CT group seeks solutions to homelessness
Thursday, November 2, 2023
A Connecticut group is holding several roundtable discussions about ways to end homelessness.
The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness is speaking with elected officials to bridge the gap between understanding what it will take to reduce homelessness in the state and actually ending it. Between 2021 and 2022, a point-in-time report tracked a 13% increase in homelessness on a single January night. This year's report saw an almost 3% increase.
Sarah Fox, CEO of the Connecticut Coalition for Ending Homelessness, said the numbers are trending up for several reasons.
"They're becoming homeless due to poverty from returning back to the community after incarceration, from just generally not being able to thrive in the current environment," Fox observed. "We also know that you cannot uncouple homelessness from the affordable housing crisis."
Other reasons people are becoming homeless include the economic impacts of the pandemic, and rising rents. While Fox is eager to see progress, she is aware of the challenges ahead. In addition to competing fiscal priorities in the General Assembly, there is also the need to raise funds for homeless service systems. She said helping legislators understand the pressure the system is under to serve a growing population is a step in the right direction.
During the past session, the group brought legislation to the General Assembly to allocate funds to begin work necessary to end homelessness. The bill called for $50 million in funding to improve Connecticut's Homeless Response System.
Fox noted lawmakers approved far less.
"We received in total, $7 million, including $5 million for shelters, and $2 million that the Gov. had issued for flexible funding subsidies."
She added though it was not nearly enough, it is more money than other groups and causes got, many of whom received nothing.
As winter approaches, Fox is concerned about how to keep the growing elderly homeless population safe. A National Alliance to End Homelessness report predicted senior homelessness will grow from 40,000 to 106,000 by 2030.
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