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Irene Glasser

The Setting

Windham, Connecticut is an ethnically diverse community of 21,062 people (Connecticut Census Data Center 1988) that includes French Canadians, Eastern Europeans, and Puerto Ricans. It was once a thriving industrial town, but many of the factories are now closed. In 1990 Windham was the sixth poorest town in Connecticut, with 13 percent of its population having an income below the federal poverty line. In 1980 the median income of Windham was $14,353, in contrast to the median income of Connecticut, which was $20,078 (Windham Regional Planning Agency 1982). Although Windham is only the forty-second (42) largest town in Connecticut, in 1987 Windham's average monthly General Assistance (local welfare) caseload was 449 making it the seventh (7) largest average monthly G.A. caseload for the state (State of Connecticut 1988).

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