Applied Behavioral Rehabilitation Institute, Inc. (ABRI) was established in Connecticut in 1998, with the organization’s first full year of operation being fiscal year 2000. In 2001, ABRI successfully secured funds from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Connecticut Department of Social Services, corporations, and foundations to purchase and renovate 655 Park Avenue, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. ABRI acquired this property to meet the needs of homeless Veterans and non-veterans.
The following year, ABRI secured funds to operate a 42 bed transitional living facility, known as Homes for the Brave. Since opening in July 2002, Homes for the Brave has served over 680 homeless male Veterans and non-veterans. Of the 42 beds, a contract with the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) supports five beds for homeless individuals. Homes for the Brave designates the remaining beds for veterans served by VA CT Healthcare.
In 2003, ABRI began a partnership with The WorkPlace, Inc. to provide educational and vocational services to homeless Veterans. Funding for this program was provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. Since 2005, this partnership has led to the development of additional job training services.
In 2004, ABRI received funds to purchase and operate a Permanent Supportive Housing Program in Bridgeport from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Melville Foundation. The Waldorf Supportive Housing Program, which opened in July 2005, is a three-story residence that provides nine units of permanent housing with case management services. Case management services are provided offsite, and all the residents utilize these essential support services.
Opened in 2010, the Homes for the Brave Veterans’ Service Center offers services to meet the immediate basic needs and referrals to meet the long-term needs of any homeless Veteran. Veterans may drop in to meet with a staff member between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.
Based on the organization’s success and the current needs of homeless Veterans, in 2011, ABRI/Homes for the Brave expanded its programs to serve female homeless Veterans. Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes is the first community-based transitional supportive housing program dedicated to homeless female Veterans in the State of Connecticut. This program opened in November 2011.
In addition to the previously mentioned funding sources, ABRI receives funding from the Connecticut Department of Housing and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Fundraising, private foundations, civic organizations, and private donations generate the balance of ABRI’s funding.