Safe Futures Phoenix House Transitional Living Program (PHTLP) facility was constructed in 1991 as the first transitional living program in Connecticut to specifically serve victims of domestic violence and their children who are homeless, or are at-risk for homelessness, due to the violence in their lives. Today, it is only one of four programs of its kind specifically for victims of domestic violence in all of Connecticut, and the only one in the eastern part of the state. The program has nine fully-furnished apartments, two for single women and seven for women with children, in a safe, secure building in New London, Connecticut. Residents can remain housed for between six and 24 months and receive individualized case management services during their stay to help them achieve their personal goals, and access permanent housing when they exit.
Safe Futures received a total of $216,965 funds in the first and second round of the Nonprofit Grant Program which allowed us to complete several much needed projects at PHTLP:
Mechanical Replacement Project
In order to conserve energy and funds, we replaced the original 11 water heaters and 62 baseboard heaters that were twenty-three years old and beyond their expected useful lives. The water heaters were oversized for what was needed and did not have shut-off valves or pans to catch any overflow. As a result, residents were incurring unnecessary costs. With the new water heaters and baseboards, costs have decreased for residents.
Flooding Determent Project
Unfortunately, due to the design of the parking lot adjacent to PHTLP, as well as settling of the ground around PHTLP, when it rained, the water flowed around, instead of into, the catch basins in the parking lot and behind PHTLP, and towards the building, or into the children’s play area, where it eventually pooled. The pool of water seeped under the doors and into the basement, flooding the entryway, Career Center, Support Group Room, a hallway, and even at times, our donations area. Although we used sandbags and towels to limit flooding when rain was forecasted, the areas inevitably experienced some level of flooding.
With funds from OPM, we replaced the catch basins to set them at a height to collect the water, excavating areas at the back of the property, replaced sections of sidewalks, and added curbing and stone to direct the flow of water properly. We also repaired the pitch and striping of our existing handicap parking space to make it fully ADA compliant. Since this project was completed we’ve not experienced any flooding!
The roof of PHTLP was not in good condition, being twenty-three years old. Also, located in the City of New London, we are in a hurricane/tropical storm prone area, relative to the rest of the state. In recent years, shingles came off the roof more frequently during storms, putting residents and staff in harm’s way and putting our facility at risk for water damage. Funding from the Nonprofit Grant Program allowed us to replace the roof with materials better suited for future storms. The roof has remained intact through several storms and hopefully through many more.
The flooring in the entire 3 story PHTLP building was chipped and broken in certain places, and, basically worn out from 23 years of “foot traffic.” Increasingly, clients and visitors had tripped over broken floor tiles. We replaced the flooring in all apartments, hallways, career center, offices, etc. with appropriate coverings. Residents have commented on how nice the new floors look.
We also are receiving funds from the third round of the Nonprofit Grant Program for several renovation projects at our confidential emergency shelter, Genesis House, for victims of domestic violence and their families. Last year, we housed 139 women and children at Genesis House, being at over capacity for the fifth year in a row. Improvements will be done throughout the house-replacement of doors and floors, renovations to two bathrooms, and finishing and waterproofing the basement. With the renovations we will better provide a healthy, safe, and comfortable environment for victims.