Homelessness, Supportive Housing

New Haven's 100-Day Challenge Isn't Over


New Haven's recent 100-day challenge to reduce chronic homelessness by 75% is continuing beyond the original time frame.

The goal, carried out with the help of Rapid Results Institute, was to house 107 of people who've been homeless long-term in New Haven by the end of July. At a congressional hearing held Tuesday at United Way of Greater New Haven, organizers announced that thus far, they've housed 43 people, with additional 59 matched to housing.

Organizers found that the bulk of their 100 days was taken up creating a system that would streamline placement of people who are homeless. Most of the people were housed in the last month, said Leigh Shields Church, challenge team leader.

The hearing was held at the request of Sen. Chris Murphy, D-CT. Sen. Murphy was joined by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp. Results were presented by Alison Cunningham, executive director of Columbus House and co-chair of the effort; Lisa Tepper Bates, executive director of Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and Shields Church. Volunteers were able to assess the needs of 687 individuals and families, and create a sustainable system that could be replicated across the state. They found that 69 people were older than 60, 215 had had three or more visits to emergency departments in the last six months, and 301 had a chronic health condition, mental health issues, and were dealing with substance abuse, all at once.

Some of the initiative's partners, in addition to Partnership for Strong Communities, include Columbus House, the New Haven Housing Authority, Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, the Veterans Administration, the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

There will be a more formal presentation on September 17.


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