President and CEO Frank Reynolds visits New Haven Shelter to Tour Facility and Meet with Staff
NEW HAVEN, CT – March 1, 2023 – United Illuminating and Southern Connecticut Gas, subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), today announced the award of a $15,000 grant to Columbus House in New Haven to help the nonprofit manage rising energy costs in support of its vital mission to provide life-saving shelter, housing assistance, and critical services to those experiencing homelessness. The announcement was made by UI and SCG President and CEO Frank Reynolds during a visit to Columbus House on Wednesday. The funding builds on AVANGRID’s commitment to Connecticut, including more than $5.7 million in charitable donations to nonprofits and other community organizations across the state.
“AVANGRID is a proud member of the Connecticut community and committed to partnering with terrific organizations like Columbus House, so we are honored to provide this grant funding so they can better focus on their critical mission and deliver essential services to people currently experiencing homelessness,” said AVANGRID CEO Pedro Azagra. “Rising energy costs are an immense challenge for local nonprofits already working hard to manage a budget and provide important services to Connecticut residents in need, so we are proud to offer this support to advance our shared mission with Columbus House – to not only end, but reverse homelessness.”
The grant funding will be used by Columbus House to relieve the burden on its budget due to rising winter energy costs, so it can focus on providing services and resources to more than 100 people that stay at its New Haven shelter every night, including food, shelter, and opportunities to move them toward affordable, permanent housing solutions.
“The number of people experiencing homelessness in our state is the highest it’s been since 2014,” said Columbus House Director of Development Catherine DiTuri. “With inflation and the increased costs in living, those with limited incomes are struggling, and non-profits also find it difficult to operate. United Illuminating and Southern Connecticut Gas, as part of the AVANGRID Family, have been supporting the work of Columbus House for over two decades through corporate contributions and event sponsorships. We are grateful for their continued partnership and this financial assistance to help offset the increase in energy costs so we can continue to serve our vulnerable neighbors.”
During Wednesday’s event, UI and SCG President and CEO Frank Reynolds toured Columbus House’s New Haven shelter facility, and met with Columbus House Director of Development Catherine DiTuri, Columbus House Board President Matt Cammarota, Columbus House Chief Development Officer John Brooks, and City of New Haven Director of Community Resilience Carlos Sosa-Lombardo. The group met with Columbus House staff and learned about the critical services provided on site.
“I was inspired to see the important work taking place at Columbus House and meet with its the dedicated staff, and we are proud to build on more than two decades of partnership with this wonderful organization and help it manage its energy costs so it can keep its resources where they need to be – providing support for our most vulnerable residents,” said UI and SCG President and CEO Frank Reynolds. “Partnering with organizations like Columbus House helps build stronger, healthier, more caring communities, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to work with Columbus House, provide this direct financial support, and doing our part to make sure that Columbus House will always be here, fully operational, to keep people safe and warm.”
Columbus House opened its doors in 1982 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to provide shelter for homeless men and women at least 18 years of age. Since that time, the agency has expanded its mission and programs dramatically. Today, Columbus House provides not only shelter but also housing assistance, case management services, and innovative programs that meet the changing needs of those experiencing homelessness. Columbus House serves people experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk by providing life-saving outreach, shelter and housing and by fostering their personal growth and independence. The organization also advocates for and creates affordable housing to end homelessness in our communities. Columbus House has a staff of 200 serves people at over a dozen locations across four counties in Connecticut.
# # #