When people think of their recovery, they often look ahead to the day when they can support themselves through a combination of employment and education. But for many people, the most urgent goal is to have a home—a safe, affordable and comfortable place to live, with access to community resources and in close proximity to friends and supportive services. At Laurel House, we strive to help residents achieve this goal through various mental health programs and services fostering self-sufficiency.

According to the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH), Point in Time Count (CT PIT) 4,047 persons were homeless in Connecticut and an estimated 3,000 youth (under age 25) are experiencing homelessness in CT. They are homeless for a number of reasons, including gaps in their independent living skills, addiction to drugs and alcohol, extended stays in hospitals, the long term loss of employment and the high cost of housing. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 20-25% of the homeless population in the U.S. suffers from some form of severe mental illness.   

With help from Laurel House in the form of discounted rent and federally backed rental subsidy certificates, when available, our residents can live in housing that is both a safe and truly affordable place to call home. But, rental subsidies alone are not enough to ensure a successful transition to stable housing. At Laurel House, we believe it is equally important for residents to have supportive services, without which the residents might not be able to maintain an apartment, live in the community, and sustain their mental health recovery.

Laurel House operates several supported housing programs in Connecticut, each offering varying levels of support with specific criteria for eligibility due to the funding source (e.g.,HUD). Residents learn independent living skills such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and budgeting. They work together with a Residential Support Counselor to identify and pursue their personal goals through an individualized support plan. Residents are helped to access psychiatrists, medical doctors, entitlements and other services and benefits to support their journey in recovery.

For some Laurel House residential programs, current homelessness, risk of homelessness or chronic homelessness are required for eligibility. Openings become available throughout the year, and waiting times can vary from one month to a year or longer, depending on apartment availability, support needs and homeless status. 

In addition to our residential services, Laurel House also offers a variety of other programs designed to help residents achieve better mental health. These include Food Service and Wellness, the Treasure Hunters Thrift Store for furnishing apartments and wardrobes, social and recreational opportunities, the Recovery Connections program to build skills and achieve greater self-sufficiency, and our Supported Employment, Supported Education and Thinking Well (cognitive remediation) programs. 

Laurel House Residential Services – Defining Characteristics 

  • residents hold leases and are accorded the full rights and responsibilities of any tenant 
  • all housing is non-institutional and located in the community 
  • “supportive” housing is as the name suggests, not coercive or intrusive 
  • most residents share an apartment with another resident, but have a private bedroom; each apartment unit has its own living room, kitchen and bathroom.

To inquire about the Laurel House residential services program or apply for housing, contact the Laurel House Residential Support Manager, email us at housing@laurelhouse.net