© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
89.9 FM is currently running on reduced power. 89.9 HD1 and HD2 are off the air. While we work to fix the issue, we recommend downloading the WSHU app.

Bridgeport Homeless Veterans Shelter Running Low On Space, Resources

Steven Senne

A Connecticut nonprofit that helps people who are homeless says it’s facing unprecedented challenges in the COVID-19 era.  

Homes for the Brave provides housing, job training and mental health services, especially for veterans experiencing homelessness. CEO Vincent Santilli says COVID-19 has stretched their resources thin.

“We are pretty, pretty crowded right now.”

All but five of the beds are occupied in their men’s house in Bridgeport.

“Which is obviously pretty close quarters.” 

They’ve had to send volunteers home and go to a skeleton crew of just essential workers. And like many nonprofits, they’ve had to suspend fundraising events. So Santilli says they’re managing by holding low-key, out of the box events. Like a book club for residents.

“We’re trying to keep the men positive, obviously keeping them safe and healthy, and keeping them busy. So we, I think, have our hands full.”

Santilli says Homes for the Brave only has a limited number of beds for people who need to be isolated. Some shelters and other homeless providers in Connecticut have turned to hotel rooms. Santilli says that may become an option.

“We’ve got a number of individuals that are up in years and have some medical challenges. So we’re just trying to work with them and watch them very, very closely. And you know what? We stand beside them.”

Santilli says Homes for the Brave’s immediate needs are simple, little donations like puzzles, disinfectant wipes and grocery store gift cards go a long way. He says it’s difficult to plan much further than that. As the uncertainty of COVID-19 continues, Homes for the Brave takes it one day at a time.

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.


Do you have questions you’d like WSHU to answer in local coverage of the coronavirus? Let us know via this survey.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.
Related Content