Connecticut coalition hosts virtual rally to combat homelessness
Connecticut non-profits working to combat homelessness say they can't accomplish their mission without adequate funding from the state.
The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness held a virtual 'Rescue the Homeless Response System' rally Thursday.
The coalition is asking state lawmakers to commit $50 million to Connecticut's homeless response system.
"This is the most important issue we're facing today," said Coalition CEO Sarah Fox.
According to Advancing Connecticut Together's latest Point-in-Time Count, 2,930 people across the state experienced homelessness on a single night in January last year.
The organization says that's up 13% from the year before.
At Open Doors in Norwalk, executive director Michelle Conderino says the nonprofit's homeless shelter has been at capacity for the past few months.
The affordable housing units at the Smilow Life Center are full too, Conderino added.
"Being able to move people into housing is incredibly challenging, because we do not have enough housing to support those in need," Conderino said.
Conderino says additional state funding for the homeless response system is critical.
"This system cannot sustain itself, and if it can't sustain itself, more and more people are going to fall into and linger in homelessness," Conderino argued. "We're just asking for the state to recognize that, and to say those who experience homelessness deserve the same as everyone else who lives here.”
The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness put together a breakdown of the different services the $50 million would go toward.
The legislative session runs through June.