Collaboration Key To Homelessness Fight

There must be close collaboration between the federal government, the state, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations if Connecticut truly wants to end homelessness once and for all in this state.

That’s the lesson that Dr. Richard Cho and Rev. Bonita Grubbs shared on the latest episode of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities’ (CCM) WNHH radio show, “The Municipal Voice.”

Cho is the chief executive officer of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH). Grubbs is the executive director of Christian Community Action (CCA) of New Haven.

Both are perennial optimists who see nothing but progress in the state of Connecticut.

According to data from CCEH, state homelessness is at a decade-low. That’s thanks in part to cooperation between the federal and state governments, which have helped municipalities and nonprofits house victims of homelessness until they are able to find stable housing on their own.

Cho and Grubbs discussed the end of chronic homelessness among veterans in Connecticut. Connecticut is also the second state to end overall homelessness among veterans.

Cho and Grubs said they hope to use the same tactics to end youth homelessness, which looks like the same problem faced by veterans, but often manifests itself in different ways and for different reasons.

With the same kind of support and cooperation among towns that share services in the form of community action agencies, Cho believes that the work has already begun to end chronic homelessness in the state of Connecticut.

That work, though, cannot be done without nonprofits like CCA or CCEH working with municipalities and vice versa.

“There are opportunities for towns to undertake around volunteering,” Grubbs said. “I would encourage municipal leaders to check with shelter directors to see how they can have an impact.” 

Grubbs promised some big forthcoming news about the CCA’s ARISE project, which is a homelessness prevention initiative directed towards families.

Cho mentioned the BE HOMEFUL project that CCM featured at itsannual convention. BE HOMEFUL has partnered with Paddington Bear to “respond to the lack of funds available to help families at the front door of shelter,” helping with one-time expenses and with raising awareness on the impact of homelessness on young children and families.

“The Municipal Voice” airs every other Wednesday, the next episode airs on Dec. 19. Listen to the latest episode by clicking on the video above in this story.

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posted by: wendy1 on December 6, 2018  10:16am

NH offers free food and clothing but NO housing.  The multitude of non-profits here are hurting for funds and are too small to be effective.  The answer is big money and the “Housing First” approach used in other American cities.  The city has enough empty building stock that could be taken over or bought and then converted to SRO’s or apartments, etc.

posted by: jim1 on December 6, 2018  10:59am

Some one like Yale, Fuso, or someone else that wants to do something for New Haven. Could put up a new dorm with twin rooms to home homeless. They could use it as a tax write off. And the PR would be great.  HOMELESSNESS WILL NOT END TILL SOMETHING LIKE THIS IS DONE.

posted by: robn on December 6, 2018  6:06pm

I’ve been to places like San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver that, relative to NHV, are swimming in grand list cash but can’t seem to solve their homeless problem. This makes me think it’s unsolvable because welcome conditions (in those places the mild weather is an attraction and they have better funded social service non profits similar to ours) will always attract more people once you think the problem is solved. Indeed, didn’t the United Way claim to have gotten everyone housed in NHV just a few short years ago?

posted by: wendy1 on December 6, 2018  10:02pm

Yale and the city must do something and soon because people are going to freeze to death this winter.