FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The annual count of homelessness in Connecticut January shows that the state continues to make major gains in the effort to end homelessness, according to Point-in-Time Count reports released Tuesdat.
The January 26 count, coordinated by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH), showed that overall, homelessness in Connecticut is down nearly four percent compared to 2015, and has dropped by 13 percent since 2007.
The count registered the lowest total since statewide counts started in Connecticut in 2007, and identified 3,902 individuals experiencing homelessness.
The continuing decline follows major investments to end homelessness by the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly, in tandem with concerted efforts to coordinate and target resources at the community level, CCEH officials said.
“Along with Gov. Malloy, our communities have embraced the goals of Zero: 2016. Securing victory on ending veteran homelessness proves that working together – federal and state resources combined with the nonprofits on the ground – we can accomplish great things. These results show that we are on track to end chronic homelessness, as well,” said CCEH Executive Director Lisa Tepper Bates.
The federal government confirmed in February that Connecticut was the second state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness by housing all long-term homeless veterans and securing housing for any veterans newly identified as homeless in less than 90 days
The count found only 45 veterans in emergency shelters, less than half the number identified in 2015.
“We cannot ensure that no veteran will ever be homeless again,” said Deborah Deegan, acting director of the VA’s West Haven Errera Community Care Center. “The victory we have secured is to build a system through which we can reach every veteran experiencing homelessness quickly, and offer them appropriate housing in 90 days or less.”
The count found 673 people unsheltered, a small increase over 2015. This change in the unsheltered count is likely due to the relatively warm weather the night of the 2016 count, compared to the extremely low temperatures and severe weather conditions the night of the 2015 count
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