History and Mission

Columbus House opened its doors in 1982 to provide services for men and women at least 18 years of age. Our goals quickly broadened from the mere provision of food and shelter and simple survival, to understanding and working toward overcoming the problems which cause people to become homeless.

Columbus House, along with its core of loyal supporters, friends and volunteers, has remained committed to fulfilling its mission: "To serve people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, by providing shelter and housing and by fostering their personal growth and independence."

In order to accomplish our mission, Columbus House relies on government grants as well as contributions from the private sector including businesses, foundations and individuals. It is also because of our extensive base of volunteer support and our collaborative partnerships with a number of community-based service providers that we are able to offer such a broad continuum of care for those experiencing homelessness.

Timeline

1982

1981.pngShelter doors open at 200 Columbus Avenue, our original location in New Haven.

1986

Columbus House opens first Men's Seasonal Overflow Shelter in New Haven.

1992

Outreach & Engagement program with collaborative partners begins serving those who are living on the street.

1995

First-transitional-program-opens.pngColumbus House implements our first Transitional Living Program, Davenport House (now Recovery House), to help prepare clients for permanent housing and independent living.

1998

Columbus House begins offering case management for clients in newly-opened Permanent Supportive Housing site, Cedar Hill. Several additional Supportive Housing sites would follow over the years.

2002

CH_LosInt_1.jpgConstruction is completed on our new shelter at 586 Ella T. Grasso Boulevard in New Haven doubling our capacity to serve single adults.

2005

Columbus House case managers begin serving Permanent Supportive Housing clients living in “scattered site” apartments.

2005

Columbus House officially adopts a “Housing First” policy, thereby committing to the belief that everyone is ready for and deserves a home.

2009

Columbus House expands Permanent Supportive Housing services to Waterbury residents.

2010

family-services.pngThe Middlesex Family Shelter in Middletown becomes a Columbus House program, with enhanced services to help families move toward permanent housing.

2011

Columbus House begins offering Rapid Re-Housing as a means to help people move directly from homelessness into permanent, independent housing.

2011

Through a program known as Pathways to Independence, Columbus House integrates services for housing, benefits counseling, and behavioral health, recognizing that complex problems require comprehensive solutions.

2013

DSCN0620 (004).JPGColumbus House opens the first Medical Respite Program for people experiencing homelessness in Connecticut.

2013

As part of the nationwide effort to end Veteran homelessness, Columbus House expands dramatically to serve over 350 Veterans and their families in Middlesex, New Haven, and New London counties.

2015

Federal government announces that Connecticut is the first state in the country to end “chronic” homelessness among Veterans. Columbus House and its many partners throughout the state contributed to this milestone.

2016

The Wallingford Emergency Shelter—serving families year-round and single adults seasonally—becomes a program of Columbus House.