evaluates the full range of restructuring options to ensure its long-term fiscal stability.  Greenberg Traurig’s team will be led by Nancy A. Mitchell, one of the Co-Chairs of the firm’s restructuring practice, who has more than 30 years of experience in restructuring and corporate finance.

 

“Nancy Mitchell and the team at Greenberg Traurig have extensive experience in municipal restructuring, and they will be working with us to examine all options for putting the City of Hartford on a sustainable path,” said Mayor Bronin.  “Over the past eighteen months, we have made significant cuts and we continue to pursue aggressive changes in our labor contracts.  We have also advocated for a State budget that puts our cities in a position to be strong and vibrant, for the sake of Connecticut’s economic competitiveness.  We will continue to work closely with our legislators as they work to adopt a responsible State budget.  In the meantime, as we start a new fiscal year without a State budget and with significant uncertainty, we will have the advice and counsel of an experienced and highly respected restructuring firm.”

 

“This is precisely what we need and I support the Mayor’s decision to hire Greenberg Traurig,” said Treasurer Adam Cloud.

 

“Given the fiscal issues facing our state and the fiscal cliff facing our city, we certainly understand the mayor’s administrative decision to engage municipal restructuring experts,” said City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II.  “While we continue to be hopeful that the state government will adopt a budget which provides Hartford with the necessary funding to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of our residents, as responsible stewards, we must carefully review all options.  In doing so, we will examine all available tools in a considered and thoughtful attempt to restructure city government working together as a team with our Mayor and administration.”

 

"Greenberg Traurig is honored to have been asked by the City of Hartford to assist with its restructuring,” said Nancy Mitchell.  “Our team will use our exceptional understanding of both finance and government operations to provide quality legal services and guidance as Hartford seeks to get on sustainable financial footing."

 

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JOURNEY HOME RECEIVES $86,000 GRANT FROM THE MELVILLE CHARITABLE TRUST

JOURNEY HOME RECEIVES $86,000 GRANT FROM THE MELVILLE CHARITABLE TRUST

 

HARTFORD, CONN (July 5, 2017) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin and Journey Home Executive Director Matthew Morgan announced that the Melville Charitable Trust has awarded $86,000 to Journey Home for its operations through June of 2018.  In recent years, the City of Hartford has allocated a similar amount to Journey Home through its annual budget.

 

“Journey Home changes lives every day, and I am deeply gratified that their work will continue thanks to the Melville Charitable Trust,” said Mayor Bronin.  “As the City has had to step back from funding programs we value, local organizations have repeatedly stepped up.  In recent weeks, we’ve announced private funding for the ‘Summer in the City’ event series and the Bushnell Park Carousel.  This is another demonstration of the tremendous commitment and generosity we are fortunate to have in Hartford and in Connecticut.”

 

“Journey Home is delighted and grateful to receive this support from the Melville Charitable Trust.  This grant makes it possible for us to continue our focus on ending homelessness in Greater Hartford in 2017 and 2018.  Systems will be improved, positive changes will be made, and lives will be transformed because of this award.  We are pleased that this grant will fill a gap for this year, but we do continue to have concerns about sustaining this funding going forward.  We appreciate and understand the tight fiscal constraints that are facing the City of Hartford and we have greatly appreciated our partnership with the City over the last several years.  We are grateful for the efforts that the City of Hartford and Mayor Bronin have made to ensure that we are able to secure funding for another year to keep our vital services intact,” said Matthew Morgan.  

 

Morgan continued, adding that, "Housing people who have experienced chronic homelessness is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a wise investment in our future.  Study after study has proven that money spent on supportive housing - housing where subsidies to pay for rent are combined with flexible, voluntary support services - decreases the costs that we would otherwise spend to support them in homeless shelters, hospitals, emergency rooms, jails and prisons."

 

Journey Home’s focus for the past 11 years has been finding creative solutions to ending chronic homelessness.  People who have experienced chronic homelessness have been homeless for long periods of time and are often the most ill and most likely to struggle through the processes to access housing.  Many have languished in the system for years and most are high utilizers of incredibly expensive public services. Working with outstanding partners agencies, the Hartford region has witnessed an almost 50% decrease in chronic homelessness over the past two years.

 

About Journey Home

Journey Home’s mission is to ensure a home for all.  They believe the most powerful way to do that is collectively – by working together with service providers, elected officials, businesses and local communities to end homelessness in Greater Hartford.  They build partnerships and advance innovative solutions to achieve enduring, systemic change.  For more information about Journey Home, please visit their website at www.journeyhomect.org.

 

About The Melville Charitable Trust

The Melville Charitable Trust is the largest foundation in the U.S. exclusively devoted to ending homelessness.  The Trust invests in proven, lasting, and cost-effective solutions that enable people with the least resources and biggest barriers to success to reclaim their lives.  And where solutions have not yet been identified they support exploration and innovation to find the most promising approaches.  The Trust’s grant making dollars are roughly split between efforts to end homelessness in their home state of Connecticut and in creating a better policy environment at the national level.  Since their founding in 1990, they have invested over $140 million in to end homelessness for good. Learn more at melvilletrust.org.

 

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