“CIL is my security blanket, and Peter is always there when I need him.”
“I was blown away, and I fell on my knees crying when I heard that I was approved,” Colleen says. “Sound Community and CIL came forward for me, and I won’t let them down because they helped me change my life. They told me in no uncertain terms that here is what we will do for you, but here is what you need to do for yourself.”
Rent is based on income and ability to pay, and CIL maintains the property. In fact, it is maintained so well that Colleen says people often slow down to look at her home, and if she is outside “puttering around”, they will stop and comment on how nice it is. Content to stay close to home and in the peaceful sunny yard, Oliver, her very handsome long-haired ginger tiger cat, loves it, too.
As part of the state-sponsored initiative, CIL does an annual inspection prior to renewing Colleen’s lease. “I have nothing to hide, and I welcome the times when Peter stops by or calls me to check in,” Colleen adds.
Colleen has built a special bond with Peter Sztaba, regional property manager at CIL. “CIL is my security blanket, and Peter is always there when I need him. If you want to stay clean and do right by yourself, CIL will be there.” Colleen admits that there are times when it can be difficult such as when her parents died four months apart, but Peter was just a phone call away and very thoughtful she says. “How many landlords would be right there and offer support? The last seven years have been the best of my life. I have no fear of losing my home.”
Honor yourself and your family Colleen proudly states. “I am very concerned about doing right by my family – and now for CIL. CIL is a blessing, and helping people is not a paycheck to them. They are here to help you help rebuild yourself. It’s like rebuilding a house.
Once the construction is complete, you have to take responsibility and maintain it. The house has been rebuilt and so has my life.”
I know that this could be my last stop on Earth, and it’s nice to know that I can stay here forever. I feel secure and unafraid.”
Having spent time in a half-way house and feeling very unsafe, Colleen Sweeney jumped at the chance to learn all about CIL and how they could help her. She discovered the not-for profit agency when they teamed up with Sound Community Services to assist its clients with supportive housing. Based in New London, Sound Community helps individuals with their recovery goals.
Colleen recognized that this opportunity could be her last chance to start fresh and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. A former welder for Electric Boat for 21 years, Colleen was drug-free, but homeless and exposed to unwanted pressure at the halfway house where she lived for about a year.