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Housing issues affect everyone in Connecticut, from those who are searching for a safe place to live, to those who may find it increasingly difficult to afford a place they already call home.WNPR is covering Connecticut's housing and homelessness issues in a series that examines how residents are handling the challenges they face. We look at the trends that matter most right now, and tell stories that help bring the issues to light.

Helpers Helping Helpers During Coronavirus

You remember what the mother of Mr. Rogers said: Always look for the helpers.

Turns out, they're everywhere. Sometimes they're livestreaming themselves doing great work on social media, sometimes they're in a photo, smiling behind a mask as part of a group of volunteers (spaced six feet apart, of course), and sometimes you never even know they're there.

Today, you're going to meet all kinds of helpers getting the good work done.

How can one person in recovery from drugs help another while helping himself during a pandemic? How can a fashion designer help a harm-reduction organization while they're trying to help people living and using drugs on the street? How is music helping healthcare workers and patients rise up and out of the hospital?

Plus, you'll hear how an 8 year-old Stafford girl is helping educate her friends with her very own livestream.

Today's show has a lot of bonuses!

Watch the Facebook video of Jay Bialkowski's emotional departure while being released from his hospitalization at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare.

Listen to two additional interviews with hospital workers using music to celebrate COVID-19 patients releases:

Brock Hamilton is an X-ray technician at Yale New Haven Hospital, but he’s been re-assigned to a support team helping with some of their sickest Covid-19 patients. They’ve been playing Andra Day's "Rise Up" every time one of those patients is released from their hospital, and I asked him how it all got started.

Connecticut Public Radio/WNPR · How Yale New Haven Hospital helps patients "Rise Up" and go home after Covid-19

Dr. Dev Roy is a palliative care doctor, and the chair of bioethics at Montefiore Nyack Hospital and Sound Physicians in Nyack, NY. He tells me how their new musical tradition began.

Connecticut Public Radio/WNPR · How Montefiore Nyack Hospital uses music to play Covid survivors back into the world

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Story ideas are encouraged.


  • "Ray" is a 23 year-old Old Saybrook resident in recovery with Project Courage
  • Antonio Piscitello is a New Haven resident who is three years sober, and a recovery coach with Project Courage
  • Mark Jenkins is the Executive Director of the Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Katrina Orsini is the founder of Hartford Fashion Week
  • Katie Zimmerli is an occupational therapist at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare
  • Sarah Carpenter is a physical therapist at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare
  • Dr. Megan Panico is a pulmonary and critical care physician at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare
  • Clara is an 8 year-old Stafford resident

Catie Talarski contributed to this show.

Chion Wolf is the host of Audacious with Chion Wolf on Connecticut Public, featuring conversations with people who have uncommon or misunderstood experiences, conditions, or professions.

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