A Commitment to Help, Housing, and Hope


For more than 51 years, CCA has been a force for community building and social change.


CCA got its start as part of a series of suburban "living room" dialogues held in 1966 that involved Catholics and Protestants focused on how best to put their Christian faith into action. These dialogues led to direct assistance to victims of a fire on Congress Avenue in 1967.


It was on Congress Avenue that CCA had its first office, under the direction of the Rev. David Nehring. This office became the focus of urban encounter programs, crisis intervention, emergency housing, and outreach between the inner city and the suburbs.


CCA moved to its current facility at 168 Davenport Avenue in 1971. There, CCA expanded its emergency housing, crisis intervention, coalition building, welfare reform, and educational efforts. In 1978, CCA acquired the adjacent property at 166 Davenport Avenue, adding three more emergency housing units.


In December 1984, the city-owned New Haven Family Shelter at 124 Sylvan Avenue was partially opened under CCA operation. The entire building was opened in 1986. The facility provided an additional 10 apartments for emergency housing.


In 1998, after years of planning, the Stepping Stone Transitional Housing Program was opened at 660 Winchester Avenue. This facility houses 18 apartments, an after school program, and an activity room for resident families and their children.


Other programs offered by CCA include after-school programs and a children’s summer program, fuel assistance, Diaper Bank, and food basket distribution at Thanksgiving that serves more than 2,000 families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Our ARISE Center helps families in need to prevent a first experience with or a return to homelessness, using an approach that incorporates both adults and children, providing multiple resources, including employment assistance, educational resources, family health and mental health referrals, child development screenings, and advocacy. 


Through the years, our vision has been not only to meet short term needs, but to provide people with the skills and opportunities necessary to become more self-sufficient.



CCA is founded, with the Rev. David Nehring as director, and opens its first office on Congress Avenue.



CCA moves its main office to its current location at 168 Davenport Avenue, where it expands its emergency housing by adding three units.



The Rev. Philip Grigsby becomes director.



CCA acquires new property at 166 Davenport Avenue, adding three more emergency housing units.



CCA begins its annual Thanksgiving food basket distribution.



The Rev. Karl Hilgert becomes director.



CCA expands its capacity to help families in crisis when the city-owned New Haven Family Shelter opens at 124 Sylvan Avenue under CCA operation. This shelter provides an additional 10 units of emergency housing.



CCA increases social service and case management programs for emergency housing residents.



The Rev. Bonita Grubbs becomes director.



"Mothers for Justice" is established.



CCA begins its first summer program for children who live in CCA housing.



After years of planning, the Stepping Stone Transitional Housing Program opens at 660 Winchester Avenue.



A catastrophic fire breaks out at the CCA main office, devastating the administrative space and five emergency housing units.



The 166-168 Davenport and Sylvan Avenue shelter sites are collectively renamed the Hillside Family Shelter.



"Client Choice Program" starts as part of CCA’s Food Pantry in the spring. CCA partners with Life Haven Family Shelter to start "The Woman’s Wellness Project"



Citizens Bank and News Channel 8 name CCA a "Community Champion."



CCA holds its first Forum program, “Laughing at Ourselves,” featuring the comedian Sinbad and TV personality Joy Behar.



The 25th annual Thanksgiving Food Basket distribution reaches 1,200 families. This effort is made possible thanks to the help of hundreds of volunteers from area schools, churches, businesses, and civic groups. The second CCA Forum, “Freedom! Not Just Another Word,” features writer Molly Ivins, attorney Anita Hill, and public television’s Ray Suarez.



CCA celebrates its 40th Anniversary at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.



CCA's annual fundraising event features "The Capitol Steps."



CCA begins its first People Empowering People "PEP" Training and receives funding for its first Parent Leadership Training Institute.



F.A.I.T.H. Partnerships program is formed. The Mothers for Justice video, "Living In a Broken System," is completed.



CCA's annual fundraising event features "An Evening with Garrison Keillor."



CCA receives the Bill Liddell Award from the Connecticut Food Bank in recognition of exemplary service, ongoing dedication, and significant support. CCA's annual fundraising event features a performance from The Second City.



CCA's annual fundraising event features Wynton Marsalis.



CCA's annual fundraising event features the group Three Mo' Tenors.



CCA opens the ARISE Center at 370 Davenport Avenue, a homelessness prevention center designed for families at risk of homelessness. ARISE stands for Accessing Resources for Independence Skill-building and Employment. CCA's annual fundraising event features Al Jarreau.



Award-winning singer Dionne Warwick performs at CCA's annual fundraiser. ARISE Center relocates to space at 158 Davenport Avenue. New Haven Register publishes front-page feature story about agency's on-going contributions to the community: http://bit.ly/2i7Vn7W



CCA commemorates 50 years of help, housing, and hope in New Haven. Key anniversary-related activities include a worship and praise service, an educational forum, a festival of food, family and fun to celebrate the Hill community, and a fund-raiser with actor/activist Harry Belafonte as guest.