Reaching Home Campaign
Reaching Home is the campaign to build the political and civic will to prevent and end homelessness in Connecticut. With the vision that no one should experience homelessness, that no one should be without a safe, stable place to call home, Reaching Home embraces the following core values:
- Homelessness is unacceptable. It is solvable and preventable.
- There are no “homeless people,” but rather people who have lost their homes who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Homelessness is expensive. Invest in solutions.
The Campaign is made up of a dynamic community of stakeholders drawing together around the singular mission of ending homelessness in Connecticut. With more than 200 partners across 120 organizations representing a variety of sectors the Reaching Home Campaign develops policies, elicits community support and resources that will bring an end to homelessness in Connecticut.
The goal of the Reaching Home Campaign is to make homelessness in Connecticut rare, brief and one-time by 2023.
To achieve this goal, we must:
- Ensure identification of all people experiencing homelessness, prevent unsheltered homelessness, and ensure that people don’t enter homelessness in the first place.
- Continue to increase the number of people exiting homelessness into stable housing and reduce the length of time people stay homeless.
- Strengthen supports to individuals and families that help them to maintain housing stability by fostering income growth and employment success, so that they don’t ever have to return to homelessness again.
- Learn from and meaningfully partner with people who have experienced homelessness, with a focus on equity.
Great Success, but More Work Ahead
The Reaching Home Campaign was launched in 2004 by a statewide Steering Committee with the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Connecticut through the creation of permanent supportive housing. The Campaign’s primary focus from 2004 through 2011 was on educating policymakers and the public about the effectiveness of permanent supportive housing in ending chronic homelessness. Today, there are more than 5,000 units of supportive housing in more than 80 municipalities across Connecticut.
With the launch of the Opening Doors - CT framework, the Campaign refocused and launched Opening Doors in CT in 2012 with a statewide road map and set timeframes for how to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time for those experiencing chronic homelessness, as well as for all Veterans, families with children, and youth.
In November 2019, the Campaign begun to embark on its third phase of work, which includes the launch of a new statewide goal to make all homelessness in Connecticut rare, brief, and non-recurring by 2023, along with work to implement a new streamlined structure with a core area of focus on preventing individuals and families from becoming homeless by partnering with and helping to drive change in other systems.
Collective Impact Model
The Reaching Home Campaign utilizes a collective impact model. The Partnership for Strong Communities is the backbone organization that helps operate the management and logistics of the Campaign Structure.
Collective impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem, using a structured form of collaboration.
Structure & Operations
The Reaching Home Campaign has five Workgroups in addition to a Coordinating Committee. The Workgroups help drive creative and collaborative solutions to prevent and end homelessness in Connecticut.
Resources Workgroup - Making the best use of existing federal and state funding streams and the expansion of existing/pursuit of new resources to meet statewide goals.
Data/Accountability Workgroup - Making the best use of existing federal and state funding streams and the expansion of existing/pursuit of new resources to meet statewide goals.
CAN/Homeless Service Delivery System Workgroup - Aligning the Coordinated Access Networks (CANs) and continuing to improve our crisis response system, shorten length of stays and increase positive exits.
Prevention Workgroup - Preventing individuals and families from becoming homeless by partnering with and helping to drive change across multiple systems.
Sustainability Workgroup - Sustaining our successes by preventing those who have exited homelessness from becoming homeless again and sustaining permanent housing.
Individuals interested in joining one of the Campaign’s working groups can now fill out an online application form, which will be reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Partnership for Strong Communities staff and the workgroup co-chairs.
The Reaching Home Workgroup membership lists and meeting dates/times can be accessed here.
Consistent internal and external communication is critical to keeping everyone informed and engaged in the work of the Campaign. Sign-up for the Partnership Newsletter to receive regular campaign updates.
Learn more about the Campaign by reading the Collective Impact and Workgroup Management Handbook.