Building Community Power

We aim to create a resilient community of refugee and immigrant women, with the networks and resources they need to respond to injustices and fight for their needs, both in times of crisis and outside of them.


What Do We Do?

After graduation, fellows join an interconnected community of almost 100 alumnae where women continue staying connected and reach out in times of need. 

  • Social events such as community markets and holiday celebrations
  • Workshops and wellness activities in partnership with local organizations. 
  • Monthly alumni organizing meetings where graduates work in committees to develop community and strategic projects with Havenly staff. For 2024, we have a crisis response committee, housing committee, childcare committee, and small business/cooperative business committee. Each committee has approximately 20 women. One of the most substantial committee projects currently underway is the development of a cooperatively-run family childcare center, which has emerged as a strategic priority in our community. 
  • Graduates can elect to become formally part of our governance, or join the staff, directly contributing to the development and oversight of Havenly over time. Currently, 8 of 13 seats on our Board of Directors are occupied by graduates, and graduates of our program work as interpreters and workshop facilitators.

Building Community Power
Building Community Power

Alumni Statistics


of Graduates remain engaged in the Havenly community


out of 13 of our Board of Directors are Havenly Graduates


Committees formed to develop community projects

Our Theory of Change

  • The Roots

    Fiduciary Board, Organizing Committees, Staff
  • The Trunk

    Our 6-month Fellowship Program that Refugee and Immigrant women join
  • The Branches

    Social Events, Collective Work, Ongoing Education and Training, Political Organizing, and more
  • The Leaves

    The members of our community who have gone through our program. Our goal is for them to take part in our work and take leadership in our governance once they've graduated from the fellowship program.


Our Previous Work

Sisters in Diaspora Collective: a group of alums and community members fighting for each other and greater justice.

The Collective was founded by a group of Havenly alums in February of 2021, with the support of Havenly staff. The Collective was created as a space where women could continue supporting one another and build community beyond graduation. More specifically, members decided to prioritize fighting for just and dignified living conditions for our communities. 

Today, the group has grown to include friends, neighbors, and fellow community members, remaining a space that is led by and centers immigrant and refugee women.  


What did the Sisters in Diaspora Collective do?

In 2021, our collective built a movement for housing justice in Greater New Haven.

The core issue that unifies this group is lack of access to safe, dignified, and affordable housing. Nearly every member of the Sisters in Diaspora Collective experiences housing insecurity. For each of their families, paying rent takes up the vast majority of their household income. Many live in overcrowded homes that don’t have enough space for their children, and suffer abuses from landlords who leave their buildings in disrepair and yet continue to raise the rent every month. 

This day-to-day challenge to keep a roof over our heads is by no means limited to the members of our Collective, or to people in the immigrant and refugee community. It is a challenge that faces nearly all working class people in U.S. cities, and especially people of marginalized backgrounds. In New Haven, 54% of residents do not have access to affordable housing. Upwards of 400 people live on the street, with no stable housing at all. In West Haven, where many of our members reside, the average wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $27.06 – this is more than twice minimum wage. In New Haven, the average renter is $17,000 short of affording a 2-bedroom apartment. In West Haven, the average renter is $13,000 short. 

We believe that housing is a human right. No one should have to live on the street, and no one should have to work down to the bone just to be able to keep a roof over their, living inconstant fear of falling behind on rent and getting evicted. We are working towards a world in which every single person and family has access to a safe, dignified, and comfortable home. That home should cost them no more than 30% of their income.

Building Community Power
Building Community Power

In New Haven


of residents do not have access to affordable housing


Average resident's shortage in affording a 2-bedroom


people live on the street

Our Campaign: 
American Rescue Plan Funding Should Prioritize Housing

In 2021, the federal government passed a financial package called the American Rescue Plan (ARP), whereby thousands of dollars would be distributed to city governments to invest in economic recovery efforts from COVID-19. New Haven is receiving 115 million dollars through the American Rescue Plan, and West Haven is receiving 29 million. The Sisters in Diaspora Collective is calling for local governments of the two cities to invest at least half of this money to address housing injustice. This request is proportional to the urgency and vastness of the need we are seeing. 

Specific asks in New Haven

We are urging the Board of Alders of New Haven to dedicate $62.5 million out of the total budget of $115 from the American Rescue Plan. 

We propose that $50.5 million be used to buy buildings in New Haven and convert them to affordable housing, and $12 million to provide monthly subsidies to 1000 families on the waiting lists for Section 8 and Public Housing for two years. We have submitted our proposal to the Board of Alders and are organizing for it to be heard and seriously considered. 

Specific asks in West Haven

We urge the City Council of West Haven to dedicate at least half of their total ARP funding to provide rent relief for periods of 6 months to families that are rent burdened.

In the News

Opinion: Make Housing Bigger Priority In Pandemic-Relief Plan

New Haven Independent

Read More

Coalition Of Immigrant Women Presses City For Housing Help Through Pandemic-Relief Aid 

New Haven Independent

Read More

“A basic, fundamental need”: residents want increased investment in housing

Yale Daily News

Read More

Ways to Help



Stay up to date, day-to-day, with the Collective and its campaign towards housing justice: @havenlycollective



If you or someone you know would like to participate actively in the Collective, contact