First Selectman Proposes Fund To Help New Canaanites In Need of Silver Hill’s Psychiatric Services

New Canaan’s highest elected official is proposing a new fund to be overseen by a prominent nonprofit organization that would help town residents seeking psychiatric treatment following substance-related emergencies. 

The fund would cover treatment at Silver Hill Hospital for people coming out of Norwalk Hospital following emergency admissions for overdoses or other problems involving substances, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. About $500,000 would be needed to kickstart the fund, to be managed by the New Canaan Community Foundation and serving those who are unable to pay for treatment at the Valley Road facility through private health insurance, he said during a press briefing held Wednesday in his Town Hall office. “Money should never be the issue,” Moynihan said during the briefing, also attended by Patch and Hearst Connecticut. “Families that face that a crisis don’t know what to do and they don’t know where to turn. And there are agencies around—if you decide to go to this one in Westport or go to this one in Greenwich, who are you dealing with, right?

Did You Hear … ?

The Greenwich Free Press is reporting that an arrest warrant has been issued for Heidi Lueders, a former town resident and head of a pit bull rescue organization who has been identified as the subject of an animal cruelty case in Fairfield. 

***

New Canaan Police through the department’s Instagram account has issued safety tips for residents making online purchases in order to avoid becoming a victim of package theft. They include signing up for delivery alerts, ensuring someone is ready to collect the package, requiring a signature when possible and having packages sent to a workplace if feasible. ***

Asked about the Tourism and Economic Development Commission he plans to create, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said locals have expressed strong interest in joining and that, after candidates are approved by local town political committees, the group will see about 15 total members. ***

The town on Wednesday issued an after-the-fact building permit for a $10,000 job at a Putnam Road home. A new bathroom with a shower had been installed in the basement of the home by New Canaan-based Hoffman Contracting LLC, the permit said.

2nd Annual Overdose Awareness Vigil Draws Hundreds to Downtown New Canaan

Nearly 500 people gathered at the corner of South Avenue and Elm Street on Thursday evening to attend New Canaan’s second annual Overdose Awareness Vigil, hosted by the New Canaan Parent Support Group and the New Canaan Community Foundation. Residents of New Canaan and neighboring towns, state and local officials, professionals in recovery treatment, clergy and those in recovery and with loved ones who have encountered the pain, heartache, hardships and struggles addiction brings formed the crowd. The founder of the New Canaan Parent Support Group, Paul Reinhardt, whose son Evan’s passing in July 2015 from a drug overdose inspired him to create the group, said shared stories will keep the conversation about addiction and recovery going and, hopefully, encourage others to open up and share their struggles as well. “I think one of the most important things is having the four people from the community share their story of addiction being in their family—both all the pain that went with it and the recovery that takes place after it,” Reinhardt told NewCanaanite.com. “Even someone like me who lost his son, the chance that I’ve had to channel Evan’s memory through the New Canaan Parent Support group and an event like tonight’s is a positive story.

First Selectman: Plans Underway To Rent Out Irwin House to Nonprofit Organizations

Irwin House, the 1963-built brick structure that sits on a hilltop in a public Weed Street park of the same name, is to be renovated and rented out to a handful of nonprofit organizations seeking new homes, the town’s highest elected official says. Vacant since the municipal offices that had occupied it during the renovation and expansion of Town Hall moved out three years ago, Irwin House would see its first floor used as a “nonprofit center,” according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. The organizations expected to move in and pay a below-market rent so that the town covers its maintenance and utility costs would include Staying Put in New Canaan, New Canaan Community Foundation, New Canaan Land Trust and New Canaan CARES, Moynihan told reporters during a press briefing held Aug. 23 in his office. 

“The idea would be that they would have the synergy of being not-for-profits together rather than isolated in little offices,” he said. “They’d share conference space, they’d share a lunchroom.