New Haven shelter closing at a bad time

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NEW HAVEN -- Nearly three decades after opening its doors to women and children experiencing homelessness, a New Haven emergency shelter will shut its doors later this month.

New Reach operates three emergency shelters in New Haven, but its smallest, and first shelter, Careways Shelter for Women and Children, must close.

"I've been with the organization for 23 years and that shelter has been in operation for 27 years," said Kellyann Day, CEO of New Reach.

Making the decision to close the 10 unit shelter was one New Reach has been weighing for roughly five years.

"The cost of operating shelters has gone up,"Day said. "The public dollars have not gone up."

The displaced families will likely be moved to one of New Reach's other two shelters or another community partner's shelter. The closing could not come at a worse time.

"Unfortunately, there are over 30 families on the wait list for shelter and there's another 50 or 60 that are asking for help that we haven't even met with yet," Day said.

New Reach says they are need to raise approximately $1 million annually to help cover for operational costs.

"We need to be smart about planning to make sure that our organization survives," said Day.

Of course, New Reach is desperate to have both the corporate community and individuals invest in their mission financially.

"We would love to give tours for folks that are interested in coming over and seeing one of our buildings in action," Day said.

New Reach also operates a furniture bank, which is always in need of donations for folks, who are moving from shelters into permanent housing.