REACH Community Life

The Community Life Program (CLP) is designed to offer a structured, community-focused day for individuals who are either not working or working a limited number of hours.

Chapel Haven’s CLP provides participants with opportunities to explore, interact and volunteer in the Greater New Haven community.

The four cornerstones of the program are developing healthy lifestyles by increasing interpersonal skills and socialization, constructively managing free time, participating in regular exercise and healthy eating habits and enjoying the numerous offerings in the Greater New Haven community.

Developing Healthy Lifestyles

The program helps participants develop productive daily routines, through the group preparation of a healthy lunch and daily exercise. Additionally, shared meals offer a social opportunity that will develop into lifelong habits for our participants. Participants also work to create and meet personal diet and fitness goals. Participants learn how to plan and host activities in their own homes as well as local excursions with friends outside CLP operating hours.

Increase Interpersonal Skills And Socialization

Individuals learn to strengthen their interpersonal skills through daily group discussions, assertiveness education, and incidental teaching opportunities when in the community. Group participants also work on their socialization skills through volunteering, lunch outings, and other community activities when exploring New Haven and the surrounding areas.

Managing Free Time

CLP also focuses on assisting individuals with the skills needed to plan, facilitate, and implement their own activities of interest. The group gives input when planning group activities and also pools and shares community resources by scanning local newspapers, the Internet and community calendars for activities of interest.

The CLP Schedule And Enjoying Community Resources

Participants may enroll full-time (four days per week) or part-time (one to three days per week). A typical CLP day begins at 9:30 AM with socialization and a group discussion of the day’s activities, which typically includes volunteer work, a cultural offering, a participant-prepared meal, and physical activity. Participants learn the logistics of planning a trip from start to finish. A sampling of places recently visited by the CLP include:

  • St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen
  • Caring Cuisine
  • FISH
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Holocaust Memorial
  • The Kellogg Environmental Center
  • WTNH Channel 8 News Studio
  • The New Haven Public Library
  • Southern Connecticut State University Ethnic Center
  • Connecticut State Capitol Building
  • West Haven Beach Clean-up
  • New Haven Reads Book Bank
  • Yale University Art Gallery
  • South Central Regional Water Authority

Individual Attention

The program is limited in size to no more than 30 participants on any day, ensuring the program’s objective of socializing and practicing social skills. Small groups allow for the development of trust, friendships and interpersonal skills, and the opportunity for equal participation.

Additionally, a group setting requires sharing of tasks and encourages participants to cooperate and delegate. Finally, the program and its group setting emphasize acquisition and enhancement of skills including problem solving, planning activities, and making practical arrangements.

According To The Participants…

Audrey, a CLP participant, says, “I like to deliver meals to the AIDS patients. I like to make lunches. I also like the other people in the day program. I would tell someone if they want to join they would have a good time and make new friends.”

According to Gordon, also a CLP participant, “CLP has helped me prepare for a job by teaching me how to act during an interview, to wear correct clothing, and to be on time. What I like most about CLP is being with everyone and learning together. The advice that I would give to someone thinking about joining CLP is to listen carefully in group and do not wander off during any community trips.”