First Congregational Church of Vernon Partners with My Sister’s Place for Security Deposit Guarantee Program

February 24, 2023

Cindy Dubuque-Gallo
FCCV Mission Team Chair

At the beginning of January 2022, the First Congregational Church of Vernon (FCCV) embarked on a mission to serve those impacted by housing insecurity through establishing a new security deposit guarantee program for low-income individuals and families. In partnership with My Sisters’ Place Inc, a Hartford nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness, the church donated $20,000 from its capital campaign for this mission project.

“I believe this is what the church is all about, and that’s to serve those in need in our communities. Housing continues to be a huge issue of need and I am so thankful that our church is committed to assist the efforts of My Sisters’ Place to help end homelessness,” said Rev. Robin Bird, Senior Pastor FCCV.

“Security deposits are a common barrier to housing. The impact of COVID-19 and the ending of the eviction moratorium has left many people struggling and at risk of eviction. Funds like these are crucial to help people obtain much needed stable housing,” said Kara Capone, CEO of My Sisters’ Place. This fund seeks to help Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) households who make too much money to qualify for state programs but not enough money to meet basic needs. Those eligible for the program must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and not eligible for the state of Connecticut’s Department of Housing security deposit guarantee program.

Cindy Dubuque-Gallo, chair of the Mission Team coordinating the effort shared, “We are thrilled that we are able to serve those who often fall through the cracks due to stringent eligibility criteria. This program is specifically designed to assist those who may otherwise not receive any assistance but are certainly in need.”

Since January 2022, the First Congregational Church in partnership with My Sisters’ Place has provided 9 security deposit guarantees totaling $19,323 to 4 families (4 adults and 7 children) and 5 individuals. Of those served, 56.25% identify as African American female, 6.25% as Hispanic female, 37.5% as African American male. Nearly half are youth under 18 years old. Over half are housed in Hartford, with the others housed in West Hartford, Newington, and Vernon. The average security deposit guarantee is $2,147.

If you would like to learn more about the program, or join our efforts by donating to this program or becoming a participating landlord, please contact Cindy Dubuque-Gallo at, or John Thomas