On Tuesday, April 26, over 150 people filled the Lyceum for the fourth IForum of the 2016 season to gain a better understanding of family homelessness. The event, The Next Frontier: Ending Family Homelessness, provided an overview of data and trends, and offered a first look at a new study on the cost impact of families and children experiencing homelessness. The event also highlighted the work being done by state agencies and nonprofit organizations in addressing the needs of families experiencing homelessness.
The keynote speaker, Sharon McDonald, Director for Families and Youth at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, provided an overview around family homelessness, housing intervention programs that work to assist those experiencing homelessness, and how mainstream resources, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, that can be used to end family homelessness.
Sharon’s presentation was followed by a presentation from Kathryn Parr, Assistant Research Professor at the University of Connecticut. Parr discussed the findings from Connecticut’s first effort to estimate the cost impact of families experiencing homelessness. The research indicates that the total cost of family homelessness in Connecticut is $110,948,240 and the average cost per family experiencing homelessness is about $122,460.
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The presentations were followed by a panel that highlighted the unique needs of families experiencing homelessness.
The panel, moderated by Lisa Tepper Bates of the CT Coalition to End Homelessness, included:
- Commissioner Evonne Klein, CT Department Housing
- Commissioner Jones-Taylor, Office of Early Childhood
- Kate McEvoy, Director of Health Services, CT Department of Social Services
- Elizabeth Duryea, Chief of Staff, CT Department of Children and Families
- Carla Miklos, Executive Director, Operation Hope
Each panel member highlighted the programs and initiatives being implemented within their respective agencies and how they are collaborating with other state agencies, the federal government, and nonprofit and private organizations to coordinate services and prioritize resources for families experiencing homelessness.
This event marks the launching of the Reaching Home Family Economic Security work group, which will be examining the needs of children and families that are experiencing or at risk homelessness and identifying strategies to address those needs.
A video recap of the event will be posted in the next couple of weeks.
- IForum Agenda
- Speaker Bios
- Understanding Family Homelessness and the Role of State and Local Partners Presentation (Sharon McDonald)
- Connecticut Estimating Costs of Child Homelessness Initiative Presentation (Kathryn Parr)
- Ending Family Homelessness Factsheet
Click here for more information about the 2016 IForum Series.