When I became the Executive Director of Liberty Community Services over 6 years ago, someone described the organization to me as "one of the most complex and important agencies in New Haven." I can now attest to that statement. For twenty-five years, Liberty has been providing services and housing to people in New Haven with significant challenges of homelessness or of maintaining housing. We started as the Connecticut AIDS Residence Program ("CARP") when there were no housing options for people living with AIDS. Since that time, we have expanded our services, but our core mission of providing housing and services for people with medical and mental health needs still remains.
Liberty provides services to over 250 men and women annually and manages a variety of programs. Liberty provides housing for over 100 people annually as well as a Day Program for people living in shelters or on the street, an outreach program for people who are homeless, an HIV testing and outreach program, a Women's Day Program, and a Sunday brunch in the winter months. The program facts are important but they become real when you hear the voices of the people who receive the services. One woman said "When I was on the streets, I didn't care whether I lived or died. I can't describe the feeling the day I entered my own apartment".
Our country is coming through a period of economic hardship which has prompted a discussion as to the role government needs to play in our communities. Our programs are predominantly funded by the government and our success is based upon the conclusion of government that everyone in this country should have access to decent housing. Liberty has always faced obstacles in our work but also found support in the New Haven community. You can be part of our effort to make a better community, one where everybody has housing no matter their circumstances, by donating, volunteering, advocating, voting, and supporting the work we do to help those in our community who are in need.