Danbury Housing Partnership Awards Presented at Annual Breakfast 

More than three hundred people assembled at the Amber Room on Thursday to learn about regional efforts to create housing opportunities and to honor members of the community for their achievements in addressing the social and housing needs of area residents.  The Third Annual Danbury Housing Partnership Breakfast afforded the opportunity to create awareness about the link between housing and economic vitality in the region as well as to raise funds to support efforts to create housing and address homelessness.

Partnership Chair Mark J. Nolan noted “it’s exciting not only to see so many people come out to support our efforts but also to have representation from so many towns in the region.”   Nolan praised the community spirit of five regional banks who served as major contributing sponsors for the event:  Fairfield County Bank, Newtown Savings Bank, Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury and Webster Bank.

In his welcoming remarks, Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton commended the work of the Partnership in implementing the Ten-Year Plan To End Homelessness, stating that the community-wide effort seeks to “change the dynamic from settling for managing homelessness by putting people in shelters to a pro-active effort to prevent and end homelessness.”    Boughton cited the community’s annual Project Homeless Connect as an inspiring example of an innovative approach that brings real life-changing help to those who need it most.

Keynote Speaker Diane Randall of the Connecticut Partnership for Strong Communities provided a summary of recent Federal and State initiatives to create affordable housing and address the problems of homelessness.  Randall noted that housing and homelessness is not the problem of any single community:  “homelessness is not a Danbury problem, it is a regional problem” and that the issues of housing and homelessness can best be addressed “by regional collaboratives such as that represented by the people in this room today.”  Randall further noted that while solutions are best identified and implemented on the local level, localities need the financial support of State and Federal governments to help provide the resources needed.  Randall concluded by noting the close relationship between housing and employment.

A new video regarding the Partnership and Project Homeless Connect was debuted at the breakfast and received an enthusiastic response from the audience.   The video was created by David Deschenes of the United Way of Western Connecticut as part of the United Way’s support of the Partnership’s efforts to address the issues of affordable housing and homelessness.  

The highlight of the event was the announcement by Chairman Nolan of the recipients of the annual Danbury Housing Partnership Awards recognizing achievements in furthering implementation of the Ten-Year Plan To End Homelessness, to create housing opportunities or enhance social services in the community.  Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton and United States Congressman Christopher Murphy presented the awards.

The Community Partnership Award was presented to the Housing Authority of the City of Danbury; Domenico M. Chieffalo, Chairman.  Housing Authority Chairman Chieffalo stated:  “This is welcome recognition of the team effort to improve the Authority on the part of former Chair Tony Rizzo, the members of the board, Executive Director Carolyn Sistrunk, our staff, resident councils and residents.”

The Supportive Services Award was presented to the Catholic Charities Homeless Outreach Team; Al Barber, President.  President Barber commented:  “It’s gratifying when the community you serve recognizes the efforts you are making.  This is a tribute to our Director of Homeless Services, Michele Conderino, who also runs our successful Morning Glory Breakfast Program.”

The Business Partnership Award was presented to Patrick Walsh, owner of Walsh Catering Incorporated for his efforts in donating full food services at the annual Project Homeless Connect event.   A humble Chef Walsh said:  “This was totally unexpected.    Helping out people in need is the least I can do to give something back to the community.”

Congressman Murphy also presented the recipients with resolutions from the United States Congress recognizing their achievements.

Mayor Boughton praised the efforts of Chairman Nolan for his unselfish dedication and dynamic leadership of the Danbury Housing Partnership. 

Chairman Nolan asked the audience to recognize the efforts of Partnership Secretary Sue Zaborowski for her instrumental role in helping the Partnership function and fulfill its charge to the community. 

Chairman Nolan also acknowledged the generous donation of table centerpieces by Shakespeare’s Garden of Brookfield. 

For more information about the breakfast, the Partnership awards, Danbury Housing Partnership or Project Homeless Connect please visit www.danburyhousingpartnership.org.

Created 10/8/10