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What’s the best thing about Chapel Haven?

To Mike Crotta, a West Haven native who came to Chapel Haven to learn independence, it’s having a job he loves at Home Depot, as a merchandiser.

“I stock shelves, clean and make sure the overhead is good,” he says. “I had a lot of help from Chapel Haven that helped me get the job at Home Depot.”

Crotta went through Chapel Haven’s Project SEARCH, now called PAVE, where he spent a year interning in rotating departments at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Chapel Haven staff then helped him translate the skills he learned in that workplace into landing a job at Home Depot.

“Chapel Haven made it easier for me to socialize with people,” Mike said. “Every day I go to work and chat with everybody, including strangers that I don’t even know.” More importantly, he says Chapel Haven has given him his own adult life.

“I’ve gained independence, living on my own skills. I have my own apartment that I keep up, I make my bed every day. I cook my meals every night. I make my lunch every afternoon.” On the weekends, he enjoys hanging out with a circle of friends he made during his time in the REACH residential program.

“The journey that led me to the job was self confidence and guidance,” he shares. “In the beginning, I had supports to help me get the job. The first day was very hard, I didn’t know what to do. but within a week, I mastered my skills and I’m excellent at the job I do now.”

Congrats to Mike and thanks for being a part of our Chapel Haven Changes Lives series!