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(Hartford, CT…)   It is estimated that more than 23,000 children age out of the US foster care system every year.  Without the proper support, these young people face some very tough odds.  After reaching the age of 18, at least twenty percent of the children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless. Many dealing with direct effects of trauma will end up with substance abuse issues, criminal records, mental health challenges and unwanted pregnancies.

It is because of odds like these that Mercy Housing opened The Haven one year ago.  Located at 7 Charter Oak Place, The Haven is a ten-bedroom home where young people who have aged out of the foster care system come to receive a comprehensive array of services and supports specifically designed to move them on to independence and successful community living. Some of those supports include:

  • Case management
  • Basic life skill building
  • Education services
  • Money management services
  • Outpatient management

“The earlier we are able to tackle the issues that they are facing, the better we are able to bring some stability into their lives and get them ready for independence,” explained Susana Villalobos, Director of Youth Services at The Haven.

Susana and her team provide 24-hour on-site staff support for up to ten young people ages 18 – 25, who have been referred by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Young Adult Services Program.  The average stay for residents is between ten to twenty months.  Currently there are 6 young women and 4 young men living at The Haven.

“If it weren’t for this program some of these young adults would be on the streets.  Others would end up selling themselves for drug or rent money,” commented Kara Capone, CEO of Community Housing Advocates the parent organization to Mercy Housing. “The need is great, and The Haven is our effort to begin to meet that need.”

For additional information or to request interviews and a tour of The Haven, contact Annette Scheidecker at 860-808-2044 or