Impact Story Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants

Kazanas Development Strategies is our go-to for high-quality federal and state grant proposals.

“For the past 6 years, we have entrusted KDS with the renewal applications for our US Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Refugee Resettlement contract, our US Department of Justice/Office for Victims of Crime contract, and State of CT VOCA contract. These grants are vital as they support CIRI’s services for foreign-born victims of trafficking, domestic and sexual violence, and survivors of state-sponsored torture. Working with Christina gives us the peace of mind that this critical funding will be there year after year for our clients so they may heal from trauma, achieve economic self-sufficiency and thrive in the United States. We have also worked with her to design and secure funding for expanded case management services – her process for proposal planning has inspired our staff to think creatively about how we design and deliver programming. Funding secured in partnership with KDS totals over $2.5 million and has created hope and healing for over 700 survivors.”

– Susan Schnitzer, President & CEO, Connecticut Institute for Immigrants and Refugees, Bridgeport, CT.

Impact Story St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation

St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation is KDS's longest-standing client.

St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation is KDS’s longest-standing client. Since 2010, we have proudly partnered with them to support the work of St. Vincent’s Medical Center, an essential community institution in Bridgeport. Dating back to the late 1890’s, SVMC has been on the frontlines of combating health disparities. When European immigrants and African Americans found themselves discriminated against by other area hospitals who would not treat them, local Catholic physicians and the Daughters of Charity came together to create that access. Today, as part of the Hartford Health Care network, SVMC continues this legacy as a leader in community-focused health care and reducing health disparities.

Together, SVMC and KDS have secured critical private and public funding to support medical services, community health improvement and healthy equity initiatives, infrastructure projects, and its school of nursing. Grant funding has been utilized to provide free breast health exams and mammograms, supported the dispensing of free medications for uninsured people to control chronic diseases, expanded the hospital’s community health outreach capacity, increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables through the Produce Prescription Program, and promoted health and wellness for its frontline healthcare staff.

KDS is excited to continue our partnership into 2022 with HHC-St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

Impact Story Center for Family Justice

Giving Domestic Violence Survivors a Fighting Chance in Court

As there is no legal right in Connecticut to court-appointed counsel for most civil cases, domestic violence (DV) victims often find themselves without legal representation in family court for restraining orders, divorce, custody, & child support matters involving their abusers.  Research shows that legal representation by a qualified family law attorney is the difference between winning and losing in court for domestic violence victims.  In too many cases, it is the difference between life and death.  But because the Center for Family Justice (CFJ) did not have the personnel to give their clients that legal representation free of charge, the most they could do was give guidance and training to help victims represent themselves.

KDS and CFJ worked together to develop a strong case for support and a program model that would result in grant awards from Impact Fairfield County and Hearst Foundations totaling $175,000.  These awards allowed CFJ to create the Pro Bono Legal Clinic for Domestic Violence Victims and hire a full-time attorney to provide representation in court to their clients.  The success of the pilot program helped CFJ secure additional private funding to hire a second attorney.  To date, the Pro-Bono Civil Legal Clinic has represented 179 clients in court, giving domestic violence victims the chance to break free from their abusers, protect their children, and secure a safer future for themselves.


Impact Story Horizons at Sacred Heart University

KDS was an invaluable source of support and expertise in our grant seeking and proposal development.

“The success of our out-of-school learning and enrichment program model for Bridgeport students hinged on the incorporation of social emotional learning into every aspect of our approach. KDS helped us write a clear and compelling narrative that helped explain exactly how SEL and psychosocial supports were interwoven into pedagogy, curriculum, and the evaluation framework. We were able to secure grant funding that gave us the resources we needed to engage formal evaluators, add on-site social workers to our staff, provide on-going professional development on SEL to our staff, and enhance our enrichment experiences for students. Christina’s approach to proposal development was incredibly helpful in getting everyone involved to understand on a granular level what, how, and why we do what we do.”

– Jaime Perri, Former Executive Director, Horizons at Sacred Heart University.