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Gov. Malloy Announces $6.5 Million to Provide Housing Opportunities for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Funding Will Support the Work of Housing Providers Across Connecticut Who Are Committed to Ending Youth Homelessness

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner Evonne M. Klein today announced the release of over $6.5 million in federal grants that the State of Connecticut will use toward reaching its goal of ending youth homelessness. The grants were allocated as part of a competitive process through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) new Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP). To date, Connecticut has been awarded the largest grant of any jurisdiction in the country.

“From the historic investments we’ve made in our housing infrastructure, to the homelessness response systems we built from the ground up, Connecticut is a recognized national leader in this effort,” Governor Malloy said. “We continue to challenge ourselves each and every day with an aggressive agenda that is focused on bringing about an end to homelessness. We do this, not just because it has a net positive effect on our economy and within all our towns and cities, but because it’s the right thing to do. We’ve effectively ended veteran homelessness, we’ve matched all chronically homeless individuals to housing, we’re mobilizing to end family homelessness, and we are also on a path to reach our goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020. As a certified national leader, Connecticut has proven that what was once thought to be an insurmountable goal – ending homelessness – can be accomplished.”

These grants will fund new, innovative housing assistance programs for young adults as part of a coordinated housing continuum that ensures youth experiencing homelessness receive the assistance needed to rapidly obtain permanent housing and necessary supports. Building off the state’s nationally recognized progress in ending homelessness under the Malloy administration – which includes being the first state in the nation certified for ending chronic veteran homelessness, being one of only three states certified for ending general veteran homelessness, and matching all chronically homelessness individuals to housing – the state set a goal of ending both youth and family homelessness by the end of 2020.

Last month, DOH and several community partners launched the Governor’s Challenge on Family Homelessness and created targeted goals to house as many families who are experiencing homelessness as possible throughout each of the state’s eight Coordinated Access Networks (CAN).

“Over the past nearly eight years, Connecticut has proven itself to be a national leader and a pioneer of innovation in the effort to end homelessness,” Commissioner Klein said. “Under the leadership of Governor Malloy, we’ve broken down silos, formed lasting partnerships, and committed to improving the lives of our state’s residents. Building off these systems, and with the help of both our partners in the federal government and our nonprofit community, we will be able to end youth homelessness in 2020. I’m confident the momentum that began under the Malloy administration will continue to flourish in the years ahead.”

“Every child deserves a safe and stable home to live and thrive,” the members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation said in a joint statement. “These competitive grants will send millions of dollars in new federal aid to housing programs across Connecticut working tirelessly to support families and children at risk. Ending chronic homelessness is not only possible, it’s a moral imperative. The Connecticut Congressional delegation is united in our commitment to ensuring the federal government remains a full partner in this vitally important work.”

The Malloy administration remains committed to promoting strategies that both prevent and end homelessness while also working to increase the state’s stock of affordable housing. Since 2011, DOH and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority have created, rehabilitated, or committed funding for nearly 25,000 units of housing – approximately 22,000 of which are affordable to low and moderate income individuals and families. This represents a state investment of more than $1.42 billion, which has been matched by over $2.45 billion from other financial sources, including the private sector.

“We are proud of the work being done by Governor Malloy and all of our Connecticut partners as they break the cycle of homelessness by creating innovative approaches to help young people find stable housing that will lead them on a path to self-sufficiency,” David Tille, HUD New England Regional Administrator, said.

“We are thrilled to see the YHDP funding distributed across a large portion of the state and know it will play a critical role in reaching our goal of ending homelessness among youth and young adults by the end of 2020 by providing stable, secure housing for young people in Connecticut,” Alicia Woodsby, Executive Director of the Partnership for Strong Communities, the statewide nonprofit that staffs and manages the Reaching Home Campaign, said. “This award is the result of so much hard work and preparation by partners and stakeholders across the state, including young people who have direct experience with homelessness.”

The YHDP grants will be allocated by DOH accordingly:

  • Shelter Diversion/Rapid Exit Fund – $580,000: The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) is receiving funding for a Shelter Diversion/Rapid Exit Fund that will provide one-time financial assistance to youth and young adults to help them avoid entering the homeless system or with rapidly exiting them from crisis housing. Diversion/Rapid Exit funding is a crucial part of our homeless response system, enabling us to rapidly re-house youth as quickly as possible with minimal financial assistance.
  • Youth Navigator Programs – $1,000,000: This funding is for hiring Youth Navigators within each of the seven eligible regional CANs. Youth Navigators will conduct youth-specific CAN intake appointments, guide youth through the homeless response system, and assist with connecting youth to resources as well as identify and secure safe, viable housing. The competitively selected regional grantees for the Youth Navigator program are:
    • Journey Home, Greater Hartford and Central CANs
    • Noank Community Support Services, Southeast CAN
    • Youth Continuum, Greater New Haven CAN
    • Columbus House, Meriden, Middlesex, Wallingford CAN
    • Mental Health Connecticut, Waterbury/Litchfield CAN
    • ACCESS Agency, Northeast CAN
  • Crisis Housing Programs – $650,000: This funding is for crisis housing programs for young adults that will provide safe, short-term housing with case management to assist with meeting participants’ basic needs, resolving their housing crisis and connecting them to ongoing community resources. The recipients include:
    • The Salvation Army Marshall House, Hartford, 4 beds
    • Youth Continuum, New Haven, 12 beds
    • Noank Community Support Services, Groton, 9 beds
    • Columbus House, Middletown, 4 beds
  • Rapid Rehousing Programs – $4,084,041: Rapid rehousing is a proven intervention that successfully returns individuals and families to permanent housing quickly through a combination of housing stabilization services and short-term rental assistance. The YHDP rapid rehousing programs will serve approximately 114 young adults at a point-in-time, who are literally homeless or fleeing from domestic violence. DOH is contracting with seven recipients to provide support services within their region and AIDS Connecticut to administer the rental assistance for this program. The recipients include:
    • The Connection, Inc., Greater Hartford CAN
    • Youth Continuum, Greater New Haven CAN
    • Community Health Resources, Inc., Central CAN
    • Thames River Community Services, Southeast CAN
    • The ACCESS Agency, Northeast CAN
    • Columbus House, Meriden, Middlesex, Wallingford CAN
    • The Salvation Army Waterbury Corps, Waterbury/Litchfield CAN

The remainder of the funding is being allocated toward various planning projects that support program implementation, youth collaboration, and system improvements as well as enhanced data collection and analysis.

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