S.B. 6 Will Allocate Community Investment Act (CIA) Funds for Homelessness System Management
Appropriations Committee Public Hearing
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
Legislative Office Building, Room 1E
Support S.B. 6: AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GENERAL GOVERNMENT.
The public hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. in Room 1E of the LOB. Public speaker order will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 8:00 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. in the First Floor Atrium of the Legislative Office Building (LOB).
If you would like to submit written testimony, please submit 60 copies to the Committee staff no later than 9:00 A.M. in Room 2700 of the LOB. Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to APPtestimony@cga.ct.gov. You can download a template here.
This bill, in part, allows the portion of CIA funds dedicated to the Department of Housing to be allocated as follows:
- $700,000, annually, to 2-1-1 for purposes of making assessments and providing resources to homeless persons;
- $850,000, annually, to fund operations of the state’s Coordinated Access Network system;
- $370,000, annually, to provide overflow shelter capacity when the Governor activates the state’s cold weather protocol; and
- the remainder to supplement new or existing affordable housing programs.
CIA has been the source of this funding over the last few years. Allocating a portion of these funds specifically to support frontline homelessness management system is a key step in ensuring ongoing funding for these critical systems.
Local agencies fund a substantial portion of the annual cost of operating the CAN system through leveraging their own resources, which includes local funding sources, such as the United Way, to support the functioning of these systems across the state.
This bill requires continued dedication of DOH’s CIA funding to support the statewide Coordinated Access Networks (CANs). Teams of homelessness response providers in each community are organized into eight CANs across the state.
Since January 2017, CANs have conducted 15,746 intake appointments for shelter and housing services. The CAN infrastructure enables us to assist individuals in a coordinated and streamlined way that includes a single point of entry, a unified assessment tool, diversion, prioritization, and matching for appropriate housing resources.
This bill will require DOH to maintain the current allocation of CIA funds to 2-1-1 which serves as the front door of the CAN system. Since January 2017 2-1-1 has answered 81,994 calls seeking housing services. The Community Investment Act resources at the DOH have been pivotal to the operation of the CAN system, which has housed more than 1,948 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness since January 2015.
Continue to support the CAN infrastructure, which is the linchpin to maintaining the gains we have made with the successful homelessness response system.
Without these resources, we will return to a fragmented system which did not have a consistent approach to allocating resources to those experiencing homelessness.
While Connecticut has transformed the service system and accelerated our pace toward ending homelessness, continued investment in the homeless system and services and affordable housing remain critical to maintaining these gains.
Reductions or eliminations in funding will result in people falling back into homelessness, increased new episodes of homelessness; increased burden on public funded emergency systems; increased use of hospital emergency departments; and, loss of the substantial gains that Connecticut has made in ensuring the homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring.
You can read Reaching Home’s full Legislative Recommendations here.