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Come Talk About Youth Homelessness In Connecticut

13 May 2014

Stacey Violante Cote, attorney for the Center for Children's Advocacy and chair of the Reaching Home Youth Workgroup.

On Thursday, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center will carry on its tradition of taking on tough issues of our time by hosting a discussion about youth homelessness at their next “Salons at Stowe.”  I congratulate the Stowe Center for taking on this challenging topic.  

We are at a crossroads in Connecticut when it comes to youth homelessness.  A place where we know a little more than we did before and we also don't know what we don’t know yet and as with any crossroads, it’s time to take action. 

This Salon was originally scheduled for February but snowy weather prevented us from getting together then (no surprise!).  If we had gotten together in February, we would have talked about the recently released study, “Invisible No More: Creating Opportunities for Youth Who are Homeless.”  We would have also talked about the early days of the legislative session and our efforts to pass bills supporting youth who are homeless.  And lastly, we would have talked about needing to begin multi-level systems planning to create a blueprint for change.

Instead, we are meeting in sunny (though chilly) May and, thankfully, we can now talk about the tremendous progress we’ve made- funding that was legislatively restored to address crisis needs of these youth, a planning project that is well-underway, and the blueprint expected this Fall. 

With all of this, what we need now is to use these tools to build a prevention system so youth who are homeless do not become adults who are homeless.  So, what a perfect fit for the tradition of Harriet Beecher Stowe- to stand up for systems change on behalf of those who cannot.

“Invisible No More: Youth Homelessness in Connecticut” Salon at Stowe begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 15 at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St., Hartford. This is a free event.

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