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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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Point In Time Count Rescheduled To Feb. 18

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Categories: Advocacy News |CT PIT

UPDATED, Jan. 30, 2015, 4:11 p.m.: 

The 2015 Connecticut Point-in-Time count will be Wednesday, Feb. 18. The count was postponed from Jan. 28 because of the severe winter storm Connecticut experienced earlier in the week. Thank you all for your continued patience and support in this process. 
 
For more information, please contact your local Point-In-Time Count coordinator, or Brian Roccapriore at broccapriore@cceh.org.
 
For volunteer opportunities, please contact Jackie Janosko at jjanosko@cceh.org for more information. Opportunities are available statewide, please indicate where you would like to volunteer and we can match you to the area closest to you!
 

ORIGINAL: 

Every January, the CT Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) coordinates the Point in-Time Count of the state’s homeless population.  The count provides valuable information on the location and needs of those individuals in our community who experience street homelessness, and is used to measure our progress toward ending homelessness.

The 2015 count is on Jan. 28, and CCEH needs your help to do it.  To conduct the Point in Time Count, teams of volunteers canvass the streets, parks, and camps, and administer a short survey to collect important demographic information. Volunteers will be paired with experienced local providers and seasoned volunteers. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old or 16-17 years old accompanied by an adult.

This year’s count takes place from 7pm to 11pm (or 4am - 7am on 1/29 depending on the region) on Jan. 28. 

You can make a difference in your community, and you might find it to be a life-changing experience.  Here is what a volunteer from our New Haven PIT count had to say: “Many people see homelessness as a problem that can’t be solved, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that they have never gone out and spoken with someone experiencing homelessness. For me, this was a great personal experience, and allowed me to contribute personally to real and positive change.”  

There is a solution for every person without a home.  It starts with understanding who each person is, and what they need.  In volunteering for the PIT, you can help your community advance the goal of ending homelessness.

Requirements:

  • Receiving training (approximately one hour) to learn tips and tools on surveying people who are homeless.
  • Assisting with the Homeless Census in late January. Volunteers who offer flexibility in location assignments are greatly appreciated; and those with special skill sets such as being bilingual are greatly in demand.
  • Volunteers who are willing to provide the use of their vehicle are also in high demand.

To volunteer, please contact Jackie Janosko at jjanosko@cceh.org for more information. Opportunities are available statewide, please indicate where you would like to volunteer and we can match you to the area closest to you!

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Connecticut Extends Severe and Cold Weather Alert through Feb. 8

The state of Connecticut has extended the Severe Cold Weather Protocol that was activated on Monday Jan. 26 through Sunday Feb. 8.
 
At the direction of Governor Dannel P. Malloy, the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), Department of Housing (DOH), Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), and the Department of Social Services (DSS) are again working with United Way 2-1-1, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and other partners to coordinate efforts to ensure adequate shelter space during the current severe weather. 
 
Connecticut is forecast to experience very cold temperatures over the next 10 days, with temperatures on many evenings in the low single digits and wind chill factor temperatures predicted to be near or below zero.  Therefore, the protocol that was enacted on Monday January 26th is now extended through Sunday February 8th, 2015.    

Governor Malloy again encourages cities and towns to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help those in need during this severe weather event.  In addition, we want to continue to ensure that if local shelters or other facilities used during cold weather emergencies reach their capacities, there is a system in place to find out where there is space so they can direct individuals and families accordingly. 
 
If you receive a call from someone looking for shelter and you are not aware of any shelter space, please direct the person to 2-1-1.  DEMHS has opened an Incident on WebEOC, “Severe Cold Weather January 26 – February 8, 2015."  If your town opens a shelter or warming center, please indicate its status on WebEOC.  Working with local shelters, 2-1-1 will act as a clearinghouse to ensure that shelter space is found for those that need it.  We encourage you to spread the word of the important service provided by 2-1-1.
 
On behalf of the Governor, we thank you again for your hard work and dedication all year round—and especially in these cold and stormy winter months—to help individuals and families. 
During this time, Coordinated Access Networks (CANs) across the state are asked to implement their severe cold weather protocol policies.  Our shared goal is to ensure that, further to the Governor’s announcement, all those in need are able to secure appropriate shelter 24 hours per day, every day during this time period.  211 will observe the policies established by each CAN in instructing clients as to what they should do to find shelter. 
 
If you have any questions about the policies for access to shelter in your area, please contact your CAN coordinator (coordinators listed below).  If you have any questions about the 211 referral process, please contact Wendy Caruso, at Wendy.Caruso@ctunitedway.org.  If you have any questions about the Governor’s announcement and its impact on DOH-funded providers of homeless services, please contact Steve DiLella at the Department of Housing, Steve.DiLella@ct.gov.  If you have any questions about CCEH support to communities and the Coordinated Access process, please contact Kristen Granatek at CCEH, kgranatek@cceh.org.
 

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