On a bitter cold morning in 1981, a priest at the Immaculate Conception Church at the corner of Park and Hungerford Streets in Hartford discovered a homeless man frozen to death near the church steps. Since that defining moment more than 30 years ago, ImmaCare has been a life-saving resource to thousands of people from Hartford and beyond who are experiencing homelessness, providing decent shelter and affordable, permanent supportive housing.
ImmaCare has always believed in offering easily accessible shelter and housing services to individuals experiencing homelessness. With that mission in mind, they set out to turn a 100+ year old church that housed their shelter program into a state-of-the-art Housing Navigation Center. This new Housing Navigation Center is a low-barrier, service-enriched shelter with a focus on individuals working on ending their homelessness.
The new Center is really state of the art — advanced entry systems, updated showers and laundry facilities, as well as a kitchen for food service and a dining area. Behavioral health services are actively being planned to address and treat mental health and substance use disorders, both of which are strong contributors to homelessness. Clients will be offered guidance from an onsite employment specialist and a job developer, both of whom are equipped to supply clients with the necessary tools to begin their journey toward employment and financial stability.
We are so proud of all of the work that ImmaCare has done in our community over the years and we are more than certain that this new focus will offer those experiencing homelessness the opportunity to develop pathways to permanent housing, income, improved healthcare and stability. The transformation of the building is truly incredible, the transformation of the program is inspiring, and we are certain that the lives of those who will be a part of the Housing Navigation Center will be transformed in significant ways.