WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and U.S. Representative Jim Himes (CT-4) on Wednesday announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a three-year, $179,776 per year federal grant to the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, Inc., to support the Janus Center for Youth in Crisis. With help from this grant, the Janus Center will provide shelter and homelessness prevention and intervention services to 1,200 male, female and transgender runaway, homeless and street youth under the age of 18 from Bridgeport, Stratford, Fairfield, Trumbull, Monroe and Easton. The Janus Center runs a 24-hour crisis hotline; provides youth and family counseling; conducts mental health, substance abuse, and trafficking assessments; provides up to three weeks of supportive shelter; and directly serves eight public middle and high schools to facilitate early behavioral and mental health interventions.

“For over 40 years, the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport’s Janus Center has been a lifeline for young people going through tough times. From the first moment of crisis to recovery, the Janus Center is there through it all to help kids and teens get back on their feet. We are proud to help secure this three-year grant, which will go a long way in ensuring that the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport can continue its service throughout our community,” said Murphy, Blumenthal, and Himes. 

Rev. Cass Shaw, President and CEO of The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, said, “With the award of funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Janus Center will be able to increase the safety of marginalized and at-risk young people under 18 by providing safe shelter and gateway services in time of crisis; building and rebuilding fractured relationships with families, caring adults, schools and communities; stabilizing young people and promoting their ability to advocate effectively for themselves; and providing an alternative to entry into state child welfare, juvenile justice and mental health systems.”

Since 1975, Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport has operated a shelter and robust services program for over 12,000 young people in crisis. After referral to the center, over 95% of young people successfully returned home. The Janus Center is the only provider of shelter beds for youth in Greater Bridgeport.