Homelessness, State News

Connecticut Service Providers Connect 397 Young People to Housing in 100 Days

 

A group of service providers from across Connecticut announced Thursday that they have housed 397 youth and young adults in 100 days.

This effort took place as part of Connecticut’s 100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness in Connecticut, which reached its conclusion in early August. This challenge was supported by a broad-based coalition of advocates, providers, state agencies, and young adults with lived experience of homelessness.

“Thank you to all that participated in the 100-Day Challenge,” said Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno of the State of Connecticut Department of Housing. “We at the Department of Housing know the work of getting folks out of the cycle of homelessness is challenging. Being able to house close to 400 youth and young adults shows that working together, our partners can respond to the needs of our most vulnerable populations.”

The 100-Day Challenge has made a significant impact on youth homelessness in Connecticut. Data from the statewide By-Name List (BNL) shows that the number of youth experiencing homelessness dropped to 188 from 221 over the course of the 100-Day Challenge.

“We know it takes collaboration and innovation to end youth homelessness and that’s exactly what these 100 Day Challenge Teams did,” said Stacey Violante Cote, chair of the Youth and Young Adult Homelessness Workgroup of the Reaching Home Campaign, a statewide campaign to end youth homelessness in Connecticut. “They made new connections and came up with innovative solutions. We can all learn from their work.”

The work of Connecticut’s homeless response system comes at a much-needed time, as thousands of young people in Connecticut experience homelessness every year. The 2019 Youth Outreach Count, conducted by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, estimates that 5,455 young people under the age of 25 experienced homelessness or housing instability in Connecticut during the year.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the 100-Day Challenge regional teams gathered at the Lyceum in Hartford for a reflection on the progress made during the 100-Day Challenge, as well as a workshop for planning to sustain and build upon this progress.

As part of this reflection, each regional team made a presentation or video showcasing their work during the 100 days. You can see a clip from Fairfield County's presentation here.

On the second day of the workshop, the teams received the good news that Fairfield County had been awarded more than $3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to combat youth homelessness in the region.

“Connecticut has been a national leader in making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring, and the 100-Day Challenge has and will continue to be an important part of that groundbreaking progress, said Alicia Woodsby, Senior Policy Advisor at the Partnership for Strong Communities.

“The Reaching Home Campaign is building upon the lessons from our successes in addressing veteran and chronic homelessness, in order to accelerate our work to end youth homelessness in the state. The 100-Day Challenge is driven by those on the front lines and brings the focus, creativity, hard work and collaboration across systems and sectors that we need to achieve this goal.”

The 100-Day Challenge was supported by funding from HUD, with an outpouring of philanthropic support from funders across Connecticut. Led by the Melville Charitable Trust, this collaborative funding effort has included supporting stipends for young adults with lived experience to be full members of local 100-Day Challenge teams. Funders include: American Savings Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, Connecticut Community Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, Fairfield Community Foundation, Farmington Bank Community Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Ion Bank Foundation, Liberty Bank Foundation, Main Street Community Foundation, Manchester Interfaith Social Action Committee, Melville Charitable Trust, Middlesex United Way, Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, United Way of Greater New Haven, United Way Greater Waterbury, United Way Northwest, United Way of West Central Connecticut, and Webster Bank.

“We are excited that this funding combined with the $6.6 million Youth Homeless Demonstration Program funding awarded to Connecticut in 2017, will mean a comprehensive approach to ending youth homelessness across the entire state,” said David Tille, HUD New England Regional Administrator. “We look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with our Connecticut partners as we break the cycle of homelessness by creating innovative approaches to help young people find stable housing that will lead them on a path to self-sufficiency.”

The 100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness in Connecticut is the first statewide effort of its kind, bringing together homeless service providers, child welfare, justice, and education staff from across the state to make their response systems more effective. Further information about the 100-Day Challenge can be found at http://www.pschousing.org/youth-100-day-challenge.

 
 

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