On Saturday, June 3rd, NeighborWorks America officially kicked off their NeighborWorks Week events around the country. This year's theme is NeighborWorks Works!


NeighborWorks Week is a nationwide celebration of the good that comes out of neighbors working and playing together. Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven and the entire NeighborWorks network are committed to bringing about positive change by improving lives and strengthening communities. NHS is helping residents thrive in New Haven, ensuring that the core needs of individuals are met by listening to our neighbors, no matter their income or professional position, and providing or linking residents to essential services.


This year, NHS of New Haven's volunteer event was themed "NeighborWorks Works for Veterans!"


Staff from both NHS and Save the Sound (a local nonprofit that aims to protect and improve the land, air, and water of Connecticut and the Long Island Sound) came together at the home of veteran, Loreen Lawrence, to make minor repairs and additions which included: sanding and staining a wheelchair ramp at the back of her home, landscaping in the front and backyards, as well as installing an eco-friendly rain barrel, storm drain and rain garden.


We simply cannot thank Kendal Barbery (Save the Sound) and her staff enough! Kendal worked the entire week prior to our kickoff with senior students from Hopkins School in order to prepare the rain garden installation. Kendal was also kind enough to teach the Hopkins Students (and NHS staff) the intricacies of designing and building a system that connects the gutters, rain barrel, storm drain and rain garden. The project will help diminish storm water runoff in the West River and the Long Island Sound and help prevent raw sewage from entering the water system unfiltered. 


At the rear of the home, NHS staff worked diligently on landscaping, as well as performing simple and small repairs to the wheelchair ramp and backyard deck. Staffers also managed to fit in time to stain the deck with a special traction paint.

In 2016, NHS of New Haven celebrated NeighborWorks® Week 2016 with a number of different activities and events during the week. We were thrilled to have the community join us for many of these events! 


Our activities included: 

  • A Bike & Build clean-up event
  • Two workshops offered by our HomeOwnership Center: Pre-Closing Education & Money Management
  • Two hikes offered during CT Trails Day
  • Two meetings of prominent New Haven groups took place on our campus: The New Haven Energy Task Force and the West River Watershed Coalition
  • A tree planting along Sherman Parkway alongside the Urban Resources Initiative 
  • A launch party for the West River Water Festival partners
  • A Garden Workshop on Seed-Swapping, co-hosted by Common Ground and the New Haven Land Trust


NeighborWorks Week culminated on Saturday, June 11th with a series of activities that were attended by NHS staff, board members, and residents. They included: 

  • A walking tour of NHS properties, led by our executive director Jim Paley
  • A street clean-up around one of our properties on 17 Bassett Street
  • An open house and lunch at our property on 17 Bassett Street


We are so grateful for all those who joined us and look forward to another great NeighborWorks Week next year!


This year, NHS of New Haven hosted a special NeighborWorks® Week celebration on Saturday, June 13, in Newhallville! We worked alongside residents to host some amazing volunteers from American Baptist Church, Bike & Build, the Ivy Street Community Garden, and NHS staff. 


We were particularly excited to host volunteers from Bike & Build. Bike & Build organizes cross-country bicycle trips which benefit affordable housing groups. In addition to raising funds for affordable housing projects, Bike & Build garners media and community attention for the affordable housing cause. Bike & Build fosters leadership and lifelong philanthropic service in its participants. This is Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven’s second year hosting volunteers from Bike & Build, who started their adventure in New Haven before biking across the country to Half Moon Bay, California. 


Volunteers worked on landscaping, gardening, community clean-up, and community beautification projects before coming together for a cook-out lunch in the Ivy Street Community Garden. After lunch, NHS Executive Director led volunteers on a tour of Newhallville, focusing on NHS’ recently renovated projects.


The walking tour concluded on Lilac Street, where several new NHS homebuyers gathered for open houses and a ribbon cutting ceremony. Special guests included New Haven’s Mayor Toni Harp, and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.


The day was a wonderful representation of all of the positive activities taking place in Newhallville. We were happy to share a productive day with volunteers, residents, homebuyers, and elected officials!

We celebrated National NeighborWorks Week from June 7-15! During this week, our partner organizations in the NeighborWorks network organized volunteer events within their communities to invoke positive change. During our NeighborWorks Week kickoff event on June 7th, NHS staff, volunteers, and residents did a number of activities in and around the Ivy Street Community Garden in Newhallville. Besides some weeding, hole-digging, table-painting, and other maintenance activities in the garden, we painted an elderly resident's fence, installed artwork from Lincoln-Bassett Elementary School students in what has become a community art wall, and cleaned up litter along the Farmington Canal Trail. We ended the day's activities with a celebratory barbeque! A big thank you to the residents, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers working with PAVE New Haven, and NHS staff that participated!

Saturday, June 1 marked the beginning of this year's NeighborWorks Week. Events for the week entailed a street clean-up on West Division Street, a week's worth of special homebuyer classes and volunteer events with Hopkins High School. 


Saturday morning was a wonderful gathering of NHS staff and West Division Street residents, young and old, working together to clean, dig, and add some beauty to the street. Fortunately we had enough tools to go around! Monday through Thursday, NHS had the pleasure of hosting students from Hopkins High School. For three full days and a final half day, the Community Building and Organizing staff worked with rotating groups of students in their senior year who were ready and eager to give time and labor to help the community before they graduated. It was a rough start with heavy morning rain on Monday, but the students were fearless! One group geared up with plastic bags as ponchos in order to spend time removing litter all along Sherman Avenue. Another group went door to door with flyers containing information from the city’s Urban Resources Initiative to help inform residents on how they can obtain street trees. Fortunately, before long, the rains cleared and students were able to spend time at our future demonstration garden. Currently there is a vacant lot near our office complex that will eventually become an outdoor demonstration area showcasing rain gardens and storm water management techniques. So much progress was made because of the hard work by these Hopkins students! Another project students participated in was some good ol’ painting! Like any rehabilitated, older house, the NHS main building was due for some tender loving care and general maintenance. The students were happy to help us out! Deep cleaning and a couple applications of fresh paint did wonders for one of the entrances to our main office building. 


While our days were active with volunteer efforts, the evenings were similarly busy with various educational classes. New Haven residents gathered each night to hear from our staff at the HomeOwnership Center to learn tips and valuable information related to becoming a homeowner. One night was dedicated to providing current homeowners with strategies on home maintenance. Another night was devoted to a special Spanish version of our Financial Fitness class. Additionally, an 8-hour homebuyer class on Saturday included a surprise cookout for lunch! 


Finally, to end our resident-focused week, we held a wonderful Pancake Breakfast for NHS HomeOwners. Homeowners from NHS’ past and present met and shared stories with each other and NHS staff. This first annual event is one we definitely look forward to continuing!

In June 2012, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven focused its attention on West Division Street in Newhallville for its NeighborWorks® Week activities.  Not only did we sponsor a clean-up of the block, but we set the bases for new lamp posts on the street for two more homeowners.  We trimmed trees, cut grass in the tree belts, and spent time engaging neighborhood residents.  Volunteers were rewarded with a tasty barbecue that followed everyone’s hard work.  Most impressive of all, however, was the changing perceptions of residents on the block who have become extremely upbeat about the transformation of West Division Street!