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Driving Toward Zero: A Cumulative Effect

4 March 2014

Alicia Woodsby, Interim Executive Director, Partnership for Strong Communities.

On the morning of March 18, partners and leaders from federal, state and municipal government, direct service agencies, advocacy organizations and social impact enterprises will gather to assess Connecticut’s progress, needs, and current opportunities in ending chronic homelessness. We’ll strategize on how to reach the end.

Over the past ten years, the Reaching Home Campaign has grown and evolved to encompass multiple systems, partners, target populations, and interventions. It has been driven by great leaders in public policy and on the front lines. It has lost some extraordinary leaders too.

These leaders shared a core belief in leveling the playing field and creating a foundation of opportunity for disadvantaged individuals and families in our state. They believed in the development and promotion of proven solutions. They had the fundamental understanding that we must take a holistic approach that addresses the root causes, policies, and practices that contribute to this social condition -- that everyone should have equal access to quality housing, education, health care and behavioral health services; food and economic security; and safe and healthy environments.

These advocates fought and won multiple public policy and funding debates. They lost some too.

The result is a multi-faceted approach to ending homelessness with concrete strategies for targeting the right resources to the right people, and rapidly accelerating change.

As we drive toward what I believe is the final phase in ending homelessness, I see that the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts – I feel the accumulation of years of fighting, shifting, augmenting, proving, strengthening, and innovating. I see dynamic partnerships, approaches, and system reforms that resulted from these efforts. I see this and am humbled to be one small part of it.

To register for the Partnership’s March 18 IForum, “Driving Toward Zero: Ingredients for Success in Ending Chronic Homelessness,” go here. The keynote speaker is Laura Green Zeilinger, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Alicia Woodsby, Interim Executive Director, Partnership for Strong Communities.

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