Support Systems and Community Engagement

This page is intended to assist CPE alumni in getting involved in their communities! If you have any questions about the below resources, or would like to schedule an appointment to review specific organizations or resources, please reach out to CPE staff. If you have resources you would like to recommend to others, or gaps you would like to see filled, please let us know.

Support Systems

CT Reentry Roundtable Collaborative: The CT Reentry Collaborative is made up of seven active reentry roundtables located in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, Southeastern CT, Waterbury, and Windham. Each roundtable is a collaboration of state and local organizations working together to identify needs and address gaps in services for individuals returning home from incarceration. Individuals with lived experience are encouraged to join this network and work alongside these providers to find real solutions. This collaborative builds relationships with organizations and agencies across Connecticut to foster successful reentry, eliminate barriers, reduce recidivism and increase public safety. Check out past Reentry Strategy work group meetings here.

Katal BLOC Roundtable: The Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity (BLOC) Roundtable is an invitation-only, monthly meeting of organizers and community leaders throughout Connecticut. The Roundtable equips participants with important historical and theoretical frameworks for organizing, as well as tools and tactics for leadership development of members. For more information, please contact Kenyatta M. Thompson at kthompson@katalcenter.org,or at (860) 937-6094.

Hang time: Hang time holds periodic gatherings that The conversations range from topics of “politics, race relations, economics, cultural diversity, and bucket lists to the history of music to ways to conduct oneself during an encounter with the police.” Hang time has locations in New Haven, Bridgeport, and Waterbury, but is currently holding all gatherings via zoom. Check out their website for more information on how to get involved.

Her Time: (NO CURRENT EVENTS DUE TO COVID-19) Her Time is the sister program to Hang Time. Their mission is to “ focuses on the empowerment of women. The goal of Her Time is to provide an educational space for women to learn from one another, openly express themselves without fear of retribution or ridicule, and draw support from the unconventional cohort of women.” Her Time is currently located in Bridgeport and serves as a hub for resources for jobs, career training, PTSD support, housing information, education, and community service. Check out their website for information on upcoming news and session dates.

ConnCAT: (PROGRAMS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID-19) ConnCAT provides job-training programs intended to give unemployed and under-employed adults the skills needed to secure meaningful, well-paying jobs in the health sciences and culinary professions. ConnCAT provides adults with the academic support needed to succeed in the programs. Career preparation is linked with the hospitality industry and corporate partners who assist in the design of the training. Check out ConnCAT’s wide array of opportunities available with career pathway programs, adults programs, youth programs, and community programs

StopSolitary CT Support Group: Their goal is to provide a safe space for formerly incarcerated people as well as their families and  friends. The support group is a space where participants can share personal stories, and openly express uncomfortable feelings. We know that incarceration has a significant negative effect on incarcerated people, but also their family and friends. Oftentimes the negative effects are not processed in healthy ways, which leads to a cycle of hurt and trauma. This support group will also provide participants with helpful resources for additional mental health services and or community transition. To sign up, please follow the link above.

Restoring your Right to Vote

If you are looking for a way to restore your right to vote, register to vote, and/or become civically engaged, check out the resources below!

Staying Active within your Community

If you are looking for ways to get involved in your community through volunteering or participating in community events, check out some of the resources below!

  • Meet up (Statewide): Meetup is a service used to organize online groups that host in-person and virtual events for people with similar interests.
  • Volunteer Match (Statewide): Volunteer match is a volunteer-engagement network. THis platform provides volunteer information and listings in your local community.
  • United Way of Connecticut (Statewide) United Way of Connecticut helps find training opportunities, employment resources, food pantries, services to assist an aging parent, affordable housing options, health and mental health resources, ways to give back in their communities, and much more. Visit your local United Way here to explore community solutions, learn about health and human service issues, donate or volunteer.
  • The Day, Events Calendar: The Day, a daily newspaper covering a 20-town region in eastern Connecticut provides information about activities and events taking place throughout the state.
  • Volunteer Opportunities (Fairfield County): If you are interested in volunteer opportunities in the Fairfield, CT area check out the Fairfield Public Library here for information on volunteering opportunities.
  • Community Events (Fairfield County): If you are looking for dining, nightlife & entertainment in Fairfield County, Connecticut check out their community site here. Please keep in mind that their activities might be greatly reduced due to COVID-19.
  • Hands on Hartford (Hartford County): Hands on Hartford has a variety of regular volunteer opportunities as well as several opportunities that individuals or groups can do from home. Check out their site here for more information.
  • Litchfield Community Center (Litchfield County): If you are looking for community activities in Litchfield County, check out their community calendar here.
  • Greater New Haven Community Events (New Haven County): If you are looking for community activities in the New Haven area, check out their community calendar here.