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Working Moms a Big Segment of Homeless in Connecticut



November 8, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - Almost 800 children were staying in homeless shelters and transitional housing programs in Connecticut on the day the latest state homelessness survey was taken. The survey was done last Jan. 27, and was analyzed and just released by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

Executive Director Carol Walter says the shelters remain full beyond capacity, but the solution is not as obvious as one might think.

"We don't need to build more shelters; we need to house more people. The evidence that the shelter system is busting at the seams really doesn't have to result in more shelters, because that is a Band-aid."

On the study date, adults without children in shelters totaled 2,500, and 521 parents were in shelters with a total of 771 children. She adds that the majority of heads-of-household in these families are women, and 25 percent of them are working but can't afford housing for their families.

The latest survey shows that 40 percent of the homeless are sheltered in Hartford and New Haven, where some - but not enough - permanent housing units are available, Walter says.

"Housing people is more cost-effective, and brings us more immediately to good outcomes for those families and individuals, than building more shelter."

In January 2011, the annual survey will include people living on the streets, as well as those in shelters.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT