By JEN CARDINES
For more than two decades, St. Philip House of Plainville, located at 80 Broad St., has served over 185 clients living with HIV/AIDS and provided support within the community. After the executive director Richard Baraglia recently retired, the St. Philips board of directors decided to merge with another like organization.
As of June 15, St. Philip House became a program of the Chrysalis Center, a 42-year-old multipurpose nonprofit organization that serves the Greater Hartford area. Chrysalis’s chief development officer Maryellen Shuckerow said the two organizations began working on the merger in February and as of June 15, all assets were combined.
All clients that are served by St. Philip House have not changed, and will continue to receive their resources. The program currently provides to 37 individuals and their families. While the board of directors has dissolved, Chrysalis Center is permanently deployed at the Broad Street location to serve families.
“It’s not going to change much,” Shuckerow said. “We’re going to continue to provide the same services that St. Philip has originally been providing in your community. The board wanted the mission to continue in Plainville.”
The Chrysalis Center is a larger nonprofit organization – with headquarters in Hartford – that services people throughout Connecticut. They offer community case management, recovery, and employment services, but have an arm of HIV/AIDS support, said development director Arlene Greco.
The center helps nearly 3,000 people each year who either live in poverty, struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, release from incarceration and homelessness.
“Chrysalis has 20 years of experience providing supported housing for HIV positive people,” Shuckerow said.
Both organizations work to address the housing and social service needs of people whose lives have been touched by the virus. In a recent press release, Chrysalis Center CEO, Sharon L. Castelli, called the merge a “perfect marriage.” Officials said it was a smooth and positive transition for both parties involved. They hope to continue their efforts in community awareness through education in the local area.
The St. Philip program serves residents of Plainville, Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, and Vernon, but the main two buildings and administrative offices are in Plainville. Their mission is to provide access to safe and affordable housing, increase community awareness through education, render support services to people living with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones, and encourage empowerment.
Moving forward, the St. Philip house will run as a program of the Chrysalis Center.
For more information about Chrysalis Center or St. Philip House, contact Lynda Waldron at (860) 263-4412 or LWaldron@ Chrysalis CenterCT.org.