Unity House: For a world that needs a home.
Unity House is a residence in South Meriden, Connecticut that provides emergency housing for families displaced by war and violence around the world, and for young families and youths (18-24, plus their children) in our local community,
Families and youths are guests at Unity House thanks to the United Methodist Churches and local organizations supporting Unity House, through their donations, ministries, and service, as they prepare to transition to more stable long-term solutions. Unity House receives no government funding for its ministries.
Refugee families are referred to Unity House by the IRIS refugee resettlement agency in New Haven, CT after extensive background checks and screening. Local families and youths are referred to Unity House by Meriden's Women and Families Center, and by the Shelter Now program of New Opportunities, after appropriate screening and assessment. Refugee families stay at Unity House typically for a six- to nine-month period. Local families and youths stay typically at Unity House a week or less, as they move into support from other local institutions and families.
The Unity House Story.
From 1894 to 1959, this house near our church served as the original parsonage for the church now known as South Meriden Trinity United Methodist Church. The house remained in the hands of one church family until 2002, when the last daughter sold the house back to South Trinity UMC and the Unity House Refugee Resettlement collaborative mission was born.
With a great deal of combined elbow grease from the church members of the Central Connecticut Cluster and information and training offered by Interfaith Refugee Ministry (now IRIS), the church paved the way for our first refugee family. In June of 2004, the first refugees moved into Unity House. Since then, we have welcomed 9 refugee individuals or families. Learn more about their stories here.
The first floor of the Unity House had long been used as the SMTrinity church office; but recently the church trustees decided to make the space available for the expansion of our collaborative ministry. We identified a local need for transitional housing, and during the process of discernment and planning, the representative from Chrysalis lost her house to a fire incident. In a couple of weeks we made the first floor apartment ready for the Walter’s and their two children.
This humanitarian resources ministry has made a difference in the lives of many: Harrison & Onita, Kassim & Saieda, Mariel, Esther, Charlotte & Joseph Mwamba, Aurora & Ethan, Louise, several other short term guests, and certainly the lives of local ministry partners. Many thanks to all who donate time, skills, goods, services, and funds!