Town Teaming Up with Laurel House To Provide Services at Canaan Parish, Millport Apartments

The town is availing itself of a Stamford-based nonprofit organization to help provide services to residents of affordable housing in New Canaan. Members of the New Canaan Department of Human Services “have found there’s needed services possibly at Canaan Parish and Millport Apartments, bringing some information and help to those that might need it but aren’t aware of it,” Youth and Family Services Coordinator Jacqueline D’Louhy said during the March 3 meeting of the Health and Human Services Commission. “So we’ve teamed up with Laurel House,” D’Louhy said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “They have a wonderful caseworker there that has offered to come to both sites.”

Laurel House offers a wide range of mental health services and programs throughout lower Fairfield County, including in New Canaan, according to the organization’s website. “Programs and services include recovery planning, life skills coaching and skill building, supported education, supported employment, ‘Thinking Well’ (cognitive remediation), housing and residential services, food service and wellness, social opportunities, and active outreach to individuals who might otherwise be isolated,” it says.

Divorce Support Group Needed in New Canaan, Officials Say

New Canaan is in need of a divorce support group, human services officials say. The town had such a group years ago that met in St. Aloysius Church, and there also had been one at the Congregational Church, “but these things have kind of dried up,” according to Jackie D’Louhy, Youth and Family Services Coordinator in the New Canaan Department of Human Services. “I am interfacing more with moms in this situation but I’m sure there are dads out there, as well,” D’Louhy said during the Feb. 3 meeting of the Health & Human Services Commission. 

“I did find a resource that just started in Darien, which is great, it started at Noroton Presbyterian and I just referred three people in the last few weeks, but I’d love to see one here in New Canaan,” D’Louhy said during the meeting, held via videoconference.

New Canaan Promotes ‘Tech-Free Family Time’ through ’30 Days of Family’

Town and local nonprofit officials are urging New Canaan families this month to unplug their mobile devices and spend more time communicating directly with each other. The Department of Human Services-led “30 Days of Family” initiative this year has taken up “tech-free family time” as its motto. Unplugging forces family members to talk to each other “with their voices and spend quality time making eye contact and practicing listening skills,” according to Jacqueline D’Louhy, the department’s coordinator of youth and family services. “Think about how much teens ‘talk’ to each other electronically,” D’Louhy said. “Sometimes they’ll be sitting in the same room but never utter a word to one another.