Action 1: Increase Public Awareness and Support for Efforts to End Homelessness.
Raise public awareness about homelessness and empower residents and other stakeholders with strategies to address and end homelessness.
What to do
Pass a municipal resolution, issuing a call-to-action to:
- Increase Public Awareness and Support for Efforts to End Homelessness
- Strengthen Municipal Workforce Capacity to Address Homelessness
- Collect and Share Homelessness Data
- Coordinate Municipal Services to Address Homelessness
- Provide or Mobilize Resources to Address Homelessness
- Improve Outcomes for People Experiencing Homelessness including steps to decriminalize homelessness and connect with systems
Share your municipality’s call-to-action with municipal staff and residents through both internal municipal communication and externally through municipal social media, local press or any other strategy appropriate for your municipality. (5 points)
Note: You may use or edit Sustainable CT’s resolution template (link here) or write your own municipal resolution, so long as it includes the required elements listed above.
Submit: A copy of the signed resolution and your internal and external communications, which may include screenshots of your communication to municipal staff, social media, and newspaper articles reporting on the passage of your community’s resolution.
Develop a webpage on your municipality’s website including guidance and resources for residents experiencing unsheltered homelessness and families or youth experiencing homelessness and/or housing instability. The webpage should include (1)Guidance for those experiencing homelessness, including a link to 211, contact information of your municipality’s LEA Liaison for homeless children and youth under the McKinney-Vento Act, a link to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families website, Runaway Homelessness and Youth providers, and any other relevant resources available through your municipality, and (2) Guidance for ways that residents can support local and regional homelessness prevention efforts.
Share the website with municipal staff and residents through both internal municipal communication and externally through municipal social media, local press, or any other strategy appropriate for your municipality (5 points).
Submit: A copy of the hyperlink to the webpage housing homelessness resources as described above, a pdf of the screenshot of the website, and a description of your strategy for sharing the website, and if possible, samples of internal and external communications.
Organize one or more community conversations or forums annually with a broad group of stakeholders to discuss homelessness in your community or region, focused on meeting the goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring in the municipality and larger region. Ideally, depending on the size of your community and extent of municipal staff, the forum should include representatives from:
- Schools, including your municipality’s liaison for homeless children and youth under the McKinney-Vento Act and any other key stakeholders; ,
- Youth Services, Parks and Recreation, and/or Youth Service Bureaus;
- Police, emergency medical services, and/or other municipal outreach staff or volunteers
- Social workers employed or funded by the municipality;
- Library staff;
- Residents experiencing homelessness now or in the past;
- Other community partners, such as community centers, food pantries and other nonprofits (e.g., YMCA/YWCA, Boys & Girls, Community Action Agencies, etc.).
Depending on your community, the format may include:
- Conversations about/with those on the brink of homelessness and unsheltered individuals;
- Discussion of any partnerships between municipal staff and nonprofit partners assisting in efforts to end homelessness; and
- An opportunity for residents to ask questions;
The moderator should be a municipal employee versed in the principles of the “Housing First” approach to homelessness, housing problem-solving (including shelter diversion), and how the Coordinated Access Network system works in Connecticut through a training provided by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness or through alternative training or experience (5 points).
Submit: Your completed worksheet and at least one additional piece of documentation related to the community conversation or forum, such as a promotional flyer, agenda, minutes presentations, sign-in sheets, photographs, recordings or press coverage.
Timeframe for Credit
Sustainable CT encourages regional collaboration and other forms of partnership. For every action, please complete the “Partners” box in your submission, indicating the name(s) of any municipalities and/or organizations you partnered with (if any) and a brief description of your municipality’s role. For additional information, please see the “Partners Guidance Document”.
Potential Municipal and Community Collaborators
Key collaborators to implement this action include representatives from schools (including your municipality’s liaison for homeless children and youth under the McKinney-Vento Act); Youth Services, Parks and Recreation, and/or Youth Service Bureau; police, emergency medical services, and other municipal outreach staff; human services, community services, or social workers employed or funded by the municipality; your municipal health department or health district; library staff; municipal communications professionals; community centers; faith-based organizations; community residents, relevant local businesses, and nonprofit groups (e.g., YMCA/YWCA, Boys & Girls, etc., Food pantries, Community Action Agencies); and your local elected officials and other representatives from your municipality’s governing board.
Toolkits, Calculators, Guidance Documents
- Resolution template
- List of McKinney-Vento (LEA) Liaisons
- List of Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Providers
- Hamden Virtual Town Hall (model for community conversation)
Organizations and Relevant Programs
Committing to ending homelessness signals to your municipality and its residents your commitment to lending a helping hand to residents in times of need. Sharing resources online and through a town hall format ensures that clients experiencing homelessness know what resources are available to them. It also ensures that residents are aware of options available to them to make meaningful contributions to efforts to end homelessness.