Needs Clearing House founder honored for years of service

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BRIDGEPORT -

The founder of the Greenwich-based nonprofit the Needs Clearing House was honored during a farewell tribute in Bridgeport Saturday.

The ceremony at the Margaret E. Morton Government Center was filled with people who know first-hand about Joe Kaliko's success.

It was News 12 Connecticut who first brought Kaliko to Bridgeport in 2013 when he helped find housing for an autistic man who had become homeless. Many successes followed.

When a grandmother was mugged and then couldn't pay her bills that month, Kaliko quickly raised $1,000 to get her back on track.

When two seniors desperately needed a wheelchair ramp for their home, Kaliko enlisted the help of Andrew LaSala's nonprofit Building Hope Foundation.

When Army Veteran Russel Billingslea became homeless, Kaliko worked hard to help him get an apartment.

Kaliko, always humble, does not like taking credit himself.

"I'm really thankful to all the people who've supported the Needs Clearing House, who've made it possible to accomplish the things that we've done," he said.

Kaliko is retiring, but supporters say his legacy of love will never be forgotten.

Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez, Mayor Joe Ganim and Sen. Richard Blumenthal were all in attendance at the ceremony.

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