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Rhaili-Em Lowe was one of more than 85 young adults who spent time this summer as an intern working with CRT’s Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program. This summer, the students dedicated their time to helping to educate others in the community – especially their peers – about the need for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Her efforts were featured on the front page of the Hartford Courant this past weekend.

As she told the paper: “I’ve been a remote learner for one-and-a-half years. I’m trying not to have it happen again,” said Lowe, a rising junior at the Connecticut IB Academy in East Hartford.

Lowe and the other young adults in the program worked to promote COVID-19 vaccine awareness through projects like creating hundreds of yard signs distributed citywide. They also hosted a Zoom panel discussion about vaccine hesitancy among teenagers and misinformation spread through social media.

As she went on to say: “We all miss each other,” she said of her friends. “I want to experience my junior year in some type of normalcy.”

Read the complete article in the Hartford Courant online.

Photo above: Rhaili-Em Lowe, 16, of Hartford, spent her summer interning with CRT’s Summer Youth Employment Program to promote COVID-19 vaccines to teenagers in the Hartford area. Photo by Sofie Brandt/The Hartford Courant.

More than 80 students enrolled in CRT’s Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program took part in a civic engagement project this summer to educate fellow students and people in Hartford about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. They created 370 handmade lawn signs that have been distributed throughout the city to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Other signs were created to let people know about the availability of rental assistance through Unite CT.

According to an article in the Hartford Courant this past weekend, “The signs are now spread across the city, including areas around Stonington Street, Market Street, Main street, and the Blue Hills neighborhood.”

CRT Program Manager Cynthia Baisden said the ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases inspired the vaccination campaign.

“The COVID vaccination is something that I truly feel very passionate [about] that our youth need to be vaccinated, especially now that Connecticut has become a hot spot,” Baisden said.

Read the full article in the Hartford Courant online:

Hartford youth cover the city in signs in campaign to boost vaccination rate

Photo above: Rhaili-Em Lowe, 16, of Hartford, spent her summer interning with CRT’s Summer Youth Employment Program to promote COVID-19 vaccines to teenagers in the Hartford area. Photo by Sofie Brandt/The Hartford Courant.

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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Over the past year during the Coronavirus pandemic, Hartford-based Travelers has been donating hot lunches to CRT and other local charities.

CRT ensures these meals are then delivered to clients within its programs.

The Travelers donates 130 meals each weekday. To date, Travelers has provided more than 32,000 meals to CRT clients.  Even better, the partnership will continue through the end of June 2021.

Ashley Afonso from Fox 61 shared this wonderful news with their viewers:

On Friday, January 15, more than 100 residents and staff at CRT’s unique assisted-living facility in Hartford, The Retreat, received their 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in a special clinic with Walgreen’s that went door to door to administer this special “Shot of Hope.”

NBC Connecticut was there to see this milestone event:

 

The City of Hartford is partnering with Hartford Public Schools and community organizations to offer Remote Learning Hub locations across the city, including the Community Renewal Team. The CRT Hub will be hosted at the Ritter Child Development Center located at 555 Windsor St., Hartford.

This program is administered by Hartford’s Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation and designed for families that selected in‐person learning for their children and may be adversely impacted by COVID‐19‐related facility closures.

Get more information in this report by Dominique Moody from NBC Connecticut:

Additional reporting about this new program, in Spanish, is available from Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra.

Hartford resident Pedro Robles shares his life-long struggle with drug addiction, and how it has become even harder for him during the Coronavirus pandemic. He has received intensive outpatient therapy with the Community Renewal Team (CRT), but every day brings new challenges. As Margaux Farrell from Fox 61 notes: “Addiction is a health crisis on top of the pandemic, but hope is the key.”

Watch this exclusive report to learn more about how CRT is helping people with programs like Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to move toward a life of recovery.

You can get more details in this story from Fox 61 News.

#RecoveryisPossible

Nationally, first-time unemployment claims topped 840,000 people last week. And despite the start of Phase 3 of the reopening of businesses here in Connecticut, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a hard toll on many women in the workplace locally, many either choosing to leave jobs to stay home with their family, or out of work due to business closures.

It has been reported that in September, 865,000 women left the labor force.

Christine Stuart from NBC Connecticut spoke with CRT’s Director of Women’s Services, Tenesha Grant, about the work of the agency’s Women’s Empowerment Center in Hartford to help women in need find meaningful employment during these extremely difficult times.

Events

CRT’s Summer Youth Employment & Learning Program is hosting a Youth-Led COVID-19 Vaccination Conference on Wed., August 4 from 1:30-2:30 pm.

Hear from fellow students about the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine!

Join us on Zoom that day – link details below.

Join the Zoom Meeting on August 4:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/98058008984?pwd=TVhjcTI5MEhtRnVnbDRFaCtMRDJHdz09

Meeting ID: 980 5800 8984
Passcode: 826829