Connecticut has begun an ambitious effort to house 1,000 people over four months, in order to reduce the individual and community risk of COVID-19 in high-risk congregate shelters, and promote the long-term and public health of Connecticut.
From now until the end of September, the Reaching Home Campaign will be sending out bi-weekly updates on the 1,000 Homes effort. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you or anyone you know would like to be added to our distribution list!
Progress on the 1,000 Homes effort is monitored by the Connecticut Department of Housing, and is updated daily on the interactive dashboard on CTCANData.org.
Here's how the data works: In an average month, we estimate that 200 people experiencing homelessness in Connecticut will be housed. The 1,000 Homes effort seeks to house an additional 1,000 people over four months, in addition to the "baseline" of 800 people housed.
From June 1 to June 22, a total of 170 people were housed in Connecticut, an average of 7.39 exits to housing per day.
Of these exits to housing, 84 were housed using long-term housing resources, 64 self-resolved, and 22 were housed using one-time housing resources.
Of the seven CAN regions, New Haven CAN exited the greatest number of people to housing, with 44 exits total!
For a complete data breakdown, visit CT CAN Data's 1,000 Homes Data Dashboard. This dashboard includes regional and demographic data, including race, ethnicity, gender, age (youth/adult), and family status.
For June, the CANs have set a "surge goal" of 70 people housed, in addition to the baseline monthly average of 200 people housed.
On Tuesday, June 23, the Reaching Home Campaign hosted a 1,000 Homes Congressional Convening with key federal policymakers. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Rep. Jim Himes joined on the call, along with senior staff from the offices of Connecticut's Congressional leaders.
This call discussed the goals, funding, and implementation of the ongoing effort to house 1,000 people experiencing homelessness over four months, as well as key federal advocacy actions on homelessness & affordable housing. Thank you to Rep. DeLauro, Rep. Himes, and the key federal staff who joined on this call!
Great Success in Southeastern Connecticut
The Eastern Connecticut CAN has moved 28 individuals out of hotel rooms and into permanent housing since June 1, an accomplishment that CAN leadership attributes to a long-term regional focus on housing-based shelter and the recent infusion of emergency funds. "This isn't coming out of nowhere," says Cathy Zall, executive director of the New London Homeless Hospitality Center. "Housing is not just a peripheral activity. It's core to everything you do."
Zall's organization serves the majority of individuals experiencing homelessness in New London County. A dozen individuals needed housing support, but others were able to find housing on their own or needed one-time help. "People are resilient," she says. "Given some relatively short-term support, many find a way."
With many milestones still to go, Zall says she remains concerned about the long-term impact of COVID-19 and, specifically, the need for quarantine and isolation space in the future. New London was fortunate in gaining support from the city to create a 15-unit space in a former convalescent home. That unit closed on June 21 after serving 25 people, fewer than originally anticipated.
"It was the right thing to do, but now is also the right time to close it down," says Zall, who nonetheless remains concerned about meeting the complex needs of those experiencing homelessness. "It's not just, here's a hotel room."
The 1,000 Homes effort would not be possible without the work of the Connecticut Department of Housing and its Commissioner, Seila Mosquera-Bruno. Below are a few of the crucial ways in which DOH is helping the 1,000 Homes effort:
- Supporting the CANs and the Reaching Home Campaign in the 1,000 Homes effort by Commissioner Mosquera-Bruno joining the weekly CAN COVID-19 Taskforce meeting, and DOH's Steve DiLella and CAN managers supporting the implementation work.
- Looking at CDBG to purchase hotels and support in testing.
- Aligning their dedication of resources with the needs of the system.
- Targeting the Eviction Prevention RFP for ESG to fund a statewide homeless prevention program for those at risk of literal homelessness in each CAN region.
- Developing a broader rent relief strategy for households impacted by COVID-19.