Our Home, Our Future: Salisbury Family Services

Voices from our Salisbury community about the housing we need for a healthy, economically vibrant future.

In this crazy time of social distancing and coronavirus fear, our homes are our sanctuaries. But what if you don’t have a secure home for you and your family? What if an illness, divorce or job loss threatens your ability to live in our community where your children are in school and where you have friends and family? What if it threatens your ability to have a home at all? Even before the virus outbreak, that’s the situation for many of the people who come to Salisbury Family Services for help. Director Patrice McGrath says she meets with people who live and/or work in Salisbury who are in serious need of assistance. There is more poverty in Salisbury than most people are aware of.

In addition to families with children, she sees a need for housing for single men and women. Some are in their 30s but a majority are women in their 50s to 60s, who are too young to qualify for Social Security. Many of her clients work multiple jobs, some of which are seasonal. Some are disabled with limited income. All are struggling.

Patrice says that young people would love to live in Salisbury. Unfortunately the high cost of local housing and lack of rental options mean that they cannot afford to live here. If they have children, childcare costs further strain their budgets, forcing them to move elsewhere even though they don’t want to leave because of our great schools. It’s one reason that our school populations have been declining for years. 

Patrice finds that there’s a real need for low income housing as well as affordable housing, which can be more expensive. When the cost is low enough, young people can stay in the area while they save for a future home purchase. People can have a place to live after divorce or a medical emergency while they get back on their feet. Her clients are your friends and neighbors or people who work for businesses on which you depend. More housing options, especially low cost rental options, would help our whole community thrive and help provide a secure sanctuary for our most vulnerable neighbors. 


 Mary Close Oppenheimer is a local artist who has been part of the Lakeville/Salisbury community for 30 years. Her love of the town and concern for its future have motivated her to learn about and share with her neighbors how local housing costs impact the town’s economic future and the people who live and work here.



Latest News

Pirates win Little League championship

The Pirates pose with their trophies beneath the scoreboard after winning the Northwest District 6 Majors 2024 title.

Riley Klein

THOMASTON — The Steve Blass Northwest Connecticut Pirates defeated the Tri-Town Braves 11-1 in the Northwest District 6 Majors League Championship game June 14.

The Pirates, made up of players aged 10 to 12 from the six Region One towns and Norfolk, won by run rule with a 10-point lead after five innings, a fitting end to a dominant season. The 2024 champs did not commit a single error in the game.

Keep ReadingShow less
‘Old Glory’ finds new home for Flag Day

North Canaan Elementary School students applaud as the flag reaches the peak of a new 35-foot flagpole.

Riley Klein

NORTH CANAAN — Students of North Canaan Elementary School gathered at Sam Eddy Field Wednesday, June 12, to witness the stars and stripes hoisted high on a newly installed flagpole.

Celebrated two days early due to school ending, the Flag Day ceremony took place on a pristine spring morning. Patriotism was palpable as the students sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Grand Old Flag” beneath a clear blue sky.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy at The Playhouse

The Sharon Playhouse honors Bobbie Olsen at its annual Spotlight Gala.

Justin Boccitto

The Annual Sharon Playhouse Spotlight Gala cast their theater light upon a worthy honoree this year: Bobbie Olsen, Bobbie Olsen, former president of The Playhouse board and namesake of a well-known location, The Bobbie Olsen Theatre, where residents pack the seats each summer to see the mainstage production plays and musicals. Held on Saturday, June 1, the dinner, cocktail, and musical review at the Olsen Theatre was a celebration of all she has contributed to keeping live theater active and alive in Sharon, even in the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bobbie Olsen is an incredible supporter of not just this theater, but this community,” said Sharon Playhouse Artistic Director Carl Andress. “She supports the Sharon Playhouse in her leadership, and in the beauty of her person-hood. We’re just so grateful that she’s been in our lives and that she continues to be such a good friend to the theater, Sharon Playhouse, and the theater in general.”

Keep ReadingShow less
NWCT Arts Council: Arts Connected

Matica Circus duo from Harwinton, Connecticut performing at NWCT ARTS Connected event in May

Jennifer Almquist

The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council (NWCT Arts) recently held Arts Connected, their first fundraiser, at the Spring Hill Vineyard in Washington, Connecticut. The evening celebration, a combination of Fellini movie, carnival, and Renaissance Fair, featured an aerialist from Matica Circus in Harwinton, and a flame and flow performer out in the courtyard under the stars. Momix, based in Washington Connecticut, under the artistic direction of founders Moses Pendleton and Cynthia Quinn, also performed. Two dancers wore Jeff Koons-style inflated red dog suits, and Momix dancer Jared Bogart wafted through the space wearing an immense, two-stories tall silk fan. Persian calligraphic painter Alibaba Awrang created a community work of art, while Ameen Mokdad, a violinist from Iraq, made music with Hartford’s Cuatro Puntos Ensemble. A young musician, Adelaide Punkin, performed an original song from the balcony of the vast space, while a giant puppet from Sova Dance and Puppet waltzed through the festivities. DJ Arvolyn Hill from Kent spun the tunes, an African drum circle set the rhythm, and there was abundant food and drink for the gathered crowd.

Keep ReadingShow less