NORWALK, Conn. – A rumor that clients of a Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) residential program have been living without heat in a NEON building has been denied.
A reliable source said Wednesday that a resident of NEON’s Single Occupancy Residence (SRO) had leaked information via an email.
“According to a resident, their rent has been collected for January but the heating bill has not been paid. And there are no funds to remedy the situation,” the source said.
The SRO is next to the NEON building at 98 South Main St. It provides permanent housing for homeless individuals. Case management and meals are provided.
The Rev. Bruce Morris said Thursday that he hadn’t heard of a problem, and promised to check back.
Meanwhile, NancyOnNorwalk went to poke around. There were windows at the residence; inside men were sitting in what appeared to be a dining area, wearing coats and hats. Around the side of the building, there was steam coming out of a vent. A woman, who appeared to be a staff person, was sitting at a desk, wearing a sweater. She appeared to be fine.
South Norwalk activist Ernie Dumas rang the bell. No one answered.
He said none of the residents were likely to talk, and suggested going into the NEON building to ask South Norwalk Community Center staff about it.
SoNoCC Director Marina Ferrandino said she hadn’t heard anything about a problem. The woman who had been sitting at the desk came in. She said everything was fine.
“I don’t know why people keep saying that,” she said. “I have heat.”
Morris said Friday that he hadn’t had a chance to go talk to the tenants, but the Rev. Tommie Jackson, interim NEON CEO and president, said there has been no problem.
“He was not aware until I reported that to him,” Morris said.
He quoted Jackson as saying, “I don’t know what anyone’s talking about. The heat is on. They never lost heat.”