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“As a resident board member, I am able to work for the people in the community and try to make a difference in affordable housing. For me personally, Connecticut Housing Partners has been a lifesaver and offers a great environment for independent living.”


Morris Mendes spent more than a quarter century helping others. As a drug and alcohol counselor he assisted many, but everything changed after he had a stroke. His physical and mental health suffered, he lost his apartment and was at risk of being homeless.

Morris found help with Laurel House, a provider of mental health services. After completing the program, he became eligible for independent housing at CHP’s Fairfield Commons in Stamford. This 25-unit supportive housing “village” — run in partnership with Laurel House — is comprised of 5 historic homes (containing 19 units) and 6 new units, and offers onsite case management, a central green and a club house.

For Morris, the services available to him have been an important part of his recovery, including transportation to support programs, assistance with shopping, and even assistance with household tasks that are difficult for Morris to accomplish due to chronic back pain.

Despite the challenges he has faced, Morris’ dedication to helping others persisted. Today he volunteers daily as a peer supporter with Laurel House and serves on CHP’s Board of Directors, as one of the five residents on CHP’s 15-member board. As a board member, Morris works with his colleagues to advance CHP’s mission, provide fiduciary oversight and further organizational goals. Morris is especially passionate about the six new units being added to Fairfield Commons as he knows first hand the huge difference that supportive housing can make in a person’s life.

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