State of CT Shelter Capital Needs Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)
The State of Connecticut Department of Housing (“DOH”) is committed to supporting emergency shelters to provide for the basic needs of homeless individuals and families. The goal of this NOFA is to provide capital funding to upgrade the condition of existing emergency shelter facilities, including upgrades to support the overall health and safety of shelter residents. Examples include, improvements to kitchens, bathrooms and sleeping areas, beds, generators, painting, plumbing and electrical repair and upgrades, heating and air conditioning systems, and energy conservation.
DOH seeks to prioritize emergency shelters that need to make changes to their properties to become compliant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) requirements. Specifically, DOH seeks to prioritize projects that:
1. Modify emergency shelters to keep family together:
Make modifications to existing emergency shelter space that enable emergency shelters that serve families to ensure, for example, teenage boys, will not be separated from their family due to emergency shelter facility limitations during their homeless episode.
2. Improve Services for Transgender people in emergency services
Make modifications to existing emergency shelter space that enable emergency shelters to better serve homeless individuals who are transgender. State and federal law prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, and as a result, all federal or state funded emergency shelters must provide shelter to any transgendered individual that presents to the shelter according to that person’s self-identified gender, as long as there is available space. Modifications may include creating gender-neutral bathrooms and having bed space dedicated to transgender individuals located close to shelter staff to make the emergency shelter more hospitable and safer for these individuals.
3. Improve Homeless Youth Services in emergency shelters
Make modifications to existing emergency shelter space that enable emergency shelters to better serve the needs of homeless youth. Often homeless youth report difficulties in engaging the traditional homeless system, so DOH is seeking applications that may reduce these barriers and create a designated youth emergency shelter space at existing shelters, which would include increased safety considerations based on national best practices specific to serving homeless youth. Given the proportion of homeless youth who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered and Questioning (LGBTQ), the plans for the adaptation would need to include accommodations for transgender youth as well.
Any emergency shelter that applies for this funding must demonstrate its participation in the local Coordinated Access Network (“CAN”), including providing evidence of attendance in local CAN meetings, the percentage of individuals and/or families in the shelter that have completed a Vulnerability Index/Services Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (“VI/SPDAT”) assessment, and commitment to a Housing First/Harm Reduction model of service delivery for the homeless served in shelter. Any project funded through this NOFA must enter client level data for the shelter into the Homeless Management Information System (“HMIS”).