For Your Protection

Here are simple steps to make your own reusable face mask: 

  1. Gather a pair of scissors, two bands, two strings, and a 12 x 6” piece of cloth. A tea towel, hanky, cotton napkin or an antimicrobial pillow case. Some string ideas include hair ties, rubber bands, or elastic from an old pair of leggings.
  2. Pleat your piece of fabric as you go, about one inch per pleat, until you have a one-inch spread of fabric that’s already folded.
  3. Tie your band to each end of the pleated mask. The mask should unfold like an accordion since it’s pleated.
  4. Loop your string under each band, make sure each end is even, and then tie a knot. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Take the top two strings and tie securely. Repeat on bottom.
  6. Adjust your mask so it fits over your nose and under your chin.
  7. Wash after every use with soap and water. You can also add a coffee filter, drying sheet, or other type of barrier to create a filter, which you can remove between each use.

And here’s how to make your own disposable face mask:

  1. Fold material, like a paper towel, in half.
  2. Lightly pleat it in about one-inch increments.
  3. Tie a band to each side.
  4. Loop your string under each band, make sure each end is even, and then tie a knot. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Take the top two strings and tie securely. Repeat on bottom.
  6. Adjust your mask so it fits over your nose and under your chin.
  7. Toss your mask after use.

Top of Form





From the Desk of Harriet Polansky, Executive Director.

I realize this is an extremely stressful and unsettling time for everyone and we are doing everything possible to keep COVID-19 away from Stern Village.

It’s important to let everyone know what we are doing during the pandemic to keep our residents safe.

We’re following all the precautionary measures as per Lucy Bango, Director of Public Health for the Town of Trumbull, Megan Murphy, Emergency Management Director, the CDC, Governor Lamont, and the Department of Housing.

For Henry Stern Center, Our Congregate

  • We continue to call each congregant on a daily basis and ask if they are Ok?  We’ve been doing the R U Ok calls for over 6 years.
  • There is no congregating allowed in the dining room, foyer, 2nd floor den and arts & crafts room
  • Residents are encouraged to go outside in the nice weather, wear a face covering and social distance.
  • All meals are delivered to the Congregants in styrofoam containers. The Chef and 1 Kitchen staffers wear masks and gloves when they deliver the food. Residents fill out a bi-weekly menu which is provided to the Chef.
  • The only visitors allowed are nurses, aides or a family member acting in that capacity.
  • Deliveries are dropped off in a designated area in the foyer, either residents pick up or staff put the items by their door.
  • Anyone who signs in is asked to wash their hands.
  • COVID-19 prevention and informational signs are throughout the building.
  • We hired a commercial maintenance company to clean the entire building.
  • All public areas, including door knobs, walls, railings, and the elevator are continually sanitized and residents’ units are cleaned weekly using bleach and water. Our cleaning person is properly outfitted.
  • Only 1 person is allowed the laundry room at a time.
  • We have a system in place for residents to provide the Congregate Manager necessary information.

Stern Village

  • We are also making R U Ok? calls to all Villagers on a weekly basis.
    • If we know that a resident is returning from another state or country, we are calling them to confirm their return and requesting they quarantine for 2 weeks
  • Only 1 person is allowed in the laundry rooms at a time
  • We have a system in place for residents to provide us with necessary information.


  • Every Wednesday, GBT provides a 20-seat bus for our residents to go to Stop & Shop. We typically have 6-8 residents going so the bus allows for social distancing.
  • Residents in need are encouraged to go to the Food Pantry. They can call to have their food delivered at Stern or go to the senior center for curbside service. Each resident has the hours and phone numbers.
  • Maintenance crew will only respond to emergencies or problems with plumbing, water, electricity or heat. If a resident isn’t sure, they can call the office.
  • Staff is alternating working from home and working on-site.
  • We are enforcing social distancing at the THA Office and asking residents to do the same.
  • We have distributed easy instructions on how to make a no sew mask. Copies are in our laundry rooms and in the congregate.

I am available to the residents 24/7 by phone.

Community Support is Key – Thank You Cooperative Education Services

Every day the THA benefits from the help and support provided to us by members of the community and various organizations.  I would like to thank Cooperative Educational Services (CES) located in Trumbull, CT for their on-going assistance. Their “DSL” students are truly remarkable, thoughtful and friendly. On Fridays, they deliver Bruegger’s Bagels to the community room, along with their job coaches. Every month, students staple our monthly Stern Village Voice Newsletter and another group of students delivers them door-to-door to our 186 residents, along with their job coaches. Holiday time, they helped our residents decorate our Stern Village tree. These talented students even provided personalized gift wrapped, hand-made ornaments for our residents! If you or your organization is interested in helping the THA, please email  #CES #Coorperative Education Services

Heat Pumps for Comfort

A heartfelt thank you to the Town of Trumbull for applying for the Small Cities Grant in 2016 in order to get heat pumps for 186 units in Stern Village and for the State of Connecticut for approving it!

Over the course of several months, I conducted resident meetings to discuss the benefits of the ductless heat pumps to improve residents’ quality of life and savings on electric bills.  I have answered many questions. Experts have attended Board Meetings to discuss how efficient the heat pumps are.

The Facts

-We are not taking out the old electric baseboard heat.

-If residents do not want to use the Heat Pumps to reduce their heating bills we can turn it off and they will remain on the old electric baseboard heat.

-If residents do not want air-conditioning at a minimal cost we will not turn on the Heat Pump system.

Residents have the freedom to choose.

Installation of Heat Pumps Has Begun – Residents are Raving about their Heat Pumps!

-Ductless heat pumps are small and mounted high above your living space delivering even heating and cooling throughout.

-Heat pumps use a small, exterior condenser to transfer heat from the outside air directly to the inside unit, offering a number of tangible benefits

Money savings ­– High on the list of benefits is the money residents will save.  Residents will see significant savings on their UI bills.

Live in Comfort- Ductless heat pumps provide heating and air conditioning to your space giving you comfort all year round with one unit. No need for window air conditioners.

Better air quality – Ductless heat pumps have multiple filters and deliver air directly from the outdoors to your room, avoiding allergens. Those with allergies and breathing issues will also enjoy this benefit

Lowers the carbon footprint – A ductless heat pump reduces your carbon footprint through the significant reduction in energy usage. Each system meets UI guidelines and reduces energy usage by 60% over traditional electric options.

The heat pump control is easy to use. Set it and Forget it! If residents need to increase or lower the temperature, point it and use the arrows.

Energy efficiency, cost savings, and positive environmental impact are all benefits of ductless heat pumps. 


Stern Village Resident Association

The residents of the Trumbull Housing Authority now have resident representation, thanks to the duly elected Stern Village Resident Association. The Resident Association acts as a voice for Stern Village and works closely with the THA Board of Commissioners and Harriet Polansky, Executive Director. This new association has monthly meetings in the Community Room and welcomes all residents to attend. They are currently planning activities for residents to get acquainted.




Stern Village Resident Association Members:


Maureen Bova

Vice President

Joyce Aquino


Gloria Lanham

Josephine Rivera

Nicholas Vertucci

John Vogele

Welcome to the Director’s Corner – It Takes a Village

Hi, I’m Harriet Polansky, Executive Director of the Trumbull Housing Authority and I am using this blog to provide additional information about the Trumbull Housing Authority (THA) – Stern Village.  I am passionate about Stern Village and committed to improving the health, safety and well-being of our residents. Our Board of Commissioners work tirelessly on residents’ behalf. Our five commissioners are volunteers, appointed by the First Selectman of Trumbull. The Trumbull Housing Authority is under the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s Housing Portfolio, a quasi-public agency. We are not Federally Funded or part of HUD. We are the Public Housing Authority for the Town of Trumbull, providing affordable housing to low income adults. For the Village, one must be at least 62 year old (Elderly) and/or 18-62 years old (Young Disabled). Stern Village is truly the “jewel of Trumbull” acting as a community within a community.  For Stern Center-Congregate, one must be at least 62 years old and have one or more difficulties with daily living. The Congregate is not a nursing home or assisted living. It is an independent living facility with supportive services. We have 186 residents in the Village and 36 residents in the Congregate. We offer numerous activities, presentations and events for our residents. We even have a small food pantry located in the Community Room.  Our residents are kind and caring individuals. They come from different regions and walks of life. They all have great stories and can entertain you for hours! Stop by and get acquainted.