Stories of Impact

Anthony’s Story

The start of a new year is a time to celebrate new beginnings, like Anthony’s. After a harrowing experience led him to begin his healing journey, Anthony was connected to The Village, where he was able to get the support he needed. Today, Anthony says he’s able to visualize his goals, and he’s looking toward the future with confidence and renewed hope.

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Colin and Jeanmarie’s story

Colin Cooper has been connected to The Village for his entire life—first when he was adopted at a young age, and today as a longtime and dedicated supporter alongside his wife, Village board member Jeanmarie Cooper. Through their generous support, The Coopers have been instrumental in helping The Village fulfill its mission and are creating a lasting legacy to continue making an impact.

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Jared’s Story

When Jared was connected to The Village Fatherhood Engagement Services program, he was immediately met with a judgement-free, family-like environment—a group he could feel was there to support him. Here, he learned important skills from his mentors and was able to reunify with his children after 10 years. Today, Jared has gone on to become an intern with the program so that he can be a mentor to other dads.

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Urgent Crisis Center: Revolutionizing Youth Mental Health Care

The Village has opened Hartford’s first-ever, walk-in Urgent Crisis Center (UCC) for youth mental health, making a massive stride to address the children’s mental health crisis in Connecticut. Working with Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) and a legislative oversight committee, The Village is blazing the trail for this game-changing new level of behavioral health care in the state.

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Meet Stephanie

Stephanie’s first priority is making sure her children, Jazlene and Josavian, are happy and safe. As a working mom, finding child care during the after-school hours was a struggle. Thanks to The Village’s free after-school program at her children’s school, she didn’t have to worry— Jazlene and Josavian are now able to get homework help, enjoy enrichment activities and make new friends in a safe, nurturing environment. 

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Meet Jayden and Naobi

Jayden had a hard time expressing his emotions in a healthy way. Once he enrolled in The Village’s six-month day program, he was able to develop and practice coping skills. When Jayden participated in a special basketball clinic as part of an educational sports-therapy program at The Village, he learned trust, teamwork and communication.

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Meet the Team That Meets the Moment

The Village can deliver life-changing services to children and families because of our incredible staff. During FY22 we invested $1.5 million in wage and benefit increases and earned a Top Workplace Award for the third year in a row. The Village is proud that our staff represents the diversity of our clientele, and we will continue hiring new team members who will strengthen our culture of collaboration and innovation.

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Meet Norman

Norman became a first-time father at the age of 54. His new responsibilities coupled with his wife’s personal struggles caused intense feelings of fear and loneliness. Just when it seemed all hope was lost, The Village was there to help. He received the support—and as he says, “another family”—that he needed to connect with other dads, embrace fatherhood and become a role model for his son. Today, Norman and his wife are proudly parenting Alexander together.

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Two Teams, One Village

After children complete their care at Eagle House—The Village’s psychiatric residential treatment facility—many transition to foster care. During a surging mental health crisis, amid the pandemic, this transition was harder than ever. Backed by an extensive network of dedicated foster parents, and as the state’s largest foster care provider—covering Hartford, Manchester and New Britain—The Village foster care team works hard in tandem with clinical staff at Eagle House to ensure children are placed in homes that meet their individual needs and provide them with safety and stability so they can grow and thrive.

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Meet Genesia and Galia

Once her baby girl was born, Genesia’s life changed. Like many new moms, she needed support as she embarked on her journey of caring for a newborn. When self-doubt creeped in, The Village helped answer Genesia’s questions about how to properly care for her daughter and make sure she was on the right developmental path. The Village was also by her side to help ensure her basic needs—like food and diapers—were met, so Genesia was able to focus on developing a strong bond with her baby.

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Meet Sonia, Adryan and Sheyla

As a single mom without any family in the United States, Sonia needed support when her children, Adryan and Sheyla, experienced emotional abuse by a friend of the family and were suffering. That’s when she reached out to The Village. Through therapy and support services, Sonia and her children were able to learn ways to navigate through their fears and work together as a family unit. They are also now part of a church community and continue building a network of social support.

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Village Second Chance Shops

Village Second Chance Shops

The Second Chance Shops support The Village’s programs by selling new and gently used clothing and household items. Thanks to the dedication of volunteer Auxilians at the four Second Chance Shops—in Glastonbury, Simsbury, Suffield and West Hartford—a combined $440,300 was raised this year. Over the last 60 years, the Second Chance Shops have generated more than $6 million to support The Village.

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Samar Amin, Village client

Meet Samar

Samar was completely broken after escaping a domestic violence situation. She reached out to The Village for help, despite being told by others that she wouldn’t be able to make it as a single mother of four children. In the months that followed, Samar was able to care for her kids, continue her education and start a career in the nursing field. She has big dreams and is working hard to create the life she always wanted.

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Meet Speaker Matt Ritter and Rep. Tammy Exum

The Village is proud to work with policymakers to reform and strengthen Connecticut’s mental health system. Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives Matt Ritter and Deputy Majority Leader and State Representative Tammy Exum were named as Village Champions for Children for leading the passage of landmark legislation addressing our state’s mental health crisis in the 2022 legislative session.

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Sulma, Kimberly and Julio

Meet Sulma, Kimberly and Julio

Sulma, Kimberly and Julio left Honduras for a better life in the United States. During their travels, they became victims of human trafficking. Sulma and her children came to The Village for help coping with what they experienced. Through therapy, Kimberly and Julio are working through their trauma. Julio is calmer and his nightmares have stopped. Kimberly is acclimating well to her new school and has learned how to become an advocate for herself.

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Meet Tammy

Tammy—like so many others— became unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When her faith and confidence started to fade, she knew she needed help. That’s when she reached out to The Village’s Financial Opportunity Center.

Soon after, Tammy got help with her budget and credit, in addition to receiving support for her emotional health.

Today, with renewed self-esteem, she’s working full-time, going to school to advance her position in the healthcare field and is actively saving to purchase a home.

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Meet the Misorskis

Dana Misorski—who is known as “Mrs. Christmas”—and her family have helped hundreds of Village clients purchase gifts, food and other essentials during the holiday season. After raising more than $7,000 to purchase gift cards for families in 2020 she increased and surpassed her goal by raising over $9,000.

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Meet Davine

Davine desperately needed help with her credit and finances after leaving a traumatic relationship. Once she connected with The Village, she was able to build her finances, receive counseling and start a business.

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Meet Saher

Student and Vernon ROCKS’ Real Talk youth group leader Saher Ashraf is working hard to help her peers build resilience by offering tools, resources and guidance around substance use prevention and intervention.

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Meet Dontay

A student at Martin Luth King, Jr. Middle School, Dontay was one of more than 24% of Hartford students considered chronically absent. Unmotivated and wanting to stay home rather than attend class, an initiative with our partners at Hartford Public Schools and Travelers encouraged him to embrace a new approach to school, resulting in huge improvements for his future.

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Village Second Chance Shops

In the best of times, what the members of the Glastonbury, Simsbury, Suffield and West Hartford Auxiliaries do for The Village is remarkable. This year, their dedication has been truly inspiring. Despite a pandemic-driven multi-month shutdown of their Second Chance Shops, the Auxiliaries stayed engaged, maintained a safe retail environment, reopened in fall 2020 with reduced hours and managed to raise $400,000 to help support the tens of thousands of families served by The Village.

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Meet Devon

Devon was invited to engage with The Village and reconnect with his children after being incarcerated for eight years. Now that he’s been involved with The Village’s Fatherhood Engagement Services, he and his children are seeing the benefits, and Devon has regained his confidence.

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Meet Krystal

After losing her job, Krystal needed assistance with her rent while she took care of her daughters and brother who is intellectually disabled. The Village was able to help, while also providing critical mental health support for her and her family. Today, Krystal is able to face life’s challenges a little easier knowing The Village is there to help.

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Robert & Judith Sturgis Family Foundation

Meet Bob

Bob and Judy Sturgis created the Robert & Judith Sturgis Family Foundation as a charitable resource for organizations close to their hearts. A longtime Simsbury Auxiliary Member and educator, Judy took a special interest in The Village’s Early Childhood Learning Center. Judy lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in April 2021 but her gift will make a significant difference in the lives of young children and their families for years to come.

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Integrated Care

The Village’s Integrated Care program collaborated with 14 pediatrics practices throughout Connecticut to provide high-quality in-person and telehealth behavioral health services to more than 500 clients referred by those practices. The Village’s integrated services program partnered with pediatricians to serve clients’ needs seamlessly.

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Liza Huerta - Adult Outpatient Services Expansion

Meet Liza

Having already been diagnosed with cancer and grieving the loss of her mother, the COVID-19 pandemic added even more mental, physical and financial stress to Liza Huertas’ life. Struggling with postpartum depression and to pay her bills, Liza was referred to The Village and quickly got the support she needed.

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Meet Billy

Struggling from the effects of the Vietnam War on his mental health, Billy connected to The Village for help. With newly regulated medicine and support through counseling and resources as part of The Village’s programs for veterans, Billy has been able to enjoy his life again.

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I Know I Matter

By the time Alana Farnsworth was 12, her behavior issues were so severe that she spent time in the hospital and eventually ended up in the custody of the Department of Children and Families. Finally, she found a place to land at The Village’s Alison Gill Lodge, where she began her journey of hope and healing.

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