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Homeless Providers Respond to Governor’s 100 Day Challenge

Homeless Providers Respond to Governor’s 100 Day Challenge

Connecticut providers matched 280 homeless families (including 550 children) to homes since September 20, 2018! This was part of the state’s push to end youth and family homelessness by 2020 and in response to the governor’s recent 100 Day Challenge to providers.

At a celebration meeting at Hartford’s Lyceum, Governor Malloy addressed about 100 assembled guests. “One should not have to choose between a roof over their head or health care, warm clothing, or nutritious food for their children,” he said. “The availability of housing creates stable, safe communities where families thrive, businesses grow, and people want to live and work.”

At the event each of the state’s coordinated access networks (CANs) — charged with efficiently working with all partners to get the homeless back to housing stability – reported on their success during the 100 Day Challenge.

The Waterbury, Middlesex County/Meriden/Wallingford, New Haven, and the Central CANs reported meeting their goals. All CANs shared their learning from the 100 Day Challenge experience which they expect will inform their continued efforts to reduce family homelessness:

  • The value of better communication and working collaboratively with all partners to problem solve
  • The use of small one-time payments to counter a short-term crisis that would otherwise lead to homelessness
  • The stepped up effort to identify and partner with local landlords, and the hire of a Housing Locator
  • The ideal of getting a family not just in a home but in a community that’s meaningful to them

There are still 360 homeless families statewide and CANs have pledged to continue their full-court press to efficiently move them to suitable housing.

Speakers noted that while homelessness has dropped significantly in the state, a large proportion of CT families spend more than they can afford on rent in CT’s unaffordable housing market.

A number of speakers made the point that homelessness is not an isolated problem. The interconnected issues of health care, child care, transportation, nutrition, education and employment all have bearing on whether Connecticut families can easily find and retain housing.

All speakers mentioned with great pride CT’s accomplishments in significantly reducing homelessness. “We’ve sustained this over eight years,” said the Governor. “No other state can say this cannot be accomplished.”

Pictured left to right are: Steve DiLella, CT Department of Housing, and Felicity Eles, Middlesex County/Meriden/Wallingford Coordinated Access Network. Please note that the MMW can exceeded its goal by almost 35 percent! Great showing!