Community Development, Homelessness, Supportive Housing

Together We Can End Family Homelessness

United Way of Connecticut

Tanya Barrett, Senior Vice President, 211 Health and Human Services at United Way of Connecticut and Kimberly Somaroo-Rodriguez, Program Manager, Housing and Homeless and Early Childhood Services at State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families. Both Tanya and Kimberly are Co-chairs of the Reaching Home Campaign's Family Economic Security Workgroup.

Ending Family homelessness is possible. This is not something that many of us would have said even five years ago.  Why?  There were too many obstacles.  Often people would say there is not enough shelter space, not enough affordable housing, not enough supports and not enough public will. There was a feeling that providing temporary shelter was the best we could do and that some folks would never be able to maintain long-term housing.

What has changed? We haven’t fixed all the obstacles but together we’ve made much progress. Understanding that children who enter shelter are more vulnerable to experiencing homelessness later as an adult and to having adverse experiences in life adds urgency to the work of ending family homelessness.  With more and more working class families living on the edge, there is a lot is at stake. Initiatives at the state and federal levels are underway to continue the learning and spreading of creative best practices to address the needs of our state’s most vulnerable families.

In Connecticut, Reaching Home, the campaign to build the political and civic will to prevent and end homelessness, has set a goal of ending family homelessness by 2022. To support this goal, Reaching Home has created a new workgroup, the Family Economic Security workgroup. This new workgroup will be strategically focused on aligning workforce, childcare, housing, social service and child welfare system supports to assist families who are currently experiencing homelessness and to prevent future homelessness among that population.

Please join us in the launch of this effort, which will kick off at the Partnership for Strong Communities’ April 26th IForum, “The Next Frontier:  Ending Family Homelessness.”

We hope to see you there!

Click here to register for the IForum. 

Click here to read previous blogs.


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