For our next stop, we leave the Newman’s Own Foundation headquarters, hop on the highway, and get off after a few exits when we arrive in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In just 15 minutes, we pull up to the headquarters of Homes for the Brave (HFTB) and make our way into the three-story brick building.
HFTB provides housing and support to homeless men and women who have served our country. Today, we’re meeting with Executive Director Vincent Santilli to learn more about the organization. Vincent explains that the transitional home for men, which holds 42 beds, opened in 2002. The women’s program, which has 15 beds, opened in 2011 and is the only type of its kind in the TriState area.
Residents range from individuals in their 20s all the way into their 90s, each struggling with physical or mental health issues; drug, alcohol, and substance abuse; former incarceration; limited education and training; or financial hardships. The goal of HFTB is to help the residents overcome these barriers in a safe environment. We learn that each participant of the program works with a team of professionals to find safe, affordable housing and return to a meaningful and productive life. Residents have the opportunity to attend computer classes, pre-employment workshops, and life skills sessions. During our tour of the building, we see the fully-stocked kitchen, laundry room, computer lab, and several social gathering areas. Vincent tells us that each resident helps out with daily chores to keep the home clean and comfortable.
We’re impressed by all the great things happening at HFTB and all the progress these men and women are making with the support of the program.