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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

CT takes action to keep homeless people safe in winter

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Wednesday, January 24, 2024   

Connecticut organizations are working to protect homeless people from winter's biting chill.

This time of year poses severe health challenges for homeless people like fatal cases of hypothermia and frostbite. Warming shelters have been established for those who need them, though it can sometimes result in the spread of illnesses like the flu or COVID-19.

Sarah Fox, CEO of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, said allocating annualized funding is a good start to improving this system.

"It's $5 million annually to ensure that our community providers have the resources to set up warming centers, but to keep people safe during the winter," Fox outlined. "Winter comes every year and yet, we do not have annualized resources. In fact, looking at next winter, there are no resources in sight."

Fox would like to see the General Assembly allocate money for shelter operations, staffing, and other cold weather needs. Homelessness has been on the rise in Connecticut. Between 2021 and 2022, the annual Point in Time report tracked a 13% increase in homelessness on a single January night, while 2023's report saw an additional 3% increase.

Recent snowstorms have blanketed states to a point where some shelters and food banks were unable to open.

Cindy Manginelli, director of community engagement at the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, said malnutrition and dehydration complicate cold weather's effects. She pointed out there are many ways states can help people who are at risk of becoming homeless.

"In the communities where people who are homeless are often arrested if they're, you know, in public spaces; putting a moratorium on that can be really helpful," Manginelli suggested. "Putting a moratorium on shutting off utilities can be really helpful for people who are unstably housed so that they don't lose power."

In 2023, Connecticut's General Assembly considered a bill establishing a winter eviction moratorium, making it illegal to evict anyone from December through March but the bill failed to come to a vote.


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