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Jericho Partnership Launches Program To Help Danbury Students, Homeless

Heather Pellicone, principal of South Street Elementary School, and Carrie Amos, president of the Jericho Partnership, will be working together to serve the school community, as part of CityServe, Jericho's new initiative.
Heather Pellicone, principal of South Street Elementary School, and Carrie Amos, president of the Jericho Partnership, will be working together to serve the school community, as part of CityServe, Jericho's new initiative. Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. -- Jericho Partnership has launched a new initiative to broaden its reach into Danbury to help the city's chronically homeless people and students at Title 1 schools.

In CityServe Danbury, a long-term initiative, volunteers will participate in programs designed to "bring dignity and a means of support to the city’s homeless, and support the students and staff at South Street Elementary School," Jericho Partnership said in a statement.

“This is all about inspiring people and pulling together as a community to impact others,” Mayor Mark Boughton said.

One of the first two projects is Project CleanStart.

“It only takes one person, or one nonprofit, or one company to raise a hand and say they want to do something amazing and touch lives in a meaningful way. That creates critical mass … and Jericho is leading the way.” Boughton said.

This program will give the city's homeless men and women an opportunity to earn compensation, in the form of gift cards for food and services, for joining work teams that clean up the city.

Jericho’s CityServe volunteers will provide job coaching, and will support the logistics for this program.

At South Street School, Jericho volunteers will serve as Reading Buddies, mentors, small-project ‘handypeople’, and will help with school events.

South Street School, which has 375 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, needs assistance in three main areas: bolstering students’ reading and other educational skills, assisting in building beautification, and supporting Parent-Teacher Association activities.

Danbury School Superintendent Sal Pascarella said CityServe is poised as a “great example of what can happen when dedicated, passionate folks reach out to expand learning opportunities. The principal has embraced it, the teachers are excited about it. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Jericho President Carrie L. Amos said the group was looking to expand.

“We love and are deeply committed to our ministry partners ... but this is an opportunity for us to expand our service model,” said Amos. “CityServe is all about connecting our churches to areas of need in the city. We’ve got a tremendous gift in this Partnership: 26 congregations who pray fervently for our city, who serve in our city, and who want to be better connected to our city. We’ve got an army of volunteers ready for mobilization and the means to mobilize more.”

For the past decade, Jericho’s mission has been to mobilize volunteers to serve and transform the lives of the neediest people in the city.

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