Fifty percent of Danbury households face financial struggle and barriers to full economic engagement. We can take action to enrich our city, while allowing every resident to realize their potential.

DanburyWORKS is a city-wide collaborative targeting these residents who struggle to make ends meet, as well as those who are in poverty. DanburyWORKS links services across the community to make it easier for households in need to access the tools necessary to build a better life for their families, and a stronger economic force for our city.

The collaborative has local organizations, businesses, social service agencies, government officials, educational institutions and residents who recognize the barriers limiting the economic contributions people of color and immigrants and are committed to making a change. Together, we use our network of services to move city residents into the workplace feeling connected, and prepared to learn and grow.

We are creating lasting change for the future of Danbury through two phases; the first we call TLC:

  • Trust: We will build trust, community engagement and a stronger sense of community among Danbury’s many diverse cultures and communities by:
    • creating more opportunities for the diverse communities in Danbury to come together and develop strong and lasting relationships; and
    • offering a place for constant dialogue about racial issues and allow for racial healing among community members.
  • Language: We will develop capacity by creating a seamless system of language learning services for the 45.3% of residents who speak a language other than English by:
    • connecting the various English-language learning services and opportunities within the city to improve language ability and make it faster and easier to learn English in Danbury.
  • Childcare: We will increase access to affordable and high-quality childcare by:
    • recruiting and licensing 20 new family childcare providers to offer affordable, high-quality care for children;
    • increasing the accessibility and quality of current childcare programs for parents who work evenings and weekends.

After we make progress in these areas, we will move into the second phase, JET (Jobs, Education, Training), to increase the number of lower-income residents who participate in activities that improve their economic self-sufficiency and contribute to Danbury’s economic strength.  

  • To learn more or join DanburyWORKS, please contact Sandra Ferreira-Molina at 203.297-6283 or sandra.ferreira [at] uwwesternct.org

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DanburyWORKS collaborative partners include:

City of Danbury | The Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut | Connecticut Institute of Communities
Danbury Public Schools | EdAdvance | Family Networks | Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce
Naugatuck Valley Community College | Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut | Renewal Housing | Salvation Army
United Way of Western Connecticut | WERACE


The Boston Federal Reserve Bank’s 2018 Working Cities Challenge, $450,000

A collaborative of Danbury agencies and institutions received this multi-year grant award to reduce the number of immigrants and people of color who are in poverty by 30 percent within 10 years. During the first three years, the initiative dubbed DanburyWORKS will address the barriers that prohibit or limit the identified population’s ability to participate in education and/or job training programs that increase wages. In the short-term, DanburyWORKS will focus on reducing those barriers by building trust among the diverse cultures in Danbury, improving proficiency of the English language, and increasing access to affordable childcare.

Participating agencies in DanburyWORKS include: Age Well Community Council, City of Danbury, Community  Action Agency of Western Connecticut, Danbury Promise for Children Partnership, Danbury Public Schools, Danbury Youth Services, Connecticut Institute for Communities, Ecuadorian Civic Center of Greater Danbury, Ed Advance, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Regional YMCA, United Way of Western Connecticut, Western CT State University, Western CT Regional Adult and Continuing Education, and Western Connecticut Health Network, as well as local Danbury residents and business owners. United Way also serves as the fiscal agent for the initiative.