NEW BRITAIN – Coram Deo Inc. has been servicing the city for 14 years offering sober housing and recovery management services.
Coram Deo has five houses located in New Britain where they help women find jobs, get identification, birth certificates, social security card and other basic needs such as food.
“We are the largest and leading provider of sober housing for women in the state of Connecticut,” said Jody Davis, executive director. “We’re contracted with the state of Connecticut to provide sober housing through the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Most of our referrals we get from inpatient treatment programs.”
The houses are supposed to be temporary, but no one is asked to leave as long as they’re participating in the program and staying sober. Initially the state will pay for them until they are able to get on their feet, then they pay their own way.
“Our average length of stay is six to nine months,” Davis said. “People come in, find a safe place and begin to build some stability. We’ve [also] had women stay almost seven years.”
A staff member at Urban Alliance out of Hartford, who is a psychologist, did a study on Coram Deo’s success rate, which Davis would like to eventually share.
“She set up a survey for our women and wrote up a report we were able to measure from when they came in, the three-month mark and it showed significant progress,” Davis said.
Coram Deo currently has five employees that rotate houses.
“We don’t have any overnight staff. For overnight services we rely mainly on call,” Davis said. “So if there is an emergency there is an on call number they call and our staff will be notified and can go out to the house.”
When asked how things have been during the pandemic, Davis said they have been “trying during these times for sure.”
“Mental health, substance abuse and abuse have been among those that have been hitting the most during this time,” she said. “We’ve managed and I think the providers in the city have really stepped up and so has NA and NAA doing Zooms and things of that nature. We’ve been fortunate to have the support Urban Alliance and they have supplied us with masks and other PPE so that we can hand that out to our residents.”
Coram Deo was founded by Jody Davis who is a wife, mother and grandmother.
“I’m a woman in long-term recovery. I am over 30 years clean and sober,” David said. “I have my own history of trauma and abuse which is part of what motivated me to start this. I love what I do. I love working with women and helping them realize their potential and giving them a safe place to stay.”
The business has been rooted in the community since 2006.
“I was actually working under a HUD grant and everything that HUD does is housing first and I recognized that many of the people that I worked with were looking for a sober option, a community option like living in a community,” Davis said. “These things aren’t really offered through HUD and not that they should be they’re just not and so we recognized that there was a gap in services and we decided to fill it.”
Originally, Davis started the business with one house and named it Sarah’s House and the whole organization was going to be called Sarah’s House.
“This name came from the story of Abraham and Sarah in the Bible,” she said. “Then we opened house number two and I was like ‘how do I manage this?’ So we came up with the name Coram Deo which is Latin for before the presence of God and so we believe everything we do we do before the face of God. We’re not faith based, but we are in the sense that everything that we do is built on my personal faith which is Christian. We try to treat the women that we serve as daughters of God.”
Coram Deo Inc can be reached at 860-348-3486 or visit their website at coramdeorecovery.org or their FaceBook page @coramdeorecovery