Community Outreach Services

Through the SOS Program, JFSGNH and the Jewish Federation have cultivated the idea that when families are in crisis or faced with debilitating circumstances, they will have a caring and compassionate place to turn to for help within their community.  The JFS Social Work Outreach Program is a partnership of Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven, Inc. and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. This innovative program was created to make a positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable and under-served individuals and families in our community.

The SOS Program now carries out the longstanding JFSGNH tradition of enabling an individual to help him or herself, one of the most important moral imperatives of Jewish life. Some of the services of the SOS Program include:

  • Individualized case management services
  • Helping individuals navigate community, state and federal services
  • Referral services

This social, outreach program is designed to make a positive difference in the lives of those in need within the Greater New Haven community.  The program’s primary purpose is to provide short-term stability and, most important, work with the client with the goal of self-sufficiency.  This program benefits individuals and families in crisis struggling to meet their own basic needs by providing short term case management and referrals in the areas of food, utilities, employment, and other necessities.

The overarching goal of this program is to help people in economic crisis to help themselves. We do so with dignity, respect and confidentiality.

If eligible, one-time assistance is offered to help a family or an individual to regain self-sufficiency. The following central questions are considered:

  • Is the individual willing to move toward self-sufficiency?
  • Does the individual have a realistic plan?
  • Will providing assistance help move the individual to realize the plan?

In some instances, the individual is better served in ways that do not involve the direct expenditure of funds. This may involve a referral to another community organization, such as credit counseling services, a substance abuse rehabilitation facility, or a specialized program that serves the homeless.

Here are several resources to also look into for additional help and guidance. 

Rental / Electricity Assistance – Connecticut renters may be eligible for up to $15,000 in rental assistance and up to $1,500 electricity payment assistance through UniteCT.  Information and an application is available here or at 1-844-864-8328.

Additionally, under Governor Lamont’s Executive Order the following requirements are in place for evictions:

  • Landlords must apply for the UniteCT rental assistance program prior to delivering an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent;
  • Landlords must give tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent, for lapse of time, or whose right to occupy a unit has terminated at least 30-days notice prior to beginning an eviction;
  • Provides those tenants an opportunity to continue all terms of the lease by paying outstanding rent within the 30-day period;
  • Requires all eviction notices to be delivered in both English and Spanish; and
  • Requires a stay in eviction proceedings of up to 30 days if either the landlord or the tenant applies to the UniteCT program.

Additional assistance and information:

Broadband Services – The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to help households struggling to afford internet service or an electronic device during the pandemic – resources are limited, so act fast! The benefit provides:

–          Up to $50/month discount for broadband services;

–          Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands;

–          A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet or desktop computer purchased through a participating provider.

A household is eligible if one member of the household:

–          Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain government assistance programs;

–          Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch or breakfast program;

–          Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;

–          Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020;

–          Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

In order to apply, families can contact their existing broadband provider directly to determine if they are taking part in the program.

Online Application (follow prompts on website)