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Income “Crisis” Fuels Connecticut Homelessness

May 9, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. - It's billed as the largest gathering of people working to end homelessness in the state, and it gets underway today at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

According to Fran Martin, interim executive director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, one big factor that contributes to the problem is a wide gap between rich and poor, and the fact that southwestern Connecticut has some of the most expensive housing stock in the nation.

"It's also an income crisis, that people don't have the income to afford housing; and so, education and training and employment will be solutions for homelessness," Martin said.

She said Governor Dannel Molloy will receive the Coalition's Social Justice Award for his work, along with state lawmakers, to provide funding for programs that have a demonstrated track record of success. She pointed out as a prime example the Rapid Re-Housing Program.

Part of the focus of the gathering will be on economic security, Martin stated, to help local residents, families and Connecticut veterans who may already be homeless or headed in that direction.

"So, bringing together people that are working in the housing sectors, as well as people who are working in the job training/employment sectors, and saying let's pool our knowledge and expertise and the resources we have to really help this family, or help this person to have a much better outcome for themselves" is the idea, she said.

Peter Edelman, a professor of law at Georgetown University will be the keynote speaker at the gathering today. He specializes in issues of poverty, welfare, and constitutional law.

Mike Clifford/Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - CT