Homelessness, State News, Supportive Housing

Work to End Chronic Homelessness Enters New Phase with Zero: 2016 Summit


On October 28, 2015, over 170 representatives from service providers, housing agencies, advocacy organizations, philanthropic organizations and state and federal agencies gathered together at the Hartford Public Library to launch the next phase in Connecticut’s effort to end chronic homelessness by 2017. Governor Malloy kicked off the Zero: 2016 CT Summit with a rousing address in which he applauded the collaborative efforts being made by service providers and housing agencies at the local and regional levels to house the state’s most vulnerable residents.  Governor Malloy also highlighted the fiscal imperative to housing Connecticut’s most vulnerable households experiencing homelessness, stating that investing in housing saves money, creates job and provides new opportunities for residents.

The event was organized by the state’s lead Zero: 2016 organizations – the CT Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) and Partnership for Strong Communities (PSC) – working with Rapid Results Institute and Community Solutions.  Additional speakers included:

  • Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein provided closing remarks emphasizing her department’s commitment to working with local communities to end chronic homelessness over the next year.
  • Alice Minervino, Behavioral Health Program Manager in the Housing and Homeless Services Unit of the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, addressed DMHAS’ commitment to provide services that support those exiting homelessness in maintaining their housing stability.
  • Marcy Thompson, Senior Advisor in the  Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, skyped in and offered remarks urging providers and housing agencies to think outside the box in how to effectively use resources to achieve the goal of ending homelessness.
  • Bob Pulster, Regional Coordinator for the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, remarked on Connecticut’s status as a national leader in the work to end homelessness, citing the recent declaration that Connecticut is the first state to end chronic homelessness among Veterans.
  • Alicia Woodsby, executive director of the Partnership for Strong Communities, spoke about how Zero: 2016 fits into Opening Doors-CT, the state’s framework for ending homelessness.
  • Lisa Tepper Bates, executive director of the CT Coalition to End Homelessness, provided an update on the work done by the state’s communities to develop by-name registries for all of those experiencing homelessness in their communities and how these lists will help communities effectively prioritize housing resources. 
  • Linda Kaufman, Manager of National Movements for Community Solutions, the national organization leading the Zero: 2016 initiative, energized the audience by calling on those in the room to focus on the goal and be committed and creative in finding solutions.

The Summit also included a workshop session for organizations engaged in Connecticut’s eight Coordinated Access Networks (CANs). The workshop was led by Kristin Sulewski of Rapid Results Institute, who is Connecticut’s coach in the Zero: 2016 initiative. CAN teams worked together to craft aim statements and develop clear targets designed to help them reach the goal of ending chronic homelessness in their communities. The event will be followed up with bi-weekly group calls to keep progress moving forward and share new ideas.

For more information about the event or about Connecticut’s work on Zero: 2016, please contact CCEH’s Sarah Fox, sfox@cceh.org, or PSC’s Christy Rubenstein, christina@pschousing.org


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