At Hall Neighborhood House, all of our programs are driven by a core set of values. These central tenets of our community drive our actions and our relationships—and one of the values that motivates us most is that we Believe in People. At Hall, we look for the best in people, regardless of their circumstances. We operate like a family and believe that everyone has value.
Everyone in our organization shares this mindset—from board members to staff, teachers, leadership, and anyone who works on our behalf. Our goal is for everyone who walks through our doors to feel like family.
Our emphasis on family is also how we build community across generations—children, families, adults, and seniors come together to form the Hall Neighborhood House community, and everyone is welcome here.
Our values guide every decision we make at Hall Neighborhood House. When we say we believe in people, here’s what we mean:
At Hall, We Listen and Adapt
We make it a point to be responsive to the unique needs of our community—whether that’s adding new programs or tweaking old ones.
We opened our health center in response to neighbors’ needs, and we are now one of the only youth, childcare, and senior centers in the area to offer on-site medical care. We have practitioners from Optimus Health on-site five days a week providing physicals, immunizations, and ongoing healthcare. We listened to our community’s concerns and took action–but we’re not stopping here. In the coming months, we will add dental, vision, and behavioral health services to the health center.
We Invest in Programs Proven to Make Life Better
Hall Neighborhood House provides comprehensive, accredited childcare and preschool programs, because all children deserve opportunities to learn using proven techniques. In our classrooms, children learn from child development experts and teaching professionals.
For seniors, we know that nutrition has a huge impact on quality of life, especially for those over age 65, so we provide nutritious meals every day at our Senior Center.
And we’re excited to provide preventative healthcare, like screenings, physicals, and immunizations so our neighbors can spend their energy playing or learning instead of trying to find affordable healthcare.
We Pursue Community Partnerships
There are some things we can’t do alone, so we welcome community involvement—whether that means individual volunteers, groups of classmates, or whole organizations. Volunteers and community partners bring their unique expertise to Hall Neighborhood House, helping us continue to provide varied and high-quality programming for community members of all ages.
For example, our partners at Beats by Girlz encourage girls to try music engineering and producing, using the professional mixing equipment and recording rooms at Hall Neighborhood House. We provide state-of-the-art technology and they provide valuable mentorship and guidance.
Youth basketball programs also use our gyms for league games. This program allows our home team, Kings Kids, to showcase their skills, and introduces more community members to Hall Neighborhood House.
We Model Possibility
Not only do we provide a safe space where kids can be with their friends, we intentionally offer our youth exposure to what’s possible. We seek out staff and leaders with varied personal and professional backgrounds. On our Board, for example, we have members with experience in sales, marketing, banking, healthcare, economics, teaching, and more.
Sandra Greer, Vice Chair of the Board puts it best, saying, “We’re building a sense of self-worth and a mindset so our students can tell themselves, ‘I can. I am somebody.’”
We believe in people. And we help people believe in themselves.
Our values make Hall Neighborhood House a special place. We work every day to be good neighbors and provide high-quality, comprehensive programs for our community. You can be a part of our story and join us in believing in people by supporting our mission today!
Today on National Doctors Day, we are celebrating the incredible medical professionals working at our full-service health center, Community Health at Hall. We are grateful that we are able to serve the East Side of Bridgeport with high-quality medical care, and, with the support of our committed team of medical professionals, we look forward to growing the health services available in our neighborhood.
The East Side of Bridgeport is a vibrant community with diverse needs. In our 135 year history, Hall Neighborhood House has met those needs in both practical and creative ways, and our on-site community health center, in partnership with Optimus Health, is the latest offering designed to bring care and resources to those we serve. We are one of the only youth, childcare, and senior centers to offer on-site medical care in our area.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our community health center has made it possible for us to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccinations on-site. We are grateful for the physicians at Optimus Health and Yale New Haven Health that have helped us serve our community throughout the pandemic.
In addition, we continue to provide accessible, high-quality medical services that contribute to our neighbors’ long-term wellbeing and quality of life. Although medical experts widely agree that primary care forms the cornerstone of individual and public health, primary care visits have dropped across the nation. People with lower incomes, especially, have less access to primary care and tend to wait until something is wrong before visiting a doctor, a trend that results in poorer health outcomes. We know that preventative care is essential for community health, so Community Health at Hall provides physicals, immunizations, and ongoing, preventative medical care. Last year, in partnership with Sacred Heart University College of Nursing, we offered 1,000 medical screenings for senior citizens in our community. We look forward to providing even more primary care through the new community health center.
As one of Hall Neighborhood House’s Physician’s Assistants, Charles Engle, PA-C, described, “At the new community health center, I’m able to offer critical support and healing to families in this neighborhood. Community Health at Hall makes preventative medical care convenient and accessible to those living on the East Side of Bridgeport. Our patients will benefit for years to come from the services Hall Neighborhood House provides just a short distance from their homes.”
And in so many ways we are just getting started.
Your donation today will enable the continued growth of Community Health at Hall’s medical offerings. Soon, we will also provide dental, vision, and psychological services to our neighborhood. In Bridgeport’s low-income communities, 19% of children lack proper dental care, and 5.4% of young adults ages 18-25 self-identified as having a serious mental illness, a significant increase from the survey three years prior. By offering high-quality dental, vision, and behavioral health care, we will address critical community needs and continue Hall Neighborhood House’s mission to provide holistic, high-quality services throughout our neighbors’ lives.
Every year on March 8, we recognize International Women’s Day—a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Here at Hall Neighborhood House, we are excited to celebrate the strong women who make our community as vibrant as it is today!
We are proud that our history includes so many thoughtful and passionate women—including our founders and our namesake, Sarah Hall. In 1886, a group of community-minded women started the Associated Charities of Bridgeport to help young migrant families adjust to life in the industrious and growing community of Bridgeport, CT. Then, in 1901, one of the founders, a woman named Sarah Hall, donated her home as a residence for young women. At this “Hall Home,” women received training and job placement assistance—and a few short years later, they began offering nursery and childcare services.
The vision and dedication of this small group of women more than a century ago built the foundation of Hall Neighborhood House and set the stage for where we are today.
Since those early days, countless staff, teachers, and board members have continued to use their unique strengths to carry out our mission to this day. Women across the organization lead by example, inspiring the young women who are active participants in our programs.
Hall is dedicated to creatively and comprehensively meeting the needs of women in our community. In our childcare and preschool programs, young girls prepare for a successful transition to kindergarten by building literacy and social skills. And in our youth programs, talented young women make art, take computer classes, play sports, and explore career options, taking advantage of varied opportunities to learn and grow.
We also host Beats by Girlz: Bridgeport, a community partner program that helps girls break into the male-dominated fields of music engineering and producing. Beats by Girlz participants learn with the best using our state-of-the-art music studio, which includes recording rooms and professional mixing equipment. Girls can also choose to be paired with a mentor who addresses their specific goals.
From the youngest children to our vibrant community of seniors, we invest in and celebrate women and girls of all ages, today and every day. We want Hall Neighborhood House to be a place where women are encouraged to cultivate their unique talents and reach their individual goals, with the support of leaders, teammates, and mentors.
And this network of support includes you.
With your generous support, Hall can continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for girls and women. When women thrive, we all thrive. Today, on International Women’s Day, support Hall’s year-round programming by making a gift today in honor of the women in your life.
Make a one-time or recurring donation at hallneighborhoodhouse.org/donate
At Hall Neighborhood House, we are endlessly grateful for our hardworking, passionate, dedicated staff. We have the best team. If you haven’t gotten a chance to meet them yet, here are a few things you should know:
They love to learn.
They are kind.
They cherish our community.
They find creative ways to solve difficult problems.
During the past year, Hall Neighborhood House has not only remained open to our community, we’ve grown our services to meet the extra need.
We couldn’t have adapted and expanded without each and every teacher and program director we have on board.
They spent countless hours creating and implementing new COVID-safe protocols, sometimes restructuring entire programs if that’s what it took to ensure our community stayed healthy. They’ve balanced safety and connection with sensitivity and care. And they’ve kept spirits up as we navigated tough circumstances.
Our early childhood program remains best-in-class and has served as a haven for many local families who need affordable child care more than ever before, with some parents working from home and others unemployed due to the recession. Our teachers have ensured a stellar and safe learning environment for the youngest members of our community.
Our youth program has adjusted to the realities of virtual learning. Not everyone has reliable internet or computer access, or an adult at home who has extra time for homework help, so we opened space for a group of students to attend virtual classes and complete their assignments right here at Hall Neighborhood House. After school, many other students join us for tutoring and time to play. It is no small feat that Hall Neighborhood House employees have ensured a consistent space for students to safely learn and socialize—something that’s rare these days.
In the summer, kids from around the neighborhood had a blast with our programs, laughing and learning like kids should.
They were still able to enjoy these activities because our staff was working extra hard to keep them safe and healthy.
All summer long, seniors played Bingo outside where they could still gather safely. As temperatures dropped, we began delivering meals to seniors in their homes, ensuring that they still had someone looking out for them, even when we couldn’t meet in-person. In recent months, we’ve vaccinated over 100 senior citizens—and soon, we’ll begin welcoming small groups of vaccinated seniors back inside Hall Neighborhood House for activities. Our team is listening deeply to what the community needs and exploring creative ways to grow our services while keeping everyone healthy.
And this winter, as we began offering COVID testing and vaccinations here at Hall Neighborhood House, our team demonstrated flexibility and care once again. Staff helped us create space for additional medical personnel on-site, reorganize schedules so that our partners could use the gym for vaccines, and even shared parking spaces! We are committed to meeting the needs of our community, and our staff has made it possible for us to introduce new services for our neighbors, improve our processes, and keep everyone safe and healthy.
Thank you to every program director, teacher, and team member at Hall Neighborhood House.
Your leadership is what makes every activity at Hall Neighborhood House possible. Thank you for your resourcefulness as we have explored new initiatives, your flexibility in seeing where the most need exists, and your creativity as we develop solutions to these challenges.
Your investment in children, seniors, and families on the East Side of Bridgeport is what brings us and our community hope, even in the toughest of times. Thank you for your expertise, your patience, and your wisdom.
We appreciate you, Hall Neighborhood House team. You bring a smile to our faces every day. Thank you for your work. Together we can make life better!
It has been a busy winter at Hall Neighborhood House! To keep you up-to-date on everything happening, we’re excited to launch our new newsletter—a monthly digest highlighting some of the biggest moments of the past month and looking ahead to what’s next. I encourage you to invite your friends to subscribe, too!
This month, we focused on keeping our community as safe and healthy as possible. Our new community health center has allowed us to offer a wide variety of health services, including physicals, wellness visits, COVID-19 testing, and, now, COVID-19 vaccines. Moving forward, we’re so excited to continue to expand these health resources for our neighbors.
Thank you for your support and encouragement of Hall Neighborhood House!
COVID-19 vaccines for seniors
This month, we began administering COVID-19 vaccines to over 100 seniors who participate in Hall Neighborhood House programs. We hope this is only the beginning! In the coming weeks, we will open up vaccination appointments to other seniors in the community and continue to work within government guidelines to offer vaccines to as many people as possible. We have a bilingual team on-site to help seniors navigate the online registration process, and seniors are welcome to stop by now or call 203-345-2024 to sign up and add their names to our waiting list.
Virtual school support
When students transitioned to virtual or hybrid school, we quickly realized that families in our community needed a safe place where their children could access their online classes. We opened Hall Neighborhood House to a group of these students, and since September, our youth counselors have helped them log in to school, stay on task, and navigate their assignments all day long.
Community Health Center
Our community health center is OPEN! Children, families, and seniors have been receiving medical care, including immunizations, check-ups, and wellness visits right here at Hall Neighborhood House. Care is provided in partnership with Optimus Health, making it a simple, safe, easy option for our neighbors on the East Side of Bridgeport. Our neighbors can stop by to learn more, or call 203-345-2024 to schedule an appointment.
Getting ready for Valentine’s Day
Students have been getting in the Valentine’s Day spirit and helping us decorate our space for the upcoming holiday. They completed collaborative art projects using tape and paint, and we were so impressed with the results! These talented young people amaze us with their creativity—and keep us smiling with their great attitudes.
Every week, we provide COVID-19 testing to our neighbors at no cost. Our partners at Yale New Haven Health offer walk-up testing every Tuesday from 8:30 – 4:00. We are proud to play our part in keeping our community healthy and grateful to our team of partners that make high-quality healthcare available right here at Hall Neighborhood House.
Keeping parents up-to-date on their children’s learning
Our early learning program upgraded their ProCare services at the beginning of January, giving parents an inside look at their children’s daily activities, milestones, and more. This easy-to-use app also allows us to track attendance, provide “contactless” check-ins and check-outs, and communicate with parents and families. We are grateful to have technology that helps us stay as safe, healthy, and connected as possible.
Stay tuned! Here’s what’s coming soon…
- A new behavioral health center — opening in the near future!
- Dental services offered through our Community Health Center
- Renovations in the senior center in the lobby