Community Development, Homelessness, State News, Supportive Housing

“We can end homelessness…yes, we CAN!”

Partnership for Strong Communities

Amanda Trothier, Development and Communications Associate, Partnership for Strong Communities

Over the last year, Connecticut has seen some incredible accomplishments, with the ending of chronic homelessness among Veterans last summer and the Governor’s announcement in February that we have effectively ended homelessness for all Veterans in the state. And we’re not done yet: we are on the cusp of ending all chronic homelessness in the state by the end of this year, and looking ahead to the goalposts of ending homelessness among youth and families by 2022.

Both Adam Bovilsky and David Rich, winners of last year’s Diane Randall Supportive Housing Leadership Award, agree that this is an exciting time to be involved in the efforts to end homelessness. They attribute much of the state’s success in ending homelessness to the eight Coordinated Access Network’s (CAN’s), which have changed the mentality from a disconnected set of services to an engaged, coordinated approach. Through the eight CANs located across the state, service providers work together to streamline and standardize the process for individuals and families experiencing homelessness to access assistance. The primary goal is to help communities focus on rapidly ending each person’s homelessness by connecting them with appropriate housing and resources as quickly as possible.

The implementation of the CAN system and the astounding progress in ending homelessness could not be accomplished without the collaboration of the many state agencies, nonprofit organizations and individuals who work tirelessly each and every day. The winner of last year’s Reverend Richard Schuster Advocacy Award, Cathy Zall, is a member of the CAN leadership group and has helped to develop the framework for the CAN system.

“If we act collectively and make ourselves into more of a system, we can address the problem of homelessness in a coordinated way and really make a difference,” says Cathy. “In a country that has the resources that it does, it is unconscionable that people are homeless.”

Adam agrees, noting that “being homeless is an inhumane state of existence that takes its toll on a person and on society.”

David, Cathy, Adam and many others around the state are inspired each and every day to join their coworkers, clients, and stakeholders so that all residents in our communities have a safe, decent and affordable place to live. Join us on June 16th at the 2016 Reaching Home Celebration & Awards Dinner as we celebrate the inspiring work of this year’s honorees and reflect on our collective accomplishments.

We hope to see you there!

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