Residential Education At Chapel Haven (REACH)

REACH (Residential Education at Chapel Haven) is the flagship program of Chapel Haven, utilizing a life skills model that has helped hundreds of graduates master the art of living independent and productive lives.

We offer programming in life skills acquisition, employment, education and social recreation to young men and women ages 18+ with cognitive disabilities. Our clients learn both intensively, in an apartment style residential setting, and on an individualized basis for those living on their own in the greater New Haven community.

Chapel Haven is:

  • Nationally accredited through CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Approved by the State Departments of Education (CT, NJ) as a special education school
  • Licensed through the CT State Development of Developmental Services

Our staff:

  • As a state approved, private special education facility, our teaching staff are comprised of certified special education teachers, life skills instructors and weekend recreational staff committed to the academic and personal development of our clients
  • Registered nurse on premises
  • Professional staff available in residential program 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


We offer a wide range of coursework through a curriculum that encompasses 10 blended subject areas: Language Arts, Math and Science, Social Studies, Life Skills, Vocational Skills, Wellness, and Personal Enrichment, as well as an array of Continuing Adult Education classes. Chapel Haven's Special Education faculty teaches nearly 70 classes each quarter. These are the foundation from which special education students build lives of successful independence. Learn More >

Over a 24-month period, our 30 students live in fully furnished and equipped apartments on campus, where they benefit from intensive one-to-one attention and life skills instruction. We teach young adults the day-to-day living skills that will be necessary for independent living when they graduate from the two-year residential program and become members of our Supported Living Program. Learn More >

A structured recreation program occurs on evenings and weekends. With 30 activities, on average, a month to choose from, the Recreation program is a key part of our curriculum, and teaches our clients to live more free. Activities range from a night out at the movies to theatre, athletics, chaperoned trips to Boston and New York City, as well as venues around the state including Gillette Castle and Sleeping Giant State Park. Learn More >

Gainful employment is an important part of an independent lifestyle; therefore employment is woven into REACH and Community programs, offering progressively more challenging opportunities as the individual progresses. More than 85% of clients are working at 30 agencies and companies in the area, in either supported or competitive employment settings. Chapel Haven’s prime location in an urban location with an extensive public transportation system makes an excellent location for job seekers. Learn More >

Who We Serve:

Families from all over the U.S., especially:

  • The tri-state area (NJ, NY, CT)
  • The Eastern Seaboard
  • Midwest
  • Canada
  • Far East, Europe

Our clients are:

  • 18 + (typically 18 to 25 in residential component)
  • with cognitive disabilities/autism spectrum disorders
  • High school graduates or still completing high school credits through their IEPs
  • Emotionally and behaviorally stable
  • Motivated to eventually transition into independent, productive lives, make friends, acquire social competency and adaptive skills and work toward individual goals

 Individuals with serious behavioral issues are not appropriate candidates.