Additional Resources for Expiring Services

April 7, 2023
This week the House met for a Session Day! Although we did not vote on any bills that we have been working on tirelessly in committees, we did complete an important task, voting on Judicial and Executive Nominations. I will be sure to keep you updated on legislation that is important to you and our community as Session begins to ramp up. In the meantime, below I have shared some information on available resources, upcoming events, and recent news:

You can click on any of the links above to jump to that section of the email. I hope that you find these resources helpful.

Expiring Resources
On April 1, a number of resources that offered vital assistance to our most vulnerable community members came to an end or ended expanded eligibility.
  • Free Bus Services in Connecticut
    • Bus fares for all buses and ADA paratransit in Connecticut have returned
    • Federal restrictions prevent the state from extending this benefit for more than a year
  • SNAP Bump Payments and Automatic Determination
    • Families will no longer receive the additional pandemic-related payment in the middle of the month
    • Redeterminations restarted and will occur every 6 months
    • DSS does not have any control over when these benefits end because funding was provided under federal legislation
  • HUSKY Continuous Coverage
    • Medicaid enrollees will again have to provide proof of eligibility annually

If you, or a loved one were utilizing any of these resources and are now experiencing a disruption in vital care, please contact me by clicking the button below. My office and I will work to provide additional resources that may be able to offer you necessary assistance.

Contact Me
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I want to share some resources available to you in our community. If you need help, you can call (888) 999-5545 anytime to speak with a certified sexual assault crisis counselor in English. Dial (888) 568-8332 to speak with an expert in Spanish.
You can also contact any of the member sexual assault crisis programs in our state by clicking here and scrolling down to the “Need Help” section. These non-profit organizations provide free, confidential service in a safe, caring environment.

This year's theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month is “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.” The campaign calls on all individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to change ourselves and the systems surrounding us to build racial equity and respect. Click here for more information.

In the News
Distracted Driving
The Hamden Police Department will be partnering with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) between April 1st and April 30th, for the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” high-visibility enforcement campaign.

The Hamden Police Department and the Connecticut Department of Transportation strongly urge motorists to stay off their cell phone when getting behind the wheel. If it’s necessary to talk on the phone or text, please park your motor vehicle in a safe location. In Connecticut in 2022, there were nearly 5,200 crashes attributed to distracted driving.

Violating Connecticut’s distracted driving laws can be costly. Drivers who are ticketed are fined $200 for the first offense, $375 for the second offense and $625 for the third and subsequent offenses. Please drive safe and remember, it can wait!

Steering Wheel Locks
The Hamden Police Department received a supply of steering wheel locks - from Hyundai - in response to an increase of motor vehicle thefts.

The locks are being distributed to anyone owning a Hyundai or Kia manufactured prior to November of 2021. The steering wheel locks can be picked up, free of charge, at the front desk in the Hamden Police Department!

DEEP Bear Safety Tips
Early spring is the time of year when black bear activity increases, following the winter denning season. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding residents to do their part to not teach bears bad behaviors, by taking simple steps that will reduce the likelihood of encounters and potential conflicts with bears.

These steps are critically important because human-bear conflicts continue to rise and become more severe: in Connecticut in 2022, two humans were attacked by bears, and bears entered people’s homes 67 times, far surpassing the previous record of 45. These numbers are a sharp contrast to seven years ago, when bears entered homes less than ten times annually.

Make Your Place a No-Bear-Food-Zone 

Everyone can be a good neighbor and take steps to reduce encounters and potential conflicts with bears. The most important step is to remove food attractants, such as bird seed and unsecured garbage: 

  1. NEVER feed bears. 
  2. Take down, clean, and put away bird feeders by late March, or even earlier during mild weather. Store the feeders until late fall and clean up spilled seed from the ground. Store any unused bird seed and suet in a location not accessible to bears, such as a closed garage. Do not store bird seed in screened porches or sheds where bears will be able to rip screens or break through windows to access the seed. 
  3. Store garbage in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or other enclosed storage area. Adding ammonia to trash cans and bags will reduce odors that attract bears. Periodically clean garbage cans with ammonia to reduce residual odor. Put garbage for pickup outside the morning of collection and not the night before. 
  4. Do not store recyclables in a porch or screened sunroom as bears can smell these items and will rip screens to get at them. 
  5. Keep barbecue grills clean. Store grills inside a garage or shed. 
  6. Supervise dogs at all times when outside. Keep dogs on a short leash when walking and hiking. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs. (Dogs are required to be on a leash when visiting State Parks, State Forests, and Wildlife Management Areas. Check dog and leash regulations for town properties, land trusts, and other public properties before heading to those areas.) 
  7. Do not leave pet food outdoors or feed pets outside.
  8. Use electric fencing to protect chickens, other livestock, beehives, agricultural crops, and berry bushes.
  9. Avoid placing meat scraps or sweet foods, such as fruit and fruit peels, in compost piles.

For more information, feel free to visit DEEP's “Living with Black Bears” webpage.

Free Art Expo in Derby
Retired Derby Police Chief Andrew L. Cota, Jr. will present an Art Exhibition next Saturday April 15 from 12PM - 7PM at the Veterans Memorial Center in Derby.

The exhibition will feature Chief Cota’s hand made wood carved artwork. Admission is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, please email Retired Chief Andrew L. Cota.

Upcoming Events in Hamden
Please click any of the fliers below to learn more about the upcoming events:
Orange Events and Community News
The Orange Recycling Committee is hosting their spring paper shredding, mattress recycling, hazardous waste drop-off, and clothing & household items collection on Saturday, April 22 at High Plains Community Center from 9AM - 12:00PM. Please review the list below of what you can bring to the Hazardous Waste Collection.

For more information, please click the button below:

Learn More
The DEA’s National Drug Take Back Day will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 10AM - 2PM at High Plains Community Center. All unused/unwanted/expired medications will be taken (including liquids, sharps, and pet medications).

Volunteers from the National Pharmacy Association will be on site to answer any questions, along with the Orange Police Department and CERT. 

Call 9-8-8

As of July 16, 2022, 2-1-1 changed to 9-8-8. By dialing 9-8-8, it will route your calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 9-8-8 has resources for anyone with an addictive behavior and also for those looking for assistance who have loved ones with a substance use disorder. Call or text 9-8-8 for free, confidential help.

24/7 Help Line:
(203) 878-6365
Bridges offers comprehensive and effective outpatient mental health services and addiction recovery programs for adults, children and families. Fast-track access to treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder, ages 16 and up. For more information, click here.
Woodbridge Event Calendar
There are so many opportunities to get involved in Woodbridge! Explore the community calendar by clicking the button below for more information.
Woodbridge Community Calendar