Hartford, Conn. On Thursday, March 5 at 9:30 a.m., The Village for Families & Children and Governor Ned Lamont kicked off the construction of a massive 8,500-square-foot warehouse space housed within The Village’s 331 Wethersfield Avenue location in Hartford. The former trolley repair facility will be transformed into an adult behavioral health services wing to serve thousands of people in Greater Hartford.
The State of Connecticut has invested $1 million in the project, with the remaining $300,000 being funded by The Village.
“The services provided by The Village are the kinds of resources needed in so many of our communities, and the State has an obligation to ensure organizations like this succeed,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “I am proud to be here to help open the next chapter for this great group of professionals and the individuals they serve.”
In 2016, The Village broadened its commitment to the Greater Hartford community by providing a full range of high-quality behavioral health services to adults. Since then, patient demand has significantly increased due in part to the opioid crisis and The Village’s collaboration with the Connecticut’s Court Support Services Division.
“The need for more mental health services for adults in the State of Connecticut and Greater Hartford cannot be ignored,” emphasized Village President and CEO Galo Rodriguez. “Whether anxiety, addiction or depression, mental health challenges are pervasive and require providers to improve access and outreach. The Village is committed to helping the entire family, and our new adult services wing will be a key part of that mission. We can’t do it without the support of Governor Lamont, the General Assembly, Mayor Bronin and our local partners.”
The demand for services is expected to double in the next 24 months. In January alone, The Village processed 160 adult services intakes and that number is rising.
“We started with four initial intake assessments in July 2016, and 128 for all of 2016,” explained Amanda Hemmelgarn, Village Associate Vice President of Outpatient Services. “Assessments increased to 1,154 in 2019. Just over the last six months, we served 1,080 individuals and provided 5,979 total services. This expansion will allow us to grow adult services, develop new programs, support more people and provide a sustainable resource for Hartford.”
The current warehouse space will be converted into 21 individual therapy rooms, three group rooms, and additional restrooms. A separate entrance to the adult services space will also be added and approximately 1,700-square-feet of existing adult space will be made available for an expansion of services to children and families. Future plans for the new space include an on-site pharmacy, food pantry and clothing exchange.
“This new facility has the power to give a countless number of people their lives back,” explained Village client Sara Dionne. “Without these services, I’m not sure I would have ever made it to 28 months sober. Through every step of this journey, I have been assisted by a Village employee. Several years ago, I was just another unemployable addict, but today I am an employable mother, daughter, sister and friend again. I have The Village to thank for that.”
The Village was one of the first agencies in the country to provide homes for neglected children. Today, The Village provides a full range of behavioral health, early childhood and youth development, substance abuse treatment, and support services for children, families and adults in the Greater Hartford region.