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CCM Task Force To Develop Practices To Combat, End Homelessness

CCM Task Force To Develop Practices To Combat, End Homelessness

December 5, 2019

Kevin Maloney, (203) 710-3486

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) has announced the formation of a new task force within CCM that will seek to develop a series of recommendations on best practices at the municipal level to combatand end homelessness across Connecticut.

This new CCM task force is being chaired by Erin Stewart, Mayor of New Britain and Ben Blake, Mayor of Milford. The most recent meeting of the task force took take place on November 14 in New Britain City Hall.

“CCM has a strong commitment to addressing critical social welfare issues,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director. “We consider it our duty to use our resources and bring our members together to help solve problems and to improve everyday life for every resident of Connecticut and that includes the homeless. In that spirit, we have created the CCM Homelessness Prevention Task Force to bring together the best solutions from around the state to address homelessness.”

How many people are homeless on any given day/night in Connecticut? As reported in the most recent Point-in-Time Count by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH), there are 3,033 people who were homeless in shelters, sleeping outside or other places not meant for human habitation on a single night in Connecticut. The coalition reports a 32 reduction in homelessness based on this one-night census measure since 2007 (the year of the first count).

The CCM task force will  work to help further reduce the number of Connecticut residents who remain homeless.

This initiative will rely heavily on the experience and expertise of local municipal officials and CEOs. Under the leadership of Mayor Blake of Milford and Mayor Stewart of New Britain, the task force will work to develop the best practices and coordinated actions municipalities can take to combat homelessness.

Among the collaborators that have been chosen to work with CCM is the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH). They will work on a model resolution that will be created with input from the task force members. Executive Director Richard Cho and Madeline Ravich, Development Advisor and Director of the BE HOMEFUL Project addressed the task force at the November meeting.

Once the model resolution is approved by the task force, the work will begin on reaching out to all towns and cities in Connecticut to encourage them to adopt the resolution.

In addition to this, the task force is working to finalize and approve a list of recommended actions municipalities can take to address homelessness. All of the actions will be drafted based on feedback CCM has received from a survey of our members, as well as Social and Youth Services directors.

Connecticut towns and cities are already taking action on homelessness and have been extremely successful. Mayor Stewart noted that New Britain has maintained a rate of zero in chronic homelessness for months. There have been a number of successful partnerships put in place between municipal staff and local non-profits, organizations and community groups, but localized barriers to providing services and a lack of resources were primary difficulties in addressing homelessness.

CCM’s Homelessness Prevention Task Force was created with the vision that municipalities have been on the forefront of this issue. Towns’ and cities’ focus and quality initiatives should be acknowledged and rewarded. There is still work to be done, and the road map created by this Task Force will be the first step of many.

Task force members back to top

Here is the formal charge of the task force:

“CCM’s Task Force to Prevent Homelessness is a coordinated effort between municipal leaders, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and Sustainable CT. The collective mission of the task force is to prevent homelessness in Connecticut by providing municipalities with a menu of coordinated, voluntary actions, to continually become better equipped to address homelessness; to provide best practices to provide communities with the tools to prevent homelessness; and to certify and recognize municipalities for their ongoing achievements and efforts to address homelessness, as part of the Sustainable CT initiative.  The task force relies on the unique experience of local municipal officials and the subject matter expertise of advocates to address homelessness at the local level through leadership, advocacy, and building the capacity of members to respond to the challenges of providing assistance to the homeless.”

 Task force members present or represented at the November 14 meeting include:

Ben Blake, Mayor of Milford

Erin Stewart, Mayor of New Britain

Velma George, Homelessness Prevention Coordinator, City of New Haven

Marcia LeClerc, Mayor of East Hartford

Gary Evans, Town Manager of Wethersfield

Neil O’Leary, Mayor of Waterbury

Luke Bronin, Mayor of Hartford

Jessica Carrero, Assistant to the Mayor of East Hartford

Jeff Weiser, Executive Director for Homes with Hope, Westport appointment

Lynn Stoddard, Executive Director for Sustainable CT

Erica Texiera, Assistant Director of Social and Youth Services

Mackenzie DeMac, Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Waterbury

Jennifer Paradis, Executive Director for Milford Beth El Center

Richard Cho, Executive Director for Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness

Madeline Ravich, Development Advisor and Director of the BE HOMEFUL Project

David Fink, Consultant, Partnership for Strong Communities

Stacy Butkuss, Principal, H.C. Wilcox Technical High School, Connecticut Association of Schools appointment