On the Doorstep

In New Haven, eviction feeds into a cycle of poverty that’s hard to escape.

One Little Box Grace Luysterborghs lives on the fourth floor of the Robert T. Wolfe Apartments, in a studio apartment with big windows overlooking Union Station. But she likes to keep her curtains closed. It’s “one little box,” she says. There’s a bathroom right by the entrance, a tiny closet, a small kitchen, then her bed and dresser. Luysterborghs was thankful when she secured her apartment in the Wolfe complex at 49 Union Avenue, a New Haven Housing Authority–owned property for the elderly and disabled,. . . Read more
Eliza Fawcett
Bridgeport’s Big Gamble

A casino titan says it can help a struggling city. A coalition with $800 in the bank wants to stop it.

I. The East End When he first heard about the casino, Dr. Charlie Stallworth, a Connecticut state representative and the pastor of East End Baptist Tabernacle Church in Bridgeport, was skeptical. He didn’t think the developer, MGM Resorts International, was serious about the project, and he didn’t like the advertising campaign they were running. “Maybe I’m not the brightest guy in the room,” he remembers thinking, “but don’t try and manipulate me.” So, last September, when Stallworth heard about a press conference and groundbreaking ceremony. . . Read more
Steven Lance
The Price of Freedom

Cash bail keeps low-income people locked up. In New Haven and New York, two organizations are fighting against it, with different consequences for their communities.

I. The first thing one notices when walking up to the entrance of the Vernon C. Bain Center (VBC) in New York City is the fetid smell coming from the Fulton Fish Market next door. The road leading up to VBC has no sidewalks—just barbed wire fences. Queens shimmers across the East River. Some of the inmates at VBC—known as The Boat, since it’s anchored six feet from shore—are serving short-term sentences, from thirty days to a few months, for low-level misdemeanors. The vast majority. . . Read more
Isaac Scobey-Thal
Multiple Choice

What is the future of education in New Haven? With the city up in arms, three schools may hold the answer.

Photo by Vivek Suri. A. Pointing Fingers “You’re about to get sued,” New Haven Board of Education member Darnell Goldson warned, swiveling his chair to the right and pointing at Ed Joyner, the Board’s President. Joyner stood, microphone in hand, as the crowd of community members packing the auditorium of Beecher School looked on. He turned towards Goldson and leaned forward, his gold tie swinging to and fro, until their faces were a foot apart. “You know what? We can go to Bowen Field,” Joyner bellowed,. . . Read more
Mark Rosenberg
Pangaea’s Edge

New Haven sits on the birth scars of the Atlantic Ocean. The rocks here tell the story of its human history.

Reporting for this piece was made possible by the Ed Bennett III Memorial Fund. Illustration by Julia Hedges. At the summit of East Rock Park in New Haven, Connecticut, marked by the Sailors and Soldiers war monument, the view extends for miles and miles –– across tall green trees, over downtown buildings that look like miniatures from a distance, and all the way to the blue waters of New Haven Harbor. Turn back the clock 200 million years, and this view is completely different. The. . . Read more
Christine Xu
But It’s You

Do our sex offender laws actually make communities safer?

If you were a potential employer or landlord, this is what you would learn about John Tejada from a quick internet search: his age (40), his height (6’1”), his weight (260 lbs), his race (black), his eyes (brown), his address (in Hartford, Connecticut) how many scars he has (three: two on the knees, one on the ankle), his tattoos (the Superman logo on his right butt-cheek). You would also learn that he was convicted of sexual assault in the second degree in March 2014. This. . . Read more
Rachel Calnek-Sugin
The City Builder

New Haven is a pockmarked city, riddled with reminders of an era when City Hall thought the only way to save it from economic peril was to tear out row houses and typewriter shops and replace them with beasts of concrete and steel. One of those beasts, the Knights of Columbus tower, looms over one … Continue reading The City Builder

New Haven is a pockmarked city, riddled with reminders of an era when City Hall thought the only way to save it from economic peril was to tear out row houses and typewriter shops and replace them with beasts of concrete and steel. One of those beasts, the Knights of Columbus tower, looms over one such wound: an asphalt wasteland of parking lots, four-lane streets, and fenced-in parks left behind by twenty years of urban renewal. Richard Munday says it’s not all bad. He likes. . . Read more
Robert Scaramuccia
A Fragile Sanctuary

Marco Antonio Reyes Alvarez’s bags were almost packed. He had his ticket for a flight the next morning, August 8, to Ecuador, the country he left twenty years ago for the United States. At his home in Meriden—a small city midway between Hartford and New Haven—Fanny Torres Reyes, his wife of twenty-four years, their three … Continue reading A Fragile Sanctuary

Marco Antonio Reyes Alvarez’s bags were almost packed. He had his ticket for a flight the next morning, August 8, to Ecuador, the country he left twenty years ago for the United States. At his home in Meriden—a small city midway between Hartford and New Haven—Fanny Torres Reyes, his wife of twenty-four years, their three children, and thirty relatives had gathered for his final hours in the country. His deportation loomed on the other side of the night. “We were saying goodbye, crying, making his. . . Read more
Eliza Fawcett
By No Means Immune

“If this gets any worse, I’ll think I can fly,” Wes thought, as he looked down onto College Street from the top of the Silliman tower. He had taken LSD and cocaine an hour or two earlier. Afraid of what might come next, he backed away from the window. Within moments, he threw up. He … Continue reading By No Means Immune

“If this gets any worse, I’ll think I can fly,” Wes thought, as he looked down onto College Street from the top of the Silliman tower. He had taken LSD and cocaine an hour or two earlier. Afraid of what might come next, he backed away from the window. Within moments, he threw up. He closed his eyes. A feeling of doom swept over him. He was certain that he had died and was experiencing a post-death state. He dialed home. “Mom, I think I’m. . . Read more
Max Graham
The Perimeter

Dawn Slade knows everyone and everything on Dixwell Avenue. Walking up the street—which runs north from downtown New Haven and Yale University toward Hamden—one morning this past spring, she nodded at Lake Place, where many residents are Yale undergraduates. “Look at them, on Lake and Broadway,” she said. “You started to see them inching up. … Continue reading The Perimeter

Dawn Slade knows everyone and everything on Dixwell Avenue. Walking up the street—which runs north from downtown New Haven and Yale University toward Hamden—one morning this past spring, she nodded at Lake Place, where many residents are Yale undergraduates. “Look at them, on Lake and Broadway,” she said. “You started to see them inching up. Inching, inching, inching.” Born in 1960, Slade grew up in Dixwell and now lives in Beaver Hills, a nearby neighborhood. She is the cofounder and executive director of Nuts About. . . Read more
Amelia Nierenberg