Coalition seeks to end homelessness across Connecticut

(Hartford) The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness joined forces this week with CCM and Sustainable CT to announce a statewide effort to engage towns and cities in efforts to end homelessness. The announcement comes at the beginning of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and offers cities, towns, and their residents concrete ways to impact homelessness in their communities.

The municipal campaign has its roots in efforts launched last year by
CCM’s Mayors Homelessness Prevention Task Force. Led by Mayor Ben Blake of Milford and Mayor Erin Stewart of New Britain, the task force has
engaged mayors and first selectmen around the state in taking action to
end homelessness locally. The campaign itself offers towns and their
residents a variety of ways to make an impact including passing a
resolution committing the town to ending homelessness in the region and
taking specific actions which will be rewarded by points under the
Sustainable CT certification framework starting in January of 2021.

According to Partnerships For Strong Communities, in Connecticut, Hispanics – Latinos make up 16 percent of the population but represent 34 percent of the homeless population. Between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019, the state emergency shelters served approximately 840 households, 80 percent were headed by people of color, and 90 percent of children under the age of five were marginalized communities. In addition, Hispanic – Latino children are more likely to live in households with high housing cost burden, leaving limited resources for families to address other necessities such as food, health care, and financial stability.  


Towns and cities will have the opportunity to demonstrate their
commitment to ending homelessness this week during National Hunger and
Homelessness Awareness Week in a number of ways, including:

  • Holding a virtual town hall focused on municipal services currently available to residents experiencing homelessness
  • Committing to passing a resolution to end homelessness
  • Designating a municipal staff member to serve as a point-person for efforts relating to homelessness.

Towns will also be able to participate by designating a high-school-age youth to serve as “be homeful” ambassadors who will lead local youth in efforts to end homelessness as part of a larger statewide initiative championed by youth volunteers.

“Connecticut’s towns and their residents are essential partners in the
the effort to end homelessness,” said Dr. Richard Cho, CEO of the
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. “We hope that everybody in
our state will give thought to how they can play a role in ending
homelessness.”

Joe DeLong, Executive Director and CEO of CCM, stated, “We are excited
to join CCEH and Sustainable CT to proactively address homelessness in
our municipalities.  This partnership allows each of us to leverage our
resources and expertise to reduce homelessness in our communities
through achievable and meaningful actions, while raising awareness on
this very important issue.”

“Sustainable CT is thrilled to integrate homelessness prevention into
its roadmap of actions to support stronger and more inclusive
municipalities,” said Lynn Stoddard, Executive Director of the program.
“Ensuring that every Connecticut resident has a home is fundamental to
promoting thriving, sustainable communities.”

How does Homelessness Impact Latino families?

Towns interested in participating can contact Carl Asikainen at
casikainen@cceh.org .

About the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness
CCEH represents more than 75 members – emergency shelter providers,
transitional housing providers, community and business leaders, and
strategic partners – who share the goal of ending homelessness. In
partnership with communities throughout the state, CCEH advances this
goal through leadership, community organizing, advocacy, research, and
education. In 2015, CCEH launched the _be homeful _project to help stamp
out family homelessness for good by ending homelessness one family at a
time. In partnership with businesses through the state, through the_ be
homeful_ project, money is raised to increase shelter diversion,
allowing struggling families stay in the comfort of their home.
According to research, the best way to help people is to keep them out
of the shelter in the first place. Remarkably, through this project, it
only costs on average $1000 to help a family at risk of homelessness
remain housed.

About Sustainable CT Sustainable CT inspires, supports, and recognizes sustainability
achievements by Connecticut municipalities.  Created by towns for towns,
the free program includes a roadmap of sustainability actions, technical
support and funding to help towns implement actions, and certification
to showcase accomplishments.  Currently 112 of Connecticut’s town and
cities are participating in Sustainable CT (representing 80% of the
state’s population) and 61 municipalities have earned certification,
demonstrating successful implementation of a broad range of
sustainability actions that promote inclusive and equitable communities,
thriving local economies, affordable and diverse housing, vibrant arts
and culture, clean transportation choices, land, and natural resource
stewardship, and more.  Sustainable CT’s Community Match Fund has
inspired investment of over $1 million in community-led sustainability
projects across the state. Sustainable CT is independently funded and
led and administered by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern
Connecticut State University. www.sustainablect.org.

(Cover Photo Credit: CT Public Radio)

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