Homelessness, State News, Supportive Housing

Hartford’s Journey Home Searches for Most Vulnerable Homeless


May 25, 2011 - A survey of conditions faced by hundreds of people enduring homelessness was conducted recently by Journey Home, the organization leading the ten-year plan to end homelessness in the Hartford region. The primary goal was to find individuals who are at risk of major health problems and/or premature death should they remain homeless, and attempt to get them into housing.

Journey Home teamed up with Hands on Hartford for this second annual Vulnerability Index (VI) survey during the week of May 9, with a group of volunteers visiting shelters and performing street outreach. Volunteers interviewed people experiencing homelessness to learn more about their medical and mental health needs, and what factors are contributing to their homelessness. The Partnership’s Shelby Mertes and Nathan Fox assisted as volunteers.

There's a two-way street between homelessness and severe health conditions: health problems may keep a person from working, paying rent and keeping life on track - and living on the streets can turn minor health issues into major ones, and keep more serious conditions from being treated adequately.

An estimated 110,000 people in the U.S. are currently chronically homeless - defined as living on the street or in a shelter for more than a year or experiencing four or more episodes of homelessness in the past three years. Last year's Vulnerability Index resulted in successfully housing over the past year 46 people who were homeless and at risk of death.

Hartford is one of 81 communities across the US participating in the 100,000 Homes Campaign, led by Common Ground, which aims to house 100,000 chronically homeless individuals by July 2013 - with each community setting goals as to how many chronically homeless individuals they will help house. With the Vulnerability Index and much more, Journey Home has made great strides in the work to end homelessness.

An update on those efforts will be available June 14 as Journey Home presents its "Greater Hartford Homelessness Report Card," a recently compiled comprehensive report detailing progress made during the first five years of the "Hartford Plan to End Chronic Homelessness by 2015," initiated by the City of Hartford and implemented by the private, public, and non-profit sectors in the Greater Hartford region. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra will be present to make a statement on the findings. The event will be Tuesday, June 14 at 10 a.m., at the Lyceum in Hartford.

Learn More:
46 medically vulnerable people saved from homelessness
Detailed results of last year's survey
100,000 Homes Campaign


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