Homes with Hope (HwH) is devoted to addressing the special needs and problems of homeless families and individuals and people at risk of becoming homeless in lower Fairfield County. HwH first opened in 1984 as a homeless shelter for single men in a Town of Westport owned building. It was a time when homeless individuals, mainly men, were showing up on the door step of local congregations looking for aid. A number of Westport religious organizations worked together to try to solve the problem and from that collaboration the Interfaith Housing Association was born.
The agency has grown significantly since first opening in 1984, when food and shelter for homeless people were offered in an abandoned firehouse. The agency realized that food and shelter alone were not enough to help people move from homelessness to self-reliance. In response, Homes with Hope expanded the support services and housing options available to clients by providing the resources needed for them to be successful in their journey out of homelessness. We fulfill our mission with a continuum of services that starts with feeding the hungry through our Community Kitchen and Food Pantry and includes: emergency shelters, permanent supportive housing, casework services, pre-employment training and mentoring.
Homes with Hope’s long-term vision is to create 50 units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for the chronically homeless, mentally ill. The agency chose to focus on increasing the number of PSH units in and around Westport as an outcome of the lessons learned over the many years of serving those most in need in our community. We continue to be devoted to the mission of our existing programs and services while we move forward with this initiative. The agency’s flagship program, Saugatuck Apartments, was opened between 1998 through 1999 and provides permanent housing for 3 families and 5 individuals.
The Westport Rotary Centennial House, our 6-unit PSH project located at 10 West End Avenue in Westport, completed construction in August, 2009; with tenants starting to move in during September. Today 4 homeless individuals and 2 families have a permanent place to call home.
Fair Street Apartments is a collaboration between Homes with Hope and New Neighborhoods, Inc. in Stamford. HwH serves 5 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals in this 57-unit affordable housing facility located in Norwalk that opened in the fall of 2010.
In late 2011 HwH started moving new PSH tenants into Hales Court, a 78-unit affordable housing community developed, owned and operated by the Westport Housing Authority. HwH provides case management to tenants of 10 PSH apartments, 2 for families and 8 for individuals or couples within this community.
The Interfaith Housing Association of Westport and Weston, Inc. was chartered as a charitable organization under Connecticut law in January 1984. On August 29, 1984 Interfaith Housing was granted 501(c)(3) status by the IRS. Since that time the agency has continued to develop what makes up the organization’s Continuum of Services. In July 2009 Interfaith Housing Association announced it will be doing business as Homes with Hope. The organization changed its name to Homes with Hope to better reflect the fullness of our mission. We are the same organization, but believe the new name better communicates our focus on the permanent supportive housing goals of our mission and the hope that independent living can provide. In January 2011 the CT Secretary of State accepted Homes with Hope, Inc. as the agency’s legal name as did the IRS in March 2011. Our EIN number remains the same only the name has been changed.