The State Bond Commission has approved $2,575,169 in funding for Community Mental Health Affiliates (CMHA). The funding is for renovations of its facility on 26 Russel Street in New Britain which houses the Central CT Winter Shelter and Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program Team Time Social Club.
New Britain’s state legislators, State Reps. Betty Boukus (D-Plainville, New Britain), Peter Tercyak (D-New Britain), Rick Lopes (D-New Britain, Newington), and Rep. Bobby Sanchez (D-New Britain) and Sen. Terry Gerratana (D-Berlin, Farmington, New Britain), announced early last week that the funding had been added to the agenda of the State Bond Commission – a key step to obtaining approval. The State Bond Commission approved the funding at its meeting on Friday, September 30, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building.
“These renovations show our community’s commitment to these valuable programs,” Rep. Boukus said. As Chair of the legislative Bonding Subcommittee, Boukus plays a central role in the allocation of state bonding projects. “Social rehabilitation is one of the most effective therapeutic approaches of treating serious mental illness in a safe and welcoming environment. Also, a high percentage of homeless individuals suffer from mental illness and the Winter Shelter Program offers a break from the elements in the most dangerous months of the winter season.”
“This critical funding will allow Community Mental Health Affiliates to make necessary improvements to their facility while also expanding operational space, allowing them to improve and expand the services they offer,” said Sen. Gerratana.
The Central CT Winter Shelter runs yearly from December through March to accommodate the increase in shelter participants during those months. Averages of more than 170 mentally ill homeless individuals use the facilities and are linked to other needed services through the program. The Team Time Social Club provides a peer-support program with opportunities to participate in group activities that promote social and life skills as well as connecting to other needed services.
“CMHA is an incredible organization with close ties to our New Britain Community,” Gerratana added, “providing vital mental health and behavioral assistance to children, adults and families. They have come to the aid of countless New Britain residents, and I’m glad we were able to return the favor and come to their aid by securing this funding.”
“CMHA, an organization that acts as an essential lifeline for those living with serious mental illness, will be receiving this grant from the state,” Rep. Lopes said. “Mental health services are a crucial component of a healthy community and these funds are part of the promise we made to improve those services.”
Improvements will include total interior renovations: new kitchen, cafeteria, pantry, utility, dining room, bathrooms, game room, new HVAC system, windows, doors, flooring and a backup generator. An ADA-compliant elevator, entrances, and front patio will also be installed.
“Thank you very much Betty Boukus for everything you’ve done to secure this critical funding,” Rep. Tercyak said. “As a psychiatric nurse for over 30 years, CMHA has had a special place in my heart for a long time. The people there do wonderful work, and their clients are models of recovery, empowerment and community involvement.”
Rep. Sanchez said, “The funding for renovating and improving the CMHA facility is critical for the continuation of essential programs that our community relies on. It is encouraging to see that supporting our mental health services continues to be a priority for the state. I am particularly proud that this great facility is located within the district I represent.”
CMHA’s website describes the agency as, “a not-for-profit, multi-service, community-oriented behavioral health organization. CMHA’s goal is to develop and maintain an accessible mental health and addictions delivery system that meets the essential needs of people consistent with their goals for change and recovery. CMHA’s commitment to high quality services and strong ties to the community have enabled us to develop highly responsive programs. This has led to continued improvements in service delivery to clients and enhanced our capabilities to provide multiple levels of care in our outpatient continuum.”