In one month, Wilmot Crossing resident Betty Reveas will be able to do grocery shopping around the corner. In about a year, she can see a doctor a stone’s throw away, instead of having to drive downtown.
For longtime neighbors, a isolated neighborhood in West Rock is finally bustling with new additions.
At a press conference Thursday, Michael Taylor, CEO of Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center, announced that the federal Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded his center and the city’s housing authority a $1 million grant to open a new branch at 122 Wilmot St. by Reveas’ rebuilt public-housing development. in the West Rock neighborhood.
Construction will begin later this summer and is expected take about 12 months. The 9,102 square feet site will provide primary care, dental care, and mental health treatment.
“It does take a village,” Mayor Toni Harp said at Thursday’s press conference. Cornell Scott-Hill and the Housing Authority of New Haven have been working on the Wilmot Crossing project for the past five years, wrestling with bureaucratic requirements and convincing neighbors who objected the change.
Wilmot Crossing is a 60,497 square-foot building with 47 apartments for the elderly and disabled. The new care site will be located on the first floor. Right next to it is a mini-mart, which is under construction and will open in August. (The groundbreaking of the project took place in 2011.) Historically the collection of public-housing developments in West Rock have been isolated from commerce and social services.
The additions will provide long-overdue features that a community desperately needs: accessible health care and retail.
“I can walk, but some people can’t get around,” neighbor Mabel Carroll said. She has lived in the area since 1977. At the press conference, Carroll praised the care site for benefiting residents with no access to transportation.
The 48-year-old health center currently has 20 sites in Greater New Haven.
In particular, Harp praised the center’s mental health care and substance abuse treatment. New Haveners have woken up to tragic news of mentally challenged individuals attacking other people, and addicts overdosing of poisoned street drugs.
“We know it will be busy.” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said of the new care site.