Life-Saving Homeless Shelter and Assistance Program In Need of Permanent Location
Willimantic, Conn. – October 16, 2019… Over its 18 year history, the Windham Region No Freeze Project has operated in five different locations within Willimantic. The life-saving non-profit program that successfully and permanently housed 98 people last year alone, has once again found itself displaced as of the end of its 2019-2020 season in April, and is actively seeking a new home.
“This is an extremely time-sensitive situation,” states Avery Lenhart, the executive director of the Windham Region No Freeze Project. “We would love to find a permanent home at some point in the near future – a building that perhaps we could own and not be displaced from. In the meantime, it’s critical that we find a new location in Willimantic, close to the services our guests so desperately need, that will embrace the purpose of our program and the people we serve every day.”
Dedicated to the long-term survival of homeless adults in the region, the No Freeze program, its offices and staff are currently operating in approximately 2,000 square feet of space in an aging Willimantic retail plaza located at 75 Bridge Street. Inside this space, Lenhart and her staff and volunteers provide seasonal shelter between November and April for adults who find themselves with no safe place to sleep during cold winter months. Throughout the year, the No Freeze operates a drop-in center where guests can register for services, access shower facilities and personal hygiene items, strengthen connections to the community, and establish alliances with human services organizations. The drop-in program helps people at risk of homelessness access basic needs including food, clothing, hygiene, personal support, transportation services, and diversion funding to keep them out of shelter .
“Our new space needs to be big enough to accommodate all of our critical services and be within walking distance of other important and life-saving community programs,” continues Lenhart. “The No Freeze is a gateway to community services. Our guests eat at the Covenant Soup Kitchen, access medical care at Generations and Windham Hospital, get clothing from WAIM, meet with case managers from Perception Programs and Access Agency, and visit town services including the library. Historically, we’ve operated out of churches, office buildings, retail locations and other spaces. We can get our job done wherever we are. We just need a safe, reliable place in Willimantic to house and support the people we help.”
Over the 2018-2019 season, the No Freeze accomplished the following life-saving services:
- completed intakes, assessments and navigation services for more than 300 people,
- delivered diversion funding that prevented at least 45 people from becoming homeless,
- provided emergency shelter for 143 adults, and
- successfully and permanently housed 98 people.
The Windham Region No Freeze Project is run 100% on donations and private foundation grants. All donations are tax deductible to the extent of existing state and federal tax laws.
For more information or to discuss available space, please call the No Freeze offices at 860.450.1346.