February News from Hall

February News from Hall

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! 

With gratitude, 

Bob Dzurenda

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. 

COVID-19 testing

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 

 

Thoughts from a Hall alum

Thoughts from a Hall alum

Noreaga Davis was one of the first students I met when I took my position at Hall five years ago. He had been attending Hall programs since he was a baby — it was one constant in a young life marked by one disaster after another. He has known more sadness than any child should have to experience. 

In the midst of trauma, Nori turned to Hall Neighborhood House as his safe space. In his words, “Hall gave me the opportunity to understand — and then start to solve — some of the hardship I had experienced. It helped me become a better man.” 

And that is exactly what has happened. 

Nori is now a college student who dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon. And more than anything, he is committed to serving children and families who are living through traumas just like his own. 

“I know how it feels to not have stuff,” he said. “I know how it feels to look in your mom’s eyes and see a million tears.” 

“But I’m built off of giving and spreading love. And at the holidays, it’s more important than ever. Some families don’t have support. They don’t have food, heat, hot water. I’m not well off — I’m still a college student. But I know I can do what I can to help my neighbors.” 

Will you join him? 

Over Thanksgiving, Nori ran a food and clothing drive for families on the East Side of Bridgeport. This holiday season, be inspired by his example and generosity. Follow Nori’s lead and make your own gift to make this year a little bit brighter for families who face countless challenges. 

As Nori reminded me, “One small donation can go a long way. It’s hard times right now — but you can help produce smiles. This season is important. And most of all, the families we’re helping are important.” 

November Covid-19 Safety Update

November Covid-19 Safety Update

Dear Hall Neighborhood House Families and Parents,

We are excited to have had a successful week as we have reopened. We are so glad to have your kids back with us in a safe, clean and supportive environment. I wanted to reach out to you to share some important updates on protocols and activities so you can be confident as we continue to navigate the realities of COVID-19 in Connecticut.

  • Daily cleaning. Every single day, our building is cleaned 4 times per day to ensure that they are completely safe for your children and all of our community members. We are proud of the steps we continue to take to ensure that all children in our Child Care and School Care programs are safe. 
  • Clear building sections. We have sectioned off each area of the building to contain programs to further protect your children. This allows us to isolate any issues and stay on top of contact tracing. 
  • Regular testing. Every Tuesday, from 9AM-4PM, we will be offering COVID testing to the community provided by Yale New Haven Hospital. All are welcome to take advantage of this service.  Our staff will also continue to be tested regularly as a part of this offering. 
  • Health clinic. This week and in the weeks ahead, our health center will offer screenings, physicals and vaccines for your children and families. We are here to support you as you advocate for your family’s well being. 
  • School care. We know that many of your school-aged children have had to navigate either hybrid or virtual learning. We have limited but available spaces for your kids in our School care program. The program accepts Care4Kids. 

We are also always monitoring changes and adhering to CDC, state and local guidelines. We are committed to excellence in this for you, for our children, seniors and for our staff. 

Thank you for being a part of Hall’s family. We are honored to serve you and partner with you. 

Wishing you the best as we navigate this together,

Robert L. Dzurenda
Executive Director

Health and Safety at Hall Neighborhood House

Health and Safety at Hall Neighborhood House

Dear Hall Neighborhood House neighbors and friends,

As you have likely seen in the news, the state of Connecticut is experiencing an increase in its number of COVID-19 cases.

In response to these heightened risks, and in an effort to keep our families, staff, and community members safe and healthy, Hall is currently undergoing professional cleaning and sanitation. We will reopen on November 9 with comprehensive protections including plastic dividers, hand sanitizer, masks, and sectioning of the building to isolate any potential risks in the future.

In addition to these extensive cleaning and safety precautions, we are pleased to announce a new partnership with Yale New Haven Hospital. Beginning November 10, we will be offering COVID-19 testing every Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m at Hall Neighborhood House.

Testing will be available to the public, and we are grateful that this partnership will allow us to provide high-quality diagnostic services and assurance to the community.

In the midst of this challenging season, our staff continues to work tirelessly to support families in creative and meaningful ways. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at i​nfo@hnhonline.org.​

With gratitude,

Bob Dzurenda
Executive Director
Hall Neighborhood House

Hall’s COVID-19 Response

Hall’s COVID-19 Response

I want to take this moment to thank you. Over the past few months, you and so many others have been instrumental in helping the staff at Hall Neighborhood House respond effectively, creatively, and intentionally to the new reality this pandemic presents. Our team has come together in amazing ways—and I want to take a moment to celebrate that with you.

Over the last few months we have:

  • Delivered over 2,000 grocery bags and over 500 hot meals to seniors around our neighborhood who depend on that food to get through.
  • Provided a digital art class for over 90 students in Bridgeport, resulting in a beautiful outside art gallery featuring over 120 pieces of art.
  • Hosted Bingo outside for our seniors three days per week to provide community and connection.
  • Provided childcare, school care for elementary students, and summer camp, supporting our parents as they navigated a new work environment.

At our building, we have taken key precautions like hiring a professional cleaning service,  instituting temperature screenings for everyone in the building, hosting COVID-19 testing for the community, reducing the size of our childcare classrooms to limit health risks, limiting access to the building, and requiring masks for all adults.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed our “how” in countless ways—but it has never changed our “what.”

Our goals remain; we have just had to be more creative about how we pursue them. 

As we look toward the fall, we are introducing exciting initiatives to serve our neighbors and staff. We are:

  • Offering all-day childcare and school care support for the school-age children of our staff members—enabling staff to keep working and their children to learn in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Making telehealth therapy available to seniors—helping them combat and process anxiety, isolation, and mental health struggles.
  • Opening our new community health center—making health screenings, immunizations, check-ups, and treatment available to families right here at Hall Neighborhood House.
  • Continuing to provide childcarepreschoolschool-age, and after school programming for students in the community—giving parents the freedom to navigate their work day without worrying about their children’s school progress or where they will spend the afternoon.

Your care and support make critical services like these possible, equip us to continue being an innovative leader in our community, and meet the needs of the families we serve.

Thank you for being a part of the Hall Neighborhood House community.