Governor Ned Lamont wants to spend $12 million from Connecticut’s share of the American Rescue Plan money to provide a universal home visiting program for families with newborns.
Damaris Retamar, a Bridgeport resident, said home visits from a social worker would have made a huge difference when she had her first child at 17.
“I had no clue what I was doing,” she said.
An emotional Retamar, who now has three children, said that’s why she supports Lamont’s proposal for universal home visits by nurses and social workers.
“I know a lot of people who have struggled with keeping their kids because they don’t have the support, financially, mentally, physically. They are there by themselves. They don’t know who to turn to. Just like I did it,” Retamar said.
Retamar spoke at an event with the governor in Bridgeport. Lamont is urging lawmakers to approve his spending plan for the American Rescue money.
“The federal government is giving us tremendous resources and this is our opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives,” Lamont said.
If approved by lawmakers, the three-year program would roll-out in July. It would begin in Bridgeport, Waterbury, Hartford and New London.
Lamont has also proposed spending $33 million for a community health worker program over the next three years.