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.

Hartford – Are you a working parent in need of in-person learning options for your child enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 3 remote learning in Hartford? The Community Renewal Team (CRT) is proud to partner with the City of Hartford and Hartford Public Schools, along with other community organizations, to offer spacious and welcoming classrooms – at no cost to the parents – during weekdays at its main offices in Hartford (555 Windsor St – Ritter Child Development Center).

“We will provide the students caring and loving environments where they can learn and grow,” said Leslie Giordano, CRT’s Director of Early Care and Education. “We’re excited to be able to offer this convenient location in Hartford for families that need a safe place for their kids to learn while parents work during the day.”

This program (known as a “Remote Learning Hub”) is administered by Hartford’s Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation and it is designed for families that selected in‐person learning for their children and may be adversely impacted by COVID‐19‐related facility closures.

To be eligible, your child must:

  • Be a resident of Hartford;
  • Be enrolled in in‐person kindergarten, first grade, second grade, or third grade and currently in hybrid or remote‐only status; and
  • Have a working parent/caregiver that meets low to moderate income requirements.

Children meeting these criteria will come to CRT’s Ritter Child Development Center located at 555 Windsor St., Hartford (entrance off Pavilion St.) for this new remote learning opportunity during normal school hours.

Parents can be confident that their children will be in classrooms that are following all current COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including needed social distancing, mask use, regular hand sanitizing, and Plexiglas (acrylic) barriers between desks. Each classroom will be limited to no more than 13 children per room.

While attending these special CRT classrooms, children will be provided breakfast, lunch and a snack during the day. There will be scheduled breaks for the children to exercise and play.

Students enrolled in this program are encouraged to bring their own computer equipment and books with them to the classroom each day. If a child forgets to bring their laptop/Chromebook, CRT can provide a loaner device during the school day. CRT’s IT department is located in the same building as these new remote learning classrooms and they will be able to address concerns related to accessing classroom instruction provided by Hartford Public Schools.

For more information about how to enroll, please visit this page on CRT’s website. Or, contact Leslie Giordano at (860) 560‐5461 ext.231 or [email protected]

This program is funded in part with Community Development Block Grant funds allocated to CRT by the City of Hartford and supported by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Editor’s Note: CRT staff are available for interviews about these new classroom facilities. Tours of the classrooms are available to the media by appointment.

Hartford – Just in time for the New Year, the Community Renewal Team (CRT) in partnership with Liberty Bank is pleased to announce the availability of a unique “Community Asset Building Initiative” (CABI) to help people in Hartford and Middlesex Counties achieve financial independence and security as they save money for future home ownership.

Qualified individuals will enroll in a special online training course with CRT financial counselors. Upon the successful completion of all 10 modules in this course, along with opening a special CABI savings account through Liberty Bank, those individuals will be eligible to receive up to a one-to-one match of $1,000 from Liberty Bank to help them achieve the dream of owning their own home.

“We are thrilled to be working closely with our partners at Liberty Bank to offer this valuable incentive program for people who are trying to fulfill the dream of homeownership,” said Elizabeth Horton Sheff, Director of Community Services for CRT. “What better way to begin the New Year than to give people a tangible way to get on track financially – and stay on track until they achieve their personal financial goals?”

“We are honored to work with our long-time and esteemed partner, the Community Renewal Team, to make homeownership more affordable and available for families of every background in and around the Greater Hartford area,” said Glenn Davis, First Vice President, Community Development/CRA Officer. “In addition to creating more homeownership opportunities for community residents, we are helping them focus on long-term financial goals by providing the guidance, support and expertise they need to build financial stability now and in the future. This partnership also reaffirms Liberty Bank’s 195+ year commitment to assisting Connecticut families and individuals throughout their financial journeys, in times of prosperity and in times of uncertainty like we are all facing today.”

The CABI program offers participants incentive savings matches, personal and money management education, peer and staff support, and individual counseling to make asset ownership attainable.

Financial literacy education will be provided online using the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Money Smart curriculum. Participants can complete the 10 FDIC modules at their own pace, and then work to complete their personal savings goal with their new CABI savings account.

CRT staff will provide case management services to each participant in the CABI program to assist with:

  • Setting realistic short- and long-term personal, financial, and asset goals.
  • Designing strategies to achieve their personal and financial goals.
  • Acquiring financial skills and knowledge in order to make informed financial decisions.
  • Developing or improving fiscal self-discipline, self-awareness and patterns of regular savings.
  • Increasing self-confidence and assertiveness as it relates to financial and consumer matters.

CABI Savings Account Features:

Liberty Bank will offer savings accounts with the following features to program participants:

  • Liberty Bank will assist participants in opening their savings accounts with a minimum of $10.00.
  • Liberty Bank will maintain their CABI account in accordance with state and federal regulations.
  • Liberty Bank will waive regular monthly services charges or fees for CABI program participant’s savings accounts.

For those individuals who qualify for the CABI savings accounts, Liberty Bank agrees to offer an interest-bearing savings account, paying at least a market rate of interest, as detailed in Liberty Bank’s Personal Deposit Account Agreement (PDAA). This account will be free from service charges or any other charges for all individuals that CRT accepts as a CABI participant.

CRT will help to monitor CABI program participants’ monthly savings activity in an effort to help them reach their savings goals and ultimately become successful long-term asset owners.

How do you enroll in the CABI Program?

Admission in the CABI program does require a pre-application, and qualified participants will be added to the program on a rolling basis. The first 10 people to successfully complete the course requirements and establish and maintain their CABI savings account will receive the $1,000 matching grant from Liberty Bank.

Individuals that are interested in participating in this unique asset-building initiative should contact CRT’s Financial Literacy Coordinator Eileen Feliciano via email at [email protected] or call: 860-560-4210.

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

Mural will be featured at 330 Market Street, Hartford – home of CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center

Hartford – Following the Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) recent announcement that it is officially renaming its Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford to honor the legacy of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the agency announced today that it is now soliciting proposals for the creation of a massive public mural on the side of the building where the Center is located (330 Market Street, Hartford).

Local artists are being encouraged to submit proposals for this project to “honor the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and other women who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women.”

As noted in the Request for Proposal (RFP) document, which can be found on CRT’s website: “The mural will be a symbol of Women’s Empowerment anchored by a portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It will serve as a visual tribute to Justice Ginsburg and other women who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women. It will help to create a strong and positive image for the community.”

The deadline to submit proposals for this new mural in Hartford is November 20, 2020 by 1:00 p.m.

Additional details about the project are below, and in the attached RFP document.

Goal of the project: The goal of the Women’s Empowerment Center Mural Project is to honor the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and other women who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women.

Design and Theme: The mural will be a symbol of Women’s Empowerment anchored by a portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It will serve as a visual tribute to Justice Ginsburg and other women who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women. It will help to create a strong and positive image for the community.

Mural Site Location & Specifications: The North facing site wall of 330 Market Street, Hartford CT is approximately 105 feet long and is a brick structure. The artist’s canvas will be the space between the first floor and second floor windows. The artist will have the whole side of the building as their canvas. If the vision of the artist includes wrapping, the mural around the building this will considered considering the design.

Artists will:

  • Develop a distinct painted mural artwork that communicates and promotes women (of all ages and cultures) within the character and spirit of women’s empowerment – through the use of design, color and a variety of subject matter for public viewing of all ages and cultures.
  • The mural will feature a prominent portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with dissent collar, Judge Sonia Sotomayor and former first lady Michelle Obama.
  • Generate a work that is artistically engaging and sufficiently stimulating to ignite conversation and evoke appreciation by the general public.
  • Design a work that fits well within the context of the site (i.e. scale and theme).
  • Use materials of the highest quality, designed and fabricated for all weather durability for at least 20 years, as well as for low maintenance – and including the application of an anti-graffiti protective coating/sealant.
  • Complete project within the specified period of time and within budget.

Selection Process: CRT will review all submittals in conformance with the RFP. After a selection has been made, CRT will enter into a contract with the artist or team of artists.

Deadline: Complete proposals are due November 20, 2020 by 1:00 pm and should be emailed to: [email protected]

View the RFP on the Vendor portion of CRT’s website.


For more information about this advisory, please contact: Jason Black, Communications Director @ 860-230-4535 or via email: [email protected]

Worried about how to heat your home this winter? CRT Can Help People Apply for this Free Program

Hartford — It was reported that nationally first-time unemployment claims topped 840,000 people last week. These difficulties and the financial impact that results may leave thousands of people in Connecticut wondering how they are going to pay their bills this winter, in particular, how will they be able to afford their home-heating expenses? Or, will they have to choose between paying the heating bill (like getting an oil delivery), or paying for groceries, or a medical expense, or fixing the car … But it doesn’t need to be this way!

The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program is available to both home owners and renters living in Connecticut to help them cover their home-heating expenses during the coming winter months. (Yes, winter is coming!)

CRT is encouraging everyone throughout the state of Connecticut to find out if they qualify for this FREE program; and to ensure that families are not stuck with a cold house this winter!

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.

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?

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! This number is available 24-hours a day – if you leave a message, someone will get back to you!

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. The call center representatives speak both English and Spanish.

When does Energy Assistance begin in Connecticut?

This year, the first day for Fuel Deliveries is November 2, 2020. So, apply now to find out if you are qualified, and get enrolled in the program for this winter.

You can also visit CRT’s Energy Assistance Program page for more information.


Photo by Bobby Stevenson on Unsplash.

Hartford – This week, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose at the Supreme Court and then at the United States Capitol, the Community Renewal Team (CRT) announced today that to memorialize Ginsburg’s lifetime of service to our nation, and her fierce commitment to protecting the rights of women throughout her legal and judicial career, it is officially renaming its Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford in her honor.

The Center, which serves the needs of women throughout Central Connecticut, will be renamed the “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women’s Empowerment Center.”

“The passing of Justice Ginsburg came as a shock to all of us this past weekend. We know that her lifetime of work has created lasting and critical changes to the law that benefit women nationwide, and we can think of no better way to honor her legacy than to ensure that her memory lives on in the work of CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford,” said CRT’s President and CEO Lena Rodriguez.
“We are grateful that Ginsburg’s work and her legal opinions in support of women will be felt for decades to come, and 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 work on behalf of all of us.”

Known as an advocate for women, Justice Ginsburg’s dedication to the disempowered extended still further. She wrote, “Whatever community organization, whether it’s a women’s organization or fighting for racial justice…you will get satisfaction out of doing something to give back to the community that you never get in any other way.” As the oldest community action agency in the state, we could not have said it better.

A formal renaming ceremony at CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford to celebrate the legacy of Justice Ginsburg and her lifetime of work will be held in the coming weeks – exact date to be announced soon.

About CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center:
The Community Renewal Team (CRT) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit community action agency and Connecticut’s largest human service agency. Since 1964, CRT has been fulfilling its mission of “Preparing Our Community to Meet Life’s Challenges” by providing more than 60 programs and services designed to positively impact the lives of individuals and families from the City of Hartford and the 40 surrounding towns. As it has for decades, CRT continues to help tens of thousands of people each year; and the data demonstrates that the organization continues to reach Connecticut’s most vulnerable, low-income population.

Historically, more than half of the clients CRT serves have been female. For many of them, the services they received are a true lifeline. In keeping with Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s lifelong goal of uplifting all U.S. residents regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, economics and sexual preference, CRT inaugurated its Women’s Empowerment Center (WEC) in 2019. It is the Center’s objective to give women, including the most vulnerable in the Greater Hartford area, access to the opportunities through which they can benefit themselves and their families. In addition to counseling and case management, the WEC offers introductions to different occupational fields and educational programs, workshops on job exploration, even access to mentorships with some of the region’s most successful women. It provides a vision for women who may not have seen their varied (albeit hard-won) options before entering the Center’s doors.

The WEC meets a critical regional need. Over 60% of households in the capital city are headed by a single parent, most of whom are single mothers or grandmothers. Nearly one-third (31.6%) of women In the City of Hartford live in poverty. 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). Our Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women’s Empowerment Center is the culmination of these effort.

The Center at 330 Market Street, Hartford, is easily accessible via public transportation, and includes space for workshops, private rooms for case management and one-on-one counseling, socialization space and a children’s play area.


For more information about this advisory, please contact: Jason Black, Communications Director @ 860-230-4535.

Multi-year program will provide 67 at-risk teens and young adults from Hartford and East Hartford with valuable job skills and training to prepare them for future careers

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jason Black, Communications Director
(860) 560-5683 or cell: (860) 230-4535


HARTFORD — The Community Renewal Team (CRT) was recently awarded $1,202,143 by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide 67 at-risk teens and young adults (ages 18 – 24) from Hartford and East Hartford the opportunity to improve their education, occupational skills, employment credentials, and leadership capabilities over the next three years. Participants that
complete the YouthBuild training program should experience a substantial increase in their standard of living and community engagement.

“The YouthBuild program offers a unique opportunity for young men and women to get hands- on training in construction and other highly desirable job skills that will fully prepare them to enter the modern workforce ready to succeed,” said CRT’s President and CEO Lena Rodriguez. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this important job-training program to young people in our
community,” said Fernando Betancourt, Chairman of CRT’s Board of Trustees. “There are so many obstacles to success these days, but we know that YouthBuild participants can complete this program armed with new skills that will lead to long-term career opportunities.”

CRT will offer a “Construction Plus” training program to the participants that is modeled after our multiple successful Capital City YouthBuild projects that we have run previously. CRT guarantees that 32 students will be enrolled and complete construction skills training during the more than three year grant period of performance.

The Construction Plus training will also include Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training for 20 students through Capital Community College; and a selection of certified classes and on-the-job training for 15 students through Goodwin College.

CRT has selected Construction Plus fields of Security Guard Certification, Phlebotomy and Laboratory Services, Medical Assistant, and Machining/Manufacturing Technology.

“YouthBuild enhances the lives of its students and the community as a whole,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. “The Community Renewal Team has been a positive influence on Connecticut families for years and grants like these go a long way to keep formal training and mentorship programs going. I commend their work, and will continue to fight in Washington for federal dollars to continue efforts to better the lives of the young people of Connecticut.”

“Giving young people skills to compete in high-demand industries like construction, nursing, manufacturing, and medical research is exactly the kind of workforce development we need to do more of,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “I want to thank the U.S. Department of Labor and the Community Renewal Team for this new partnership.”

“As one of the people who helped to start the first YouthBuild program in Hartford, it gives me great pride to know that CRT is continuing the vital work of this job-training program for disadvantaged youth in Hartford and East Hartford,” said Martin Alvarenga, Business Agent & Organizer with the Carpenters Local 326 in Connecticut, and new member of CRT’s Board of
Trustees. “The young men and women who go through this training will come out with serious skills that will take them far in life.”

Individuals that are interested in joining the YouthBuild program in Hartford should contact CRT right away at 860-560-5308, or via email: [email protected]


Community Renewal Team, Inc. is the designated Community Action Agency for Middlesex and Hartford Counties and is the largest non-profit provider of human services in Connecticut. The agency’s mission is Preparing Our Community to Meet Life’s Challenges. The mission is achieved each day by helping people and families become self-sufficient while making sure basic needs are met. CRT’s programs include Meals on Wheels, school readiness, energy assistance and weatherization, supportive housing and shelters, and many others, serving people in more than 60 cities and towns in both our core catchment area and throughout Connecticut. www.crtct.org

CRT’s First Women’s Empowerment Networking Event is May 2, 2018 in Hartford

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jason Black, Communications Director
(860) 560-5683 or cell: (860) 230-4535


HARTFORD — The extensive experience of the Community Renewal Team (CRT) in working with women and their families throughout Central Connecticut has prompted the agency to develop a new Women’s Empowerment Center that will enable women to achieve personal economic stability, forward their careers, and better provide for themselves and their children. “For more than 50 years, CRT has helped individuals and families to create opportunities that better their lives – now, and in the future,” said Lena Rodriguez, CEO of the Community Renewal Team. “Our new Women’s Empowerment Center will focus our areas of expertise on helping women to realize their dreams.”

To support the vital work of the Women’s Empowerment Center, CRT is hosting a special networking event and fundraiser on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 (from 5:30 – 8:00 pm) at the Gershon Fox Ballroom (960 Main Street) in Hartford.

The keynote speaker for the event is Cheryl McDonald, co-owner of Bear’s Restaurant Group, which owns Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, Blind Pig Pizza and Chango Rosa in Hartford. “Through the work of Bear’s and our other restaurants, we are constantly striving to find new ways to help our employees make the most of every day on the job, and to grow in their own careers,” said Cheryl McDonald. “The work that CRT plans to do with its Women’s Empowerment Center has perfect synergies with the work we are doing at Bear’s Restaurant Group, and I’m excited to support this program.”

The host for the evening is Renee DiNino, On Air Personality at The River 105.9 FM and Director of Community Affairs & On Air Community Programming for iHeartMedia in Hartford. Guests at the event will enjoy the opportunity for personal and business networking, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and more.

Lead sponsors for the networking event are CENCAP Federal Credit Union and Liberty Bank.

About CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center:
In 2017 Community Renewal Team helped create opportunities for more than 86,000 individuals and over 35,000 families; of those served, 59% were female, and 32% of the families served were headed by single mothers.

The Women’s Empowerment Center will serve as a safe and open place for women from Hartford and Middlesex counties to access intensive mentorship, holistic case management, personal development classes, support groups, conferences, workshops and leadership training focusing on supporting financial literacy, entrepreneurship, career and workforce readiness, as well as networking opportunities.

All proceeds from this networking event will be used to support CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center, addressing the challenges women face in building a successful future.

Press Release

Income-eligible residents can make their homes more energy efficient now and for years to come

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jason Black, Communications Director
(860) 560-5683 or cell: (860) 230-4535

HARTFORD — Another snow storm in New England is a reminder that the cost of heating your home each winter can be very expensive. Do you want to save money on your home heating costs next winter, while making your home more energy efficient throughout the year? Now is the time to sign up for the Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) weatherization services, which helps income eligible residents throughout Connecticut to make their homes more comfortable and energy efficient.

The completion of weatherization services helps people to reduce their home energy costs. CRT’s certified auditors visit homes to perform a Home Energy Assessment to determine energy saving measures for installation by pre-approved contractors. Typical services include: sealing air leaks and drafts, installing energy-saving light bulbs, and installing water-saving measures. The weatherization work may also include installation of insulation in attics and sidewalls, boiler/furnace replacement or repair, water heater assessment, as well as window repair or replacements and other services.

The Community Renewal Team (CRT) was awarded the statewide Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) contract by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. (DEEP) and the supplemental statewide weatherization barrier removal contract to provide weatherization services to income-eligible residents throughout Connecticut.

More information about how to apply for income-eligible weatherization assistance is available on CRT’s website. Individuals may also call 860-560-5354 or email: [email protected].

Funding source:
A U.S. Department of Energy grant administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection funds CRT’s Weatherization Assistance Program services, with additional federal funding and state administration supporting the removal of barriers to weatherization.

Other weatherization services are available statewide through utility-administered programs, funded in part by a charge on customer’s energy bills. Visit www.EnergizeCT.com or call 1-877-WISE USE.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please contact the DEEP at 860-418-5910 or [email protected].


Community Renewal Team, Inc. is the designated Community Action Agency for Middlesex and Hartford Counties and is the largest non-profit provider of human services in Connecticut. The agency’s mission is Preparing Our Community to Meet Life’s Challenges. The mission is achieved each day by helping people and families become self-sufficient while making sure basic needs are met. CRT’s programs include Meals on Wheels, school readiness, energy assistance and weatherization, supportive housing and shelters, and many others, serving people in more than 60 cities and towns in both our core catchment area and throughout Connecticut. www.crtct.org

And while you’re there, get a free safer sex kit, complete with condoms, lube and more

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jason Black, Communications Director
(860) 560-5683 or cell: (860) 230-4535


HARTFORD — You bought the flowers. You bought the candy. You’ve picked out the perfect outfit. You have a reservation at your favorite restaurant … But do you know if you will be safe on Valentine’s Day?

Free, confidential HIV tests are available on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 between 10:00 am – 6:00 pm at the Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) office located at 330 Market Street in Hartford. “Why not enjoy Valentine’s Day and know your status?” asks Heidi Lubetkin, Vice President of Clinical Support Services at CRT. “Let CRT help clear the air ahead of time. Get a free HIV test, and be confident on this special day.”

The anonymous test results are available within 20 minutes. CRT outreach staff that conducts the testing speaks both English and Spanish.

In addition to the HIV test, anyone that drops by CRT’s Market Street office on Valentine’s Day can pick up a free safer sex kit, complete with condoms, lubrication and other goodies. Additionally, everyone that receives an HIV test from CRT that day will be entered into a raffle to win some fabulous prizes.

If someone does test positive for HIV, CRT staff will connect that individual to needed services, including medical appointments, case management, and other support.

For information and to schedule a free HIV test, please call: 860-310-6309 or 860-761-7900. CRT is working with the Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition as a partner in collaboration on this HIV testing outreach effort.

Editor’s Note: Samples of the safer sex kit hand-out are available upon request.


Community Renewal Team, Inc. is the designated Community Action Agency for Middlesex and Hartford Counties and is the largest non-profit provider of human services in Connecticut. The agency’s mission is Preparing Our Community to Meet Life’s Challenges. The mission is achieved each day by helping people and families become self-sufficient while making sure basic needs are met. CRT’s programs include Meals on Wheels, school readiness, energy assistance and weatherization, supportive housing and shelters, and many others, serving people in more than 60 cities and towns in both our core catchment area and throughout Connecticut. www.crtct.org