The New London County Fund to End Homelessness focuses on rapidly rehousing individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness as well as keeping those who are at risk of homelessness in their current housing without ever having to enter shelter. The goals are to reduce the length of time individuals and families stay in shelter, reduce new episodes of homelessness, and reduce return entries into homelessness. Over the past three years of the program, a total of 427 households have been rapidly rehoused or diverted from shelter.
Families and individuals experiencing homelessness or are struggling with losing their housing face many barriers. The first call for help is to United Way 2-1-1 where a Housing Specialist will determine if someone is either homeless or imminently homeless. 2-1-1 is a free call from anywhere in Connecticut, and it is open 24/7.
After an assessment, the family or individual is then referred to southeastern Connecticut's Coordinated Access Network for an intake appointment where all possible alternatives to shelter are explored. Direct housing and support services are provided by five area organizations: Thames Valley Council for Community Action (TVCCA); Mystic Area Shelter & Hospitality (MASH); Covenant Shelter; New London Homeless Hospitality Center; and Norwich Human Services.
Service providers work in the premise that shelter should be used as a last resort. This may involve mediation with a family or landlord, problem-solving guidance, connection to community resources, and financial assistance for past-due rent, security deposit, or similar costs. Here are some of the results of the program:
Over the past three years 259 households have been rapidly rehoused which include 70 families and 189 singles. In addition, 168 families have been diverted from shelter including 213 adults and 327 children.
United Way has been involved in collaborative efforts to end homelessness in New London County since the creation of New London County's Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness in 2006. Since then, the commitment of United Way has grown, providing ongoing support to the New London County Fund to End Homelessness, the 100-Day Challenge, and the Partnership to End Homelessness of Southeastern Connecticut.
If you or someone you knows needs assistance with shelter diversion or rapid rehousing, dial 2-1-1 for free from anywhere in Connecticut.
Many thanks to the following funders for their support of the New London County Fund to End Homelessness:
Connecticut Department of Housing and the Southeastern Connecticut Funders Roundtable (Liberty Bank, Dime Bank, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Edward and Mary Lord Foundation, Pfizer Foundation, and SI Financial Foundation).