Executive Director’s Statement
All of us at the No Freeze are so passionate about what we do, and I am grateful for this opportunity to share my passion with you. I work with some amazing people — staff, volunteers, and guests alike.
When a person is experiencing homelessness, they are in crisis emotionally and physically. Their most basic needs are not being met and daily life becomes focused on survival, from getting food to staying clean to staying warm. When they come to the No Freeze Project, they are greeted with warmth and compassion, a listening ear, and hope for a stable future. The staff here approaches their work with creativity, honesty, and knowledge of the resources available for every unique situation.
We are so much more than a shelter. Our guests arrive here in distress, with few resources, and very little hope. We help them to connect to the resources they need, including health services, employment, transportation, case management, and housing. We empower our guests to create their own housing plan and provide them with the tools they need to execute it.
Nothing is more exciting than seeing a person go from a crisis situation to a stable one. I am always so grateful to see our guests move from the shelter into safe and permanent housing. We see many of our former guests return to ‘give back’ by volunteering or even working for us.
Thanks to you, our supportive community, for making the No Freeze a reality.
Board Chair’s Statement
The Windham Region No Freeze Project was started in 2003 as a grassroots effort by a group of concerned citizens. These people reacted compassionately and immediately after a person experiencing homelessness died in the freezing cold.
Our organization has evolved over the years, but still depends upon grassroots support to keep our programs accessible and thriving. We are grateful for our dedicated volunteers and our community that rallies around us when we are in need, donating items, raising money, attending events, and voicing support for the important work we do.
I’m honored to lead an active, passionate and engaged board of directors. Just as the community rallies around us, our board mobilizes to support our executive director, helping her to carry out the project’s life-saving mission. And our talented and committed staff, dedicated to the people we serve, go above and beyond to ensure that every person who wants housing obtains housing.
Our partnerships are strong. In collaborative relationships with Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Connecticut, we act as a service learning site for the students, while these student volunteers help the people we serve. Our community partners, regional faith organizations, town officials and other important stakeholders support us in fighting homelessness, providing safe and affordable housing, and connecting guests to needed services. We are humbled by the commitment of so many individuals to support our guests and the work we do.
We appreciate ongoing financial support from organizations and individuals. Designated donations to the Leigh Duffy Diversion Fund, named after our previous executive director who did so much to help prevent homelessness, have helped so many people to find alternative arrangements that keep them from ever entering shelter. Generous funding from the Lester E. and Phyllis M. Foster Foundation, the United Way, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and many others, ensures that our clients are able to quickly get into housing when it becomes available.
We are excited about the future of our organization. Our strategic plan includes expanding diversion and housing services, and possibly adding guest services such as case management and respite care. Such services are critical to helping our guests move out of homelessness. We are committed to providing the highest level of care and services for our most vulnerable population.
We can’t do our important work without your help. Thank you for your continued support and commitment.
Kimberly Armstrong Silcox
Board of Directors
Kimberly Armstrong Silcox, Chair
Atty. Joelen Gates, Vice Chair
Elizabeth Lane, Treasurer
Paula Zakrzewski Shepard, Secretary
Gina DeVivo Brassaw
Fr. Larry Lapointe