Announcements, Homelessness, Supportive Housing

Reaching Home/Opening Doors-CT Making Progress Against Homelessness


Reaching Home, the campaign to prevent and end homelessness, is quickly learning from the state’s communities throughout Connecticut what works well and what is still needed at the local level to more quickly end homelessness by reducing inefficiencies, coordinating best practices, and bringing them to scale. The campaign, led by a Steering Committee comprised of state and local government officials, non-profit service providers, faith-based institutions, for-profit representatives, and housing advocates, has convened five Working Groups to encourage communication among experts on issues that lead to someone falling into homelessness in the first place.

Over the last several months, the Working Groups have met regularly to produce concrete recommendations and strategies for implementing the state framework to end homelessness, Opening Doors-CT.  At the same time, the staff of the Partnership for Strong Communities has partnered with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness to conduct ongoing focus groups and elicit input from the very people who have experienced homelessness to more intimately understand their needs.  To date, more than twenty men and women who have lost their homes participated in the sessions, sharing their very unique stories on how they fell into homelessness, how their hardships could have been prevented, and how the most unpredictable turn of events could create the same set of circumstances for anyone.

After listening to this broad range of perspectives, some initial areas of focus of Reaching Home include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating a Rapid Re-housing Program, which  connects several practices to create a combination of housing relocation and stabilization supports and short-term financial assistance to help families quickly transition out of homelessness and back into permanent housing;
  • Integrating employment opportunities with Rapid Re-housing;
  • Working toward a coordinated access system for homeless shelters that will help to create efficiencies, better target homeless services, and promote prevention and shelter diversion. This strategy will also help Continuums of Care meet new eligibility requirements for federal funding;
  • Expediting access to Social Security benefits by expanding the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) program to Hartford and coupling it with employment integration;
  • Exploring the expansion of supportive housing services through Medicaid financing options;
  • Collecting more accurate data on homeless youth and better understanding their scope of experiences, identifying their needs, and developing a responsive service system that addresses any barriers youth might face in trying to access the homeless service system;
  • Moving forward the work of CT Integrated Health and Housing Neighborhoods (CIHHN)—a targeted, data driven assertive outreach and care coordination model utilizing local multidisciplinary teams to connect healthcare and housing;
  • Bringing to scale a program that places individuals into supportive housing who cycle through the homeless service and corrections system;
  • Developing and distributing the final Estimates of Need for Housing Assistance among the Targeted Populations for Opening Doors–CT.

Reaching Home, a national leader in preventing and ending homelessness, recently re-launched with a dedication to take its efforts to the next level. The broad-based coalition, having already worked to create over 5,000 units of Permanent Supportive Housing—affordable housing connected to case management and mental health care, job-training, and other vital services—understands that multiple strategies are needed to support a comprehensive framework that ends and prevents homelessness, rather than simply managing it. With the support of the federal government, the Malloy Administration, and several private and philanthropic stakeholders, Reaching Home has fostered extensive public-private collaboration in its initial phase of developing the new state plan to eliminate homelessness, Opening Doors-CT.

For more information on the work of Reaching Home, please check for meeting minutes on our website, or contact Nichole Guerra at


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