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CCEH Action Alert: Upcoming Legislative Hearings

There are important legislative hearings coming up Feb. 3 and 5 and we need help making sure our representatives in Hartford know our position on this proposed bills.

Ending Youth Homelessness: SB 408 (An Act Concerning Youth Homelessness): Feb. 3
We need you to appear and tell legislators we support SB 408 (An Act Concerning Youth Homelessness) that aims to ameliorate homelessness among youth. Instructions to testify at the public hearing are below.
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 3
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: 1B, Legislative Office Building Hartford (300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106)
Download talking points here.
 
Support for Elderly and Disabled Housing for people with disabilities: Feb. 3 
We need you to appear and tell legislators we oppose SB 170409 and HB 55836144, all of which serve to limit access to “elderly/disabled” housing for people with disabilities.  Instructions to testify at the public hearing are below.
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 3
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: 1B, Legislative Office Building Hartford (300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106)
Download talking points here.
Information for testifying on Feb. 3: Please direct all questions to Betty Gallo at Betty@GalloRobinson.com or to Kate Robinson at Kate@GalloRobinson.com. Sign-up for the hearing will begin 11 a.m. in Room 2700 of the LOB. Please submit 35 copies of written testimony to Committee staff by 12:30 p.m. in Room 2700 of the LOB. Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing. Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to HSGtestimony@cga.ct.gov. Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related Bills. The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the agenda. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes of testimony. The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement. Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and indexed by internet search engines.
 
Hearing on Affordable Housing: Feb. 5
We need you to appear and tell legislators about the important role affordable housing plays in ending homelessness. We oppose any bills raised to amend or outright appeal 8-30g (the Affordable Housing Appeals Process). We need to humanize the need for affordable housing throughout the state and remind legislators that it remains a vital tool to combat housing insecurity and homelessness.
Details of the hearing and the long list of bills proposed for review are available here.
Talking points will be available on Monday.  Instructions to testify at the public hearing are below.
Date: Thursday, Feb. 5
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: City Hall Aldermanic Chamber, Second Floor, 165 Church St., New Haven, CT 06511

Download talking points here.

If you need assistance testifying or more details please email David Fink at david@pschousing.org or Christina Rubenstein at christina@pschousing.org.
Information for testifying on Feb. 5: Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 5 p.m. in the City Hall Aldermanic Chamber.  Please submit 35 copies of written testimony to Committee staff by 6 p.m. at the City Hall Aldermanic Chamber, Second Floor.  Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.  Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to HSGtestimony@cga.ct.gov.  Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related Bills.  The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the Agenda.  The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials.  Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony.  The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement.  Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.  All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information.  As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and indexed by internet search engines.
 
Please contact Sarah Fox at sfox@cceh.org with any questions or concerns.
 

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Webinar Feb. 5 on FY2016 McKinney Appropriations Campaign

A message from Julie Klein, Assistant to the President/Policy Outreach Associate, National Alliance to End Homelessness:

Dear McKinney Advocates,
 
The President is scheduled to release his FY 2016 Budget Proposal next Monday, February 2. The budget reflects the Administration’s funding priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and is meant to guide Congress as it continues to move through the appropriations process. The Alliance will host a webinar on Thursday, February 5 at 12 pm ET to review the Budget Proposal. During the webinar, presenters from the Alliance will review the federal budget process, analyze the Administration’s proposed funding levels for federal affordable housing and targeted homelessness programs, and provide information on this year’s McKinney Appropriations Campaign, which will be launched in conjunction with the webinar.
 
Click here to register for the February 5 webinar.
 
We will certainly have another uphill battle ahead of us this year, and are hopeful that the Administration will again demonstrate that they prioritize homeless assistance in the President’s Budget Proposal so that advocates can point to this support and use it as a baseline when reaching out to their congressional offices to advocate for increased McKinney funding.
 
Furthermore, the larger federal budget context will paint a grim picture for HUD programs this year, unless low budget caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 are raised through another large budget deal, and the President’s Budget proposal will give us a sense of the extent to which the Administration believes overall spending levels should be raised. Throughout the year, it will be important to advocate to increase federal funding caps (particularly for non-defense discretionary spending), in order to maximize the amount of funding available for programs that are most important to ending homelessness.
 
Join us for our President’s Budget Briefing as we launch our FY 2016 efforts to work with Congress to ensure that our federal government continues to serve and assist our nation’s most vulnerable people. Any efforts to spread the word about the webinar and this working group to your networks are much appreciated! 
 
 

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DOH:  2-1-1 is the “Front Door” but all in need should be able to access shelter

The Connecticut Department of Housing is fully committed to using 2-1-1 as the front door to accessing the Coordinated Access Networks (CANs).  Individuals and families seeking emergency shelter should continue to contact 2-1-1 in order to gain access the many resources of the CANs.  Of course, in a small number of cases, some individuals and families may not be able to call 2-1-1 in advance of seeking shelter.  No one should be prevented from securing appropriate shelter or accessing the services provided by the CANs solely because they are not able to access 2-1-1 in advance.  To do so could result in people in need seeking shelter on the streets or places not meant for human habitation.  That is not acceptable.

DOH encourages CANs to develop protocols that will allow the small number of individuals and families who may not be able to access 2-1-1 in advance to be accepted for emergency shelter without first contacting 2-1-1.  As always, if such individuals or families present in person at a provider, and if there is another short-term housing resolution available for that individual or family, providers should always seek to route them through the normal Coordinated Intake process.  However, it there is no short-term housing option available to that individual or family, then emergency shelter should be made available.  Following that entry into shelter, shelter staff should identify these individuals and families and assist them in contacting 2-1-1 to gain entry into the Coordinated Access system as soon as possible.  At that point the individual or family can contact 2-1-1 to complete the brief diversion screen as well as set up the more in-depth intake screening with assistance, as needed, from shelter staff.

It is the goal of DOH to continue to work in close cooperation with providers to create a system that is both coordinated at the front end, by using 2-1-1, but is also flexible enough to address the urgent needs of people who need shelter immediately and cannot contact 2-1-1 without assistance.  In no way does DOH want to see unsheltered homelessness increase due to the implementation of Coordinated Access.  If you have any further questions related to this matter, please contact Steve DiLella at 860-418-6845 or steve.dilella@ct.gov.

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Homelessness Advocacy Opportunities: 2015 Legislative Session

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Categories: Advocacy News |Budget and Taxes |Advocacy & Field Mobilization

BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS HEARINGS WEBINAR
Thursday, February 26 2:00pm - 3:00pm

  • Review FY2016-2017
  • Hear about the state funding for homelessness and housing
  • Learn advocacy strategies for hearings

Register online here.

HOMELESSNESS ADVOCACY DAYS PREPARATION WEBINAR

Thursday, March 5 2:00pm - 3:00pm

  • Hear an update on the state budget climate this session
  • Review state and local initiatives 
  • Share ideas on telling your local story

Register online here.

HOMELESSNESS ADVOCACY DAYS at the LOB

Wednesday, April 1 & Thursday, April 2 9:00am - 2:00pm

YOU are the experts on what works to end homelessness in your community!

  • Make your voice heard - meet with your legislators to discuss current efforts to end homelessness and advocate for resources that you need
  • Each Coordinated Access Network (CAN) will have a one-hour time slot
  • CCEH/PSC will provide a template for presentations and CAN-specific data

For more information on any of the above, contact Sarah Fox (sfox@cceh.org) or Elizabeth Grim (elizabeth@pschousing.org)

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Gov. Malloy Announces New Steps Towards Ending Veteran And Chronic Homelessness


Governor Dannel P. Malloy  announced Wednesday, Jan. 21 that Connecticut has been chosen for Zero: 2016, a national initiative organized by the nonprofit Community Solutions dedicated to ending veteran and chronic homelessness within the next two years. Governor Malloy also announced an expansion of existing permanent housing subsidies towards that goal. The announcement was made before housing advocates at the Lyceum conference center in Hartford.
 
“Connecticut has the opportunity to be the first state in the union to end homelessness among our veterans as well as chronic homelessness for people with disabilities within two years. Even though it’s a bold goal, it’s now within our reach,” Governor Malloy said. “We’re taking the lead nationally on this issue not only because it’s good for our economy and makes our communities stronger, but because it’s morally right. We’re making progress for the short and the long-term, because our veterans deserve our support.”
 
The goal of ending homelessness among veterans and those who are chronically homeless is particularly viable in Connecticut. According to recent surveys, there are about 1000 Veterans and about 2400 chronically homeless people with disabilities in the state.
 
“I applaud Governor Malloy, Commissioner Klein, and the many state and federal partners who are working to end chronic homelessness and homelessness among veterans,” said Lt. Governor Wyman. “Connecticut’s historic investment in housing has helped thousands of residents rebuild their lives, rejoin the workforce, and establish themselves in our communities. Our participation in Zero: 2016 gets us even closer to our goal of safe, supportive housing for our most vulnerable residents.”
 
“We continue to see great progress in our efforts to end chronic and veteran homelessness. Acceptance into the Zero: 2016 initiative will bolster these efforts, providing us with another tool to help reach our goal of stamping out homelessness in Connecticut,” said Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein.
 
The Governor also announced the state Department of and Mental Health and Addiction Services is awarding 15 private, not-for-profit agencies 1.1 million dollars to provide in-home supportive services to 176 recently housed persons who have experienced chronic homelessness. The in-home services, located in every region in the state, include: referrals to mental health, substance abuse, dental and medical treatment, employment services, budgeting, landlord and tenant mediation, tenancy and daily living skills. 
 
The announcement comes after the state worked to fund 110 Rental Assistance Program housing vouchers through the State Department of Housing, ensuring that participants will not pay more than 30% of their income toward rent. Four local Housing Authorities have partnered with some of the funded agencies to provide rental subsidies to an additional 66 participants, for a total of 176.
 
Chronic homelessness is defined by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as “an individual who is homeless and lives in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter for at least one year or on at least four separate occasions in the last 3 years and can be diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions: substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability (post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive impairments resulting from brain injury, or chronic physical illness or disability).”
 
Recipients of the new supporting housing subsidies are as follows: Columbus House, New Reach (formerly New Haven Home Recovery) and Liberty Community Services in New Haven; Community Health Resources in Enfield/Manchester/Willimantic; Mercy Housing and ImmaCare (formerly Immaculate Conception Shelter and Housing Corporation) in Hartford; Central CT Coast YMCA (Alpha Community Services) in Bridgeport; Homes With Hope and Continuum of Care in Norwalk; St. Vincent de Paul in Middletown/Middlesex County; Reliance House in Norwich; Friendship Service Center in New Britain; Chrysalis Center in Harford; Center for Human Development in Danbury; and St. Vincent’s Medical Center (Hall Brooke) in Bridgeport/Norwalk.
 

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