Reaching Home Campaign
In 2004, the Partnership was part of the statewide Steering Committee that launched the Reaching Home Campaign to address chronic homelessness through the creation of 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing. From 2004 through 2011, the Campaign focused on educating policymakers and the public about the effectiveness of permanent supportive housing in ending chronic homelessness and creating close to 5500 units of permanent supportive housing during this period.
In 2012, the Opening Doors – CT framework was agreed upon as a way to work across sectors and fully integrate our work to end homelessness within 5 years among veterans and the chronically homeless and within 10 years among families and children. While supportive housing was still a core function of the campaign, we came to understand that re-tooling the crisis intervention system, considering other housing options, integration with health care and economic security, are key elements to the systemic changes that can effectively end homelessness.
In November 2019, the Campaign begun to embark on its third phase of work, which included the launch of a new statewide goal to make all homelessness in Connecticut rare, brief, and non-recurring, along with work to implement a new streamlined structure with a core area of focus on preventing individuals and families from becoming homeless by partnering with and helping to drive change in other systems.
Reaching Home operated as the campaign to build the political and civic will to prevent and end homelessness in Connecticut. With the vision that no one should experience homelessness, that no one should be without a safe, stable place to call home, Reaching Home embraced the following core values:
- Homelessness is unacceptable. It is solvable and preventable.
- There are no “homeless people,” but rather people who have lost their homes who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Homelessness is expensive. Invest in solutions.
The Campaign was made up of a dynamic community of stakeholders drawing together around the singular mission of ending homelessness in Connecticut. With more than 200 partners across 120 organizations representing a variety of sectors the Reaching Home Campaign developed policies, elicited community support and resources to bring an end to homelessness in Connecticut.
To achieve this goal, we focused on:
- Ensuring identification of all people experiencing homelessness, prevent unsheltered homelessness, and ensure that people don’t enter homelessness in the first place.
- Continuing to increase the number of people exiting homelessness into stable housing and reduce the length of time people stay homeless.
- Strengthening supports to individuals and families that help them to maintain housing stability by fostering income growth and employment success, so that they don’t ever have to return to homelessness again.
- Learning from and meaningfully partner with people who have experienced homelessness, with a focus on equity.
Collective Impact Model
The Reaching Home Campaign utilized a collective impact model. The Partnership for Strong Communities served as the backbone organization that helped operate the management and logistics of the Campaign Structure.
Collective impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem, using a structured form of collaboration.