Following the launch of the 1,000 Homes initiative in Connecticut on June 1st, the Reaching Home Campaign hosted a conversation with CT’s Congressional Delegation on the goals, challenges and successes that have come with this massive undertaking to move people from hotel and shelter spaces into stable housing between the months of June and September.
State partners representing the CT Office of Housing and Urban Development, CT Department of Housing, the CT Coalition to End Homelessness, and leaders from the Coordinated Access Networks (CANs) were joined by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Rep. Jim Himes, as well as key federal staff from the offices of Rep. Jahana Hayes, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Chris Murphy, Rep. John Larson and Rep. Joe Courtney.
The discussion touched on the critical issues of limited affordable housing options in the state, and the need to continue our work through the lens of racial inequities and access to opportunity. Rep. DeLauro acknowledged the complexity around how to fund housing while also navigating racial, health and economic injustices. Rep. Himes noted the need for more affordable housing in his district highlighting examples of successful models like Metro Green and Cherry Hill Lofts. He acknowledged the real challenge comes with convincing CT residents that affordable housing options are beneficial, additive, and contribute to vibrant communities.
CAN leaders and state partners highlighted the importance of needing to look at our work in new ways in light of the coronavirus pandemic, especially in shelter/congregate settings, efforts to ramp up testing for COVID-19 capacity and preparations across the state, and lastly reinforced the importance of a coordinated Federal approach to address mental/behavioral health service needs through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help provide necessary wraparound services for those entering into Permanent Supportive Housing.
To learn more about the 1,000 Homes Initiative, check out this report by NBC Connecticut, or sign up for our bi-weekly updates on this effort by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "1,000 Homes Newsletter."