CEO Richard Cho’s December Newsletter Message
It is hard to believe that only two weeks have passed since I began my role as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and what a two weeks it has been! Just yesterday, I had a chance to join with partners from across the state to celebrate the amazing achievement under Governor Malloy’s Challenge on Family Homelessness, in which 280 families and nearly 550 children were assisted out of homelessness and into stable housing in just 77 days. This achievement proves what is possible when the vision of our leaders helps to focus and accelerate the efforts and ingenuity of our homeless services networks.
Just as the fruits of one governor’s leadership on ending homelessness were coming to bear, the seeds of another governor’s leadership on ending homelessness are being planted. Day 2 on the job, I had the privilege of participating in Governor-elect Lamont’s Transition Policy Committee and was able to lend my thoughts on how the incoming governor has the unique opportunity to lead the state in becoming the first in the nation to achieve an end to all homelessness.
I also had a chance to meet many of the partners and allies that make Connecticut’s drive to end homelessness so successful. The committed leaders and staff working hard to streamline access to housing and services and use data to drive progress. The volunteers who helped wrap Paddington bears and books for children in shelter and raise funds to help families avert homelessness. The generous supporters and funders who are investing in a future in which every child, youth, or adult in Connecticut has a safe and stable place to call home. I have also had a chance to get to know CCEH’s committed and hardworking team who’ve managed so far to beat me to the office every morning and outstay me every evening. I know what drives them is the sense that we are moving ever closer to achieving an end to homelessness.
For those of you who I haven’t met yet, I look forward to connecting with you soon. At one of the many meetings where innovative ideas are being shared for how to make homelessness rarer, briefer, or unrepeated, or perhaps at key events like the Point-in-Time and Youth Counts at the end of January. These counts are important as they provide a sense of how homelessness in trending from year-to-year. We hope to see that we’ve continued to bend the curve on homelessness and we need your help to make sure that we are conducting an accurate count. Meanwhile, I’m proud to say that we and our partners have been developing the capacity to track homelessness in real-time. If you haven’t done so already, I’d encourage you to visit www.ctcandata.org to see how we are using data to ensure that every person experiencing homelessness is being stably housed.
I want to close by noting that the holiday season is upon us, which is typically a time to reflect more about the needs and challenges of our more vulnerable neighbors. Thank you to those who’ve already donated to the be homeful project (or to CCEH or one of our many members and partner organizations). Your generosity has already led to one more child, veteran, or person suffering from a chronic condition having the opportunity celebrate the holidays in their own bed – in their own home. If I may be so bold, I ask that you resolve in the New Year to keep our neighbors experiencing homelessness top of mind throughout the year. Let 2019 be the year when we all decide to no longer accept homelessness as a daily reality, but as something for the history books!
With much gratitude,
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness