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New Federal Grant to Help Men, Women & Families Affected by Substance Use and Homelessness

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) joined officials with CHR, the state’s most comprehensive non-profit behavioral healthcare agency, on February 19th to celebrate the launch of a five-year, $1.85 million federal grant to help men, women and families whose lives have been affected by substance use disorders and homelessness.

The grant, called COMPASS Home, targets 30 towns in eastern Connecticut and will be based in CHR’s Willimantic office. It will provide intensive services to link individuals with substance use disorders, including opioid addictions, with safe housing and a wide range of support services to get their lives, and their families, back on track.

“The final destination of COMPASS Home is safe and affordable housing for individuals and families, along with ongoing health and support services,” said Heather M. Gates, President and CEO of CHR. “We are very passionate about meeting the needs of people with substance use disorders, including help with housing, recovery support, case management and many other services that are not always covered by insurance. This grant will go far to change and improve lives and help people reach lasting recovery and self-sufficiency,” she said.

COMPASS stands for “Coordinated Medical, Psychiatric, Substance Abuse and Social Services” to represent the many dimensions of health that are critical to long term recovery, along with permanent housing.  To help meet a wide range of needs, CHR is collaborating with local partners including Generations Health Care, First Choice Health Centers, Planned Parenthood, Genoa Healthcare, the Willimantic Police Department, CCAR and more.

In its application for the federal grant, CHR noted that nearly 50-percent of men who complete residential treatment in their system and about 30-percent of women in similar programs have recently experienced homelessness.

“Often, by the time people seek treatment for alcohol and drug addictions, they are alone, estranged from their families or know they can’t go back to homes that won’t support their recovery. COMPASS Home will help people get the full range of support to help them maintain recovery and lead healthy, productive lives,” Gates added.

Funding for COMPASS Home comes from a federal grant to CHR from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). CHR participated in a national competition for the funding.

About CHR: CHR is Connecticut’s most comprehensive, non-profit behavioral healthcare agency, offering a broad array of services for adults, children and families whose lives have been touched by mental illness, substance use, trauma and more. Founded in 1966, CHR has a vibrant outpatient network of services as well as intensive and specialized services to address complicated needs, including residential and community-based programs. Learn more at

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