HOTEL RENOVATION BENEFITS HOMELESS

Hartford's homeless will benefit from furniture left over from the renovation of the 120-suite Residence Inn by Marriott, thanks to an alliance between the city, CB Richard Ellis and Journey Home, the Connecticut capital's new program to end homelessness.

Managed by the Waterford Hotel Group, the downtown Residence recently underwent an extensive interior renovation, freeing up furniture to be distributed among dozens of charitable organizations serving the homeless in greater Hartford. About 1,000 items will be involved; Manchester Moving & Storage has contributed labor, trucks and a warehouse to help with storage of sleeper sofas, upholstered lounge chairs, bed sets, framed mirrors and more.

The Marriott Residence Inn, owned by a partnership linking Hartford developers Philip Schonberger, Marc Levine and Sam Fingold; Waterford developers Len and Mark Wolman; and Del Lauria and Stephan and Richard Slavik of Michigan, opened in 2000. It is part of the historic preservation and rehabilitation of the Richardson Building, an 1876 structure that previously operated as a department store. The Residence Inn is undergoing an extensive interior renovation including new furniture, carpet and wallpaper in the lobby, installation of a flat-screen television in the breakfast area and construction of a new business center.

Journey Home is an initiative of Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. At its heart: a 10-year plan to end homelessness in the region. In 2007, more than 4,000 people in Connecticut spent time in an emergency shelter; nearly twice that number were turned away because there was not enough room for them. The primary focus of the plan involves reducing the frequency and duration of homelessness and moving more homeless into stable, permanent housing.

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