Thursday, July 19, 2012

Looking for ways to tell the many exciting stories of nonprofit groups in New Haven

By Ed Stannard, Community Engagement Editor
Twitter: @edstannardnhr, @nhrvoices
Facebook: Ed Stannard-Register, Your Open Newsroom

One of my major interests is nonprofit organizations, especially those serving the poor and needy. It’s amazing how much great work they do, usually with small staffs and relying heavily—sometimes exclusively—on volunteers.

I would love to showcase their work on, in our Community MediaLab and in other ways. The Journal Register Co. in Connecticut supports the work of nonprofits in various ways, which you can see on the blog

I met Wednesday with Alison Cunningham, executive director of Columbus House, as well as development director John Brooks. Columbus House is well known as a homeless shelter on Ella T. Grasso Boulevard. What isn’t so widely known is the variety of programs the agency conducts, including helping its clients find housing and jobs and assisting those in early recovery from addictions. This week I wrote a story about a new Community Support Volunteer Program, in which volunteers will be paired with clients in supportive housing to spend time together, helping to relieve the loneliness newly independent people often feel. Contact information to volunteer is in my story.

The reason for our meeting was to talk about how Columbus House can increase its outreach on the Web by starting a blog, which the Register will promote in our media lab. We talked about the many stories Columbus House has to tell: clients successfully given housing or a job and volunteers who come from faith groups and other organizations to serve meals.

There are also numerous other organizations in Greater New Haven doing similar work, all part of the Greater New Haven Regional Alliance to End Homelessness.

When people share resources and connections, great things happen. Columbus House is in the midst of hiring a communications person (here’s the job description), who I hope to work with to launch a blog. And Alison agreed that it would be great to have a “group blog” in which many organizations can contribute.

I’m excited about these efforts. If you have any ideas or want to start a blog for yourself or your group, please let me know! Email me at or call me at 203-789-5743.

Addendum: I want to congratulate my colleague, Angi Carter (right), who has just been named a curator for our corporate parent, Digital First Media. She'll be helping to put together national and international news packages for our publications across the country (but thankfully she'll still be in our newsroom to show me the digital ropes).

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Comments are held for review before posting, per our Online Comments Policy, which you can read at If you believe your comment was wrongly removed or not approved, email

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home