Local, award-winning artist Micaela Levesque selected to complete massive mural at 330 Market Street in Hartford

Hartford – The Community Renewal Team (CRT) is sponsoring the creation of a massive public mural that will be painted on the side of its multi-service center in Hartford (330 Market St.) to honor the life-long commitment to women’s rights and social justice of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, along with other remarkable women leaders. The artist chosen to complete the work for CRT is East Hartford resident Micaela Levesque, whose vibrant artistic vision and skilled portrait work will make this mural a landmark for downtown Hartford for years to come.

“After a long, and rigorous search process, CRT is thrilled to have chosen Ms. Levesque to complete this important mural on our behalf,” said CRT’s President and CEO, Lena Rodriguez. “We can think of no better way to honor RBG’s legacy than to ensure that her memory lives on through the work of CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center. Justice Ginsburg’s accomplishments will be felt for decades to come. We know that all women in our community today – especially the next generation that is coming of age now – are better off because of her.”

In addition to prominently featuring Justice Ginsburg, the mural will also showcase the following female leaders:

  • Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris;
  • Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor;
  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama; and
  • Ella Grasso, the first woman elected Governor in Connecticut and in the United States.

In addition to the five portraits that will be featured in the mural, the artist plans to add a variety of painted symbols that will add to the depth and complexity of the finished work of art.

Ms. Levesque previously won the “Best in Show” award at CRT’s 2020 National Arts Program show in Hartford for a painting of her self-portrait.

“The ideas of this mural align perfectly with my own artistic vision,” said artist Micaela Levesque. “When I learned that this RBG-inspired mural would be on the side of the building for CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center, I knew I wanted to be involved. I am so excited to bring a visual representation of these iconic women to Hartford. You will see that I am going to put myself completely into this project and will be so proud to stand behind the finished work.”

The building where the mural will be painted houses CRT’s Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford, which offers a safe and open space for women from Hartford and Middlesex Counties to develop the skills they need to reach their full potential.

The goal of CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center is to encourage women to find stable careers, establish financial security, and commit themselves to life-long personal growth and success. The Center provides specialized and holistic case management, support groups, financial literacy and personal development classes, intensive one-on-one mentorship, entrepreneurship, and leadership training to help women thrive.

The Center also offers members networking opportunities to meet successful women from various backgrounds and careers. These opportunities are essential to bridge gaps derived from economic barriers and other social determinants. Relationships developed through these networks build pathways to better futures.

CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center meets a critical regional need. Of the female-headed households living in Hartford, 46.6% do not have a spouse or partner present (source). Additionally, 29% of females living in Hartford are living below the poverty line (source). CRT has a history of offering female-centric initiatives (e.g., helping women gain employment skills, leave abusive circumstances, decrease substance use and recidivism, and enabling grandparents, particularly grandmothers, to raise their grandchildren). CRT’s Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women’s Empowerment Center represents the culmination of these efforts.

Work on this massive mural – it is expected that it will be visible to passing cars on I-91 – began on August 17, 2021, and Ms. Levesque anticipates completing the project in approximately five weeks.

While it will be possible for the public to see the work being done to complete the mural over the next five weeks, a public unveiling and celebration of this tribute to RBG and other women leaders is being planned for mid-September (exact date to be announced).

This mural was made possible by a Neighborhood Beautification grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

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Editor’s Note: Artist Micaela Levesque is available for media interviews, upon request. It is anticipated that Ms. Levesque will be on-site painting six days a week, from 10 am – 7 pm each day, with a one-hour break per day.

Additionally, high resolution files of conceptual sketches by the artist depicting what the mural may look like upon completion are available for publication.

Free 14-week online course begins Sept. 7, 2021, open to adults (18 and over) in the Greater Hartford area

Hartford – The Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) annual Financial Literacy Institute is now accepting applications for the fall semester. Adults (18 and over) are encouraged to apply for this free, intensive 14-week course to see how to take back control of your own financial future.

This online course provides an in-depth and engaging way for participants to educate themselves and their families about tough topics in their financial world.

“Our financial literacy mantra is: ‘Make your money work for you!’ This mindset, embraced and practiced, can lead you and your family on a journey to a more secure financial future. All you need to do is to take that first step with us,” said Eileen Feliciano, CRT’s Financial Literacy Coordinator.

During CRT’s 2021 Financial Literacy Institute, participants explore many aspects of financial fitness, including: budgeting and savings; establishing and/or rebuilding credit; investment planning; dealing with the financial stress of underemployment and unemployment; protecting yourself and your assets through insurance, and so much more.

Classes for the 2021 Financial Literacy Institute will be held virtually on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., starting on Sept. 7, 2021 through Dec. 7, 2021 (Graduation day).

Space is limited! Applications for this year’s course are due by no later than August 1, 2021.

Take control of your financial future. Register now for this free course.

For more information, please contact CRT’s Communications Director, Jason Black at 860-230-4535.

This Unique Women’s-only Golf Tournament Will Support CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford

Hartford – The Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) 11th Annual Tee Off with Women golf tournament, being held on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at the Tunxis Country Club in Farmington will once again benefit CRT’s Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford, which offers women the opportunity to be supported and support themselves.

The goal of CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center is to help women thrive.

As the designated community action agency for both Hartford and Middlesex Counties, CRT has been committed to serving the needs of individuals and families in local communities since 1963. As it happens, the majority of the people that CRT serves each year are female, and often they are the head of their household, too.

“This annual golf tournament is a big part of CRT’s summer-time calendar, and gives a big push to the work of our Women’s Empowerment Center, which is a much-needed safe haven and resource for women from the Greater Hartford area,” said Tenesha Grant, CRT’s Director of Women’s Services. “We are dedicated to bringing women and families out of poverty and into self-sufficiency. We want to empower women to lead sustainable, thriving lives.”

This unique, all-women’s golf event is being held to raise funds for CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford. The Center was opened in 2019 to help women focus on their own personal or professional goals, and it also serves as a support system for everyone who is involved with the Center. One-on-one case management sets the path for women to begin their journey, along with other tools for success such as workshops and mentoring are available and customized to the needs of each member.

This special golf event offers many ways to participate, even for those who are not golfers.

  • Golfers can play nine holes for $150 per player; or 18 holes for $225 per player in a best-ball format.
  • Registration for 18-hole golfers will begin at 9:00 a.m., followed by the shotgun start at 10:00 a.m.
  • BBQ lunch for all golfers begins at 11:30 a.m., with the shotgun start for the 9- hole golfers beginning at 12:00 p.m.
  • Throughout the day there will be special games and contests, unique to CRT’s Tee-Off tournament, such as “Putting with Bling” and “Closest to the Wine.”
  • If you are not a golfer and would like to learn, there will be a “Not a Golfer” one-hour lesson from Professional Golf Coach Estela Morales Segarra, the Co-Founder of the CT Latinas Golf Team beginning at 1:30 p.m. for $50.
  • A Networking hour will begin at 3:30 p.m. with exciting raffle prizes.

For those individuals who are unable to attend the golf event, the Networking Hour and Empowerment Dinner tickets are available separately for only $50 per person.

The Lead Sponsors for CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center are Liberty Bank, OneDigital and Latin Financial. Sponsorship opportunities, tee signs, and program ads are still available.

Registration details for the 2021 Tee-Off event are available in the Events section of CRT’s website.

For more information about this year’s Tee-Off event, please call (860) 560-5657 or email [email protected].

For more information, please contact CRT’s Communications Director, Jason Black at 860-230-4535.

Need Help with Your Mortgage Payment Due to COVID-19? Connecticut Homeowners That Meet Eligibility Guidelines May Receive Up to Four Months of Mortgage Assistance from CSBG Cares Act Emergency Resource Fund

Hartford – The Community Renewal Team (CRT) is alerting area homeowners that they may be eligible for up to $8,000 in mortgage payment assistance through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Cares Act Emergency Resource Fund. These relief payments represent a combination of two months short-term mortgage payment assistance; and up to two months for mortgage arrearages, for a total of four months’ worth of possible mortgage payments for qualified individuals.

“It is our goal to help as many households as possible access this valuable mortgage assistance program,” said Christopher McCluskey, Vice President for Housing & Community Services at CRT. “One of the most important services we can provide is to assist homeowners protect the assets they worked so hard to obtain, first by helping to address their immediate crisis, and then working on a long-term plan to ensure families remain stably housed.”

There are specific criteria to qualify for this mortgage assistance, including:

  • Annual total household income does not surpass 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
    • Sample Income Criteria:
      1 Person household = $25,760/year
      2 Person household = $34,840/year
      3 Person household = $43,920/year
      4 Person household = $53,000/year
      5 Person household = $62,080/year
  • Individuals and families impacted by COVID-19.
  • Expenses incurred as of, or after, April 1, 2020.
  • Individuals and families must reside in CRT’s core catchment area (Hartford County or Middlesex County).

Since these funds are from the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), both qualified immigrants and non-qualified immigrants may be eligible for this program if they meet eligibility requirements.

These funds are meant to be used as the payer of last resort in the event there are no other agency and/or community resources available, or due to the immediate nature of the emergency.

In addition to income eligibility, CRT staff will work with mortgage assistance applicants to document verification checks with 211 and other community resources. This will help to ensure that resources from other state departments/organizations are not available to cover the same type of assistance.

When meeting with CRT’s Foreclosure Prevention Housing Counselor, homeowners will have the opportunity to learn about other forms of financial support that may be available.

Mortgage assistance funds for eligible homeowners will be transmitted directly to the lender/mortgage holder.

For more information about how to apply for this mortgage payment assistance, please contact: Herman Gibson, CRT Foreclosure Prevention Housing Counselor, by phone at 860-761-2381 or email at [email protected].

For more information, please contact CRT’s Communications Director, Jason Black at 860-230-4535.

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More than 35,000 meals will be served to children 18 and under, free of charge, at 14 locations in Hartford and neighboring towns this summer

Hartford – To help combat childhood hunger during the summer months when school is out of session, the Community Renewal Team (CRT) is proud to participate in the federally funded Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) once again this summer.

CRT will deliver hundreds of meals for children each weekday to the 14 locations noted below. In total, CRT will deliver more than 35,000 meals for kids this summer.

Under the SFSP, nutritious meals (including Breakfast and/or Lunch, and even Supper), will be provided free of charge to children 18 years of age and under at 14 locations in Hartford, East Hartford, Enfield, Glastonbury, and Wolcott. (Additional sites listed below are “closed” locations that require registration to participate.)

Many of these summer food sites for children begin on June 21, and most will continue until mid- to late August to help ensure that children are receiving nutritious meals while school is out for the summer.

Please confer with individual pick-up locations about any closures this summer, such as due to holidays.

For families participating in the Summer Food Program: Please consider wearing a mask or face covering when picking up meals. Check with individual locations for any social-distancing protocols that may be required.

Individuals and families interested in receiving more information about the Summer Food Service Program should contact CRT, 555 Windsor Street, Hartford, CT 06120 or call 860-560-5600. Information is also available on the Summer Food page of CRT’s website.

For more information, please contact CRT’s Communications Director, Jason Black at 860-230-4535.

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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
3) email: [email protected].
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 

Hartford – The month of May is “Community Action Month” and to help commemorate this occasion, the Community Renewal Team (CRT) is hosting a free “Community Resource Fair” on Thursday, May 27, 2021 (from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm) at its main offices in Hartford (located at 555 Windsor St.).

“Each May, during Community Action Month, we reflect on the impact CRT and our network has had on individuals and families throughout our service area,” said Lena Rodriguez, President and CEO of CRT. “Last year alone, we served 20,981 households and over 44,000 individuals throughout Hartford County and Middlesex County. And the national Community Action Network helped more than 15 million across the country with immediately needed services such as shelter and food, as well as long-term solutions like education and job placement.”

To celebrate the continued success of Community Action and raise awareness in our local community, CRT along with support from several other partner organizations is hosting a free Community Resource Fair on Thursday, May 27, 2021.

Services that day include:

  • Free walk-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic with Community Health Center, Inc.
  • Rental assistance services with UniteCT
  • Sign up for health insurance with Access Health CT
  • Free food distribution from The Salvation Army

Individuals can also meet with representatives from many of CRT’s programs that day, including: Behavioral Health Services, Community Services (incl. Basic Needs, Foreclosure Prevention Housing Counseling, Case Management, and more), Elderly Nutrition/Meals on Wheels, Early Care and Education, Energy Assistance and Weatherization, SNAP outreach and more.

Plus, there will be a free ice cream truck from noon to 2:00 pm!

Social-distancing rules will be in effect at this event – please wear a mask.

More information is available in the Events section of CRT’s website.

For more information, please contact CRT’s Communications Director, Jason Black at 860-230-4535.

Volunteer drivers needed to bring seniors and veterans from their home to medical appointments and back home again in eight Connecticut communities

Hartford – The Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is seeking dedicated volunteer drivers for its Volunteer Medical Transportation (VMT) Program that brings seniors and veterans from their home to medical appointments and back home again – all for free!

“Our team of volunteer drivers take seniors and veterans from their homes to medical appointments and then back home again – providing true door-to-door-to-door service – at absolutely no charge to the participant,” said Theresa Strong, RSVP Program Manager for CRT.

The VMT program remained operational throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, providing more than 1,000 rides to seniors and veterans in need of this service last year. And now the service can provide transportation to COVID-19 vaccine appointments, too.

The RSVP Greater Hartford/Central CT Volunteer Medical Transportation Program has been bridging this transportation gap providing thousands of trips to seniors and veterans in multiple cities and town in Central Connecticut since its inception in January 2016.

The VMT program has grown to include eight cities/towns: Berlin, Cromwell, New Britain, Plainville, Southington, Suffield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.

Need a Ride from the VMT Program?

Seniors and veterans requesting rides for the first time call the RSVP office (860-519-3484) and provide initial client information along with anticipated future needs for this free service. From that point forward, they will be in our system and can simply call and provide their specific ride request when needed.

Start Serving as a Volunteer Driver Today

“You can help meet the transportation needs of seniors and veterans in the communities we serve by volunteering with RSVP as one of our regular drivers,” said Strong. “Seniors will greatly appreciate your service, because you make it possible for them to continue living in their own homes and still have access to all the medical services that they need.”

As a volunteer driver with the VMT program, you will be on an on-call list along with other volunteers. When new requests for service come in, volunteers receive a notification and can pick and choose the appointments that fit in with their schedule.

With this volunteer call-list system, we can provide seniors and veterans with access to a free, reliable, non-emergency medical transportation service.

To become a Volunteer Medical Transportation driver you must:

  • Be at least 55 years of age
  • Have a good driving record
  • Hold a current and valid driver’s license
  • Have liability automobile insurance coverage
  • Drive an automobile that is in a safe, road-worthy condition
  • Provide information for criminal background screening
  • Register & train as an RSVP volunteer – contact information below

Mileage reimbursement: Funding is provided to reimburse volunteers of the Medical Transportation program for their mileage to and from their own residence.

Mileage reimbursement is paid to volunteer drivers from the time they leave their home to their clients’ destination and back at the rate of 36 cents per mile. (Note: This is less than the federal rate, so volunteers do not need to claim on their income taxes as income.)

Insurance for drivers: RSVP provides insurance coverage on all members through secondary personal liability and accidental death & dismemberment policies. Your coverage is in effect from the moment you leave your home, and while you are engaged in volunteer activities, until you return.

How to Get Involved: For more information about this valuable program – either to become a volunteer, or to request a future ride – please email Theresa Strong at: [email protected].

Funding for this program is provided in part by the Older Americans Act through the North Central Area Agency on Aging and AmeriCorps Seniors. In addition, annual donations are made from local cities/towns, and private citizens/businesses.

Editor’s Note: Staff from CRT’s RSVP are available for interviews about this free transportation program. 

For more information, please contact CRT’s Communications Director, Jason Black at 860-230-4535.

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Hartford – Spring may be here, but many of us are still worried about those home-heating bills! Do you know how you will pay to heat your home this year? Will you have the financial resources to do so?

If you are worried about how you will pay these big monthly expenses, the Community Renewal Team (CRT) may be able to assist you with your home-heating costs!

Fortunately, the deadline for all eligible households to apply for the CT Energy Assistance Program has been extended to Tuesday, June 15, 2021!

CRT can help individuals and families complete the application by phone, email, or in-person at our multi-service center in Hartford located at 395 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford.

The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program is available to both homeowners and renters living in Connecticut to help them cover their home-heating expenses during these difficult times.

CRT is encouraging everyone throughout the state of Connecticut to find out if they qualify for this FREE program.

Who qualifies to receive help from the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program?

There are income eligibility requirements to qualify for the CT Energy Assistance Program, and the Community Renewal Team can help you check to see if you are qualified.

In fact, the income eligibility requirements, per household, are quite generous – there is no harm in checking to see if you qualify, and there’s no shame in using this important service!

According to the Connecticut Department of Social Services, decisions regarding eligibility are based on the number of people living in your household. Specifically, household size includes both homeowners and renters that pay separately for heat; AND renters whose heat is included in the rent, as long as more than 30% of gross income is paid towards rent.
For example:

  • For a single person, the income level is up to $37,645.
  • For two people in the home, the income level is up to $49,228.
  • For a household of 4 people, the income level is up to $72,394.

So again, many more people may be qualified this year than previously thought possible – it is worth checking to find out!

What types of home-heating options are covered by the CT Energy Assistance Program?

For those who qualify for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, home-heating assistance pays for a household’s primary heating source, and this includes many different ways to heat your home. Heating sources include: oil, natural gas, electricity, propane, kerosene, coal, and even wood and wood pellets.

How do I apply for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program?

CRT maintains a call center with representatives ready to speak with individuals and help them complete their application over the phone. The call center representatives speak both English and Spanish.

If you live in Central Connecticut (i.e., Hartford County or Middlesex County), the fastest way to apply for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program is to call CRT’s Energy Assistance Hotline @ 860-560-5800.

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, ALL Applications can be taken over the phone – this is for the health and safety of both CRT’s staff, and for the individuals applying for Energy Assistance.

Outside of Central Connecticut, please call 2-1-1 to find the Community Action Agency that can assist you.

CRT’s hotline number is: 860-560-5800, and it is available 24-hours a day – if you leave a message, someone will get back to you!

You can also visit the Energy Assistance Page for more information.

For more information, please contact CRT’s Communications Director, Jason Black at 860-230-4535.

HARTFORD — As they say in the arts, “The show must go on!” And this year is no exception for the Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) 30th Annual National Arts Program® (NAP) for artists of all ages and skill levels, from Middlesex and Hartford Counties who are invited to submit their work now for the 2021 art show, which for the first time will be entirely virtual.

To accommodate the safety needs of the artists, judges, and guests who will view the artistic work submitted, this year’s National Arts show will be hosted in an online gallery format. Artists will have the opportunity to submit photographs of their work to be exhibited via a virtual art gallery and CRT plans to host an online awards reception to celebrate all of the winning work – exact time and additional details will be announced.

All forms of visual arts may be submitted to the show; from paintings and photographs to sculptures, crafts and textiles. Up to two entries may be submitted per artist and they must be the original work of the applicant and completed within the last three years. This year, CRT encourages participants to consider creating or submitting art that is related to their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artists can submit their work for free to this show. By removing the financial and commercial requirements of most exhibitions, this special show creates a sense of community and artistic fulfillment for all participants.
The deadline to register for the 2021 National Arts Program is Friday, March 19, 2021.

To register for the show, please use the link below.

Judging of the submissions to the National Arts show this year will take place at the end of March, and winning artists will be notified in early April.

Cash prizes will be awarded in each of the following categories:

  • Amateur – an adult with little or no experience
  • Intermediate – an adult with some experience, beginning art students, etc.
  • Professional – an adult with serious art training or employed in an art-related job
  • Youth (12 Years and younger)
  • Teen (ages 13 – 18)
  • Teens Looking Out for Teens (ages 13 – 18) – in this special category, individual teenagers or groups of teens can submit a piece of art that evokes a greater understanding of the social issues affecting teens.

The final category – “Teens Looking Out for Teens” is being offered for the third year in a row, following the previous success of this special category for up-and-coming artists.

This year we will be using the online platform SmugMug.com to exhibit photos of the art submitted to the show. The exhibit will be online and available to the public starting on March 26, 2021. The gallery link will be available for sharing, and CRT encourages artists to share their work in the show with friends and family.

To register for the show, please use the National Arts Registration form: https://www.nationalartsprogram.org/hartford/hartford-ct-2021-registration-form

Please Note: After you complete this registration form and click the ‘submit registration’ button, you will receive an automatic confirmation email. In that email message, there will be a link to a webpage where you will upload your art image file. On that webpage, there are also tips and tricks on how to take the best photograph of your art in order to meet the set standards for acceptable art image files. Your registration is complete when you have received an email from us confirming that your art image file was accepted.

Complete details about how to submit your artwork to CRT’s 30 Annual National Arts Program show are available online.

The National Arts Program provides materials and funding for this visual art exhibit including awards for winning work totaling $3,450.

All prizes are determined by a panel of judges with experience in the arts. Prizes will be awarded by classification:

  • Adult (Amateur, Intermediate and Professional) – There will be three First Place Awards of $350; three Second Place Awards of $250; and three Third Place Awards of $150.
  • Youth / Teen – There will be two First Place Awards of $150; two Second Place Awards of $100; and two Third Place Awards of $50.
  • A Best of Show Award in the amount of $400.
  • An Art Education Award for $200.
  • Honorable Mention Ribbons will be awarded at the discretion of the judges.

Awards are limited to one cash award per artist per classification.

Be sure to ‘like’ CRT on Facebook to get the latest information about the 2021 National Arts Program.

For more information, please contact Irene Mackey at [email protected] or call 860-519-4384.

Editor’s Note: High-Resolution pictures of winning artwork from the 2020 National Arts Program show in Hartford are available to accompany stories about this event.

For more information, please contact CRT’s Communications Director, Jason Black at 860-230-4535.

Hartford – Do you need help completing and filing your 2020 federal and state tax return? The Community Renewal Team (CRT) has free help in Hartford County and Middlesex County with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program now through Tax Day on April 15, 2021.

CRT offers VITA services at the following locations:

  • Hartford County at 330 Market St., Hartford
  • Middlesex County at 44 Hamlin St., Middletown

Tax returns are filed electronically from CRT at no cost to the consumer. Refunds are generally received within two to three weeks when filed online.

The VITA program offers free tax help to:

  • People (households) who generally make $57,000 or less;
  • Persons with disabilities; and
  • Limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.

To use the VITA tax preparation services with CRT, please follow the information below:

  • Customers may pick up a VITA intake packet and return envelope in the front entrance of CRT’s offices at 330 Market St. Hartford, or from staff at 44 Hamlin St., Middletown.
  • Customers should complete the intake packet, gather supporting/required documents (see list below), and return their information to the appropriate site.
  • CRT staff & trained volunteers will complete customer taxes.
  • Once the customer’s taxes are completed, staff will arrange an appointment with the customer to come in to the office* to review and sign their tax return(s). If filing jointly, both you and your spouse need to be present to sign the form.

*NOTE: Social-distancing protocols are in effect at all CRT offices, and masks must be worn inside offices.

Here is the documentation that you will need to complete your 2020 taxes:

  • Photo ID
  • Social Security card
  • A copy of last year’s tax return, if you did not use CRT VITA service last year
  • Form 1095 A, proof of health insurance coverage, if your coverage is through the state marketplace
  • For direct deposit of your tax refund, a check or savings account number with routing number from the check
  • Paperwork showing property tax payments (home and auto), if applicable
  • General income paperwork: W-2, W-2G, 1099–INT, SSA-1099R, 1099–DIV, 1099-G
  • Alimony received, 1099-MISC, 1099-B, and 1099-R

VITA Tax Savings Really Add Up!

  • In 2019, CRT helped 840 people complete their 2018 tax returns (state and federal) through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
  • Of that total (840), 312 (37%) were eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • The total value of tax refunds and tax preparation savings for those individual filers in 2019 was worth more than $3 million!
  • The average tax refund and tax preparation savings per person is valued at $3,584.
  • Over the past 17 years that CRT has offered VITA services to tax payers in Central Connecticut, the agency has completed more than 27,000 tax returns, with nearly 42% receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • The total value of tax refunds and tax preparation savings during the past 17 years is equal to $82,175,892!

Make an appointment to complete your taxes at 330 Market Street in Hartford or 44 Hamlin Street in Middletown.

For more information, please visit the VITA page.