CCEH Newsletter
August 2019
Dear Friends,

The dog days of August have arrived—that time of year when many of us take our family vacations, seeking to squeeze every last drop out of summer, knowing that fall is just around the corner. That is certainly true for many of us at CCEH, as many of us are taking time off this summer. And while summer is typically described as a quieter and slower time of year, here at CCEH, this summer has been anything but quiet. Among the many things we achieved this summer included administering the final emergency housing assistance funding for Hurricane Maria evacuees, elevating attention on the intersection of homelessness and incarceration, making further progress on developing our strategic goals for the next few years, conducting trainings and webinars, and more.

Last month, several of us at CCEH, along with many partner organizations across Connecticut, joined with approximately 2,000 other people working to end homelessness across the country at the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ annual conference—the nation’s largest homelessness conference. CCEH staff not only presented at numerous workshops, but also had a chance to learn about how other communities are working to engage unsheltered people, address youth homelessness, and confront emerging issues such as the growing rates of homelessness among seniors, racial disparities in homelessness, and the intersection with the opioid epidemic. We also spent a day visiting with members of our Congressional delegation, sharing with them our progress, as well as discussing the resource needs and policy changes that could help us bring an end to homelessness in Connecticut.

For my part, I enjoyed the chance to connect with former colleagues and other leaders from across the country to compare notes on our progress on ending homelessness in our respective states and communities. I want to share a few observations from those conversations:

  1. Connecticut is indeed a national leader – We often describe Connecticut as a national leader in ending homelessness, but being at the conference with representatives from all 50 states, plus US territories, and even other nations, I am affirmed that Connecticut is recognized for its progress and success in ending homelessness. One would hear Connecticut’s work being cited at workshop after workshop, even when no one from Connecticut was on the panel. As one new contact I made noted, “You all in Connecticut are doing something right.”
  2. Diversion is one of our most important tools – There was tremendous interest from communities across the country in our shelter diversion model, and were eager to learn about Connecticut’s “secret sauce.” Many other communities are just now embarking on shelter diversion, and national organizations and federal agencies are working to develop guidance and tools—based on Connecticut’s model. It is clear that diversion is one of our key innovations and a major part of why we are seeing reductions in homelessness. (See a guest blog on diversion in this week’s newsletter from Matthew Morgan, Executive Director of Journey Home.)
  3. Connecticut has a unique opportunity to end homelessness – Whereas other communities like Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and the District of Columbia are seeing growing numbers of people experiencing homelessness, which seems in part a by-product of their skyrocketing housing costs, Connecticut is not seeing that rising tide of homelessness. Homelessness in many of those communities is beginning to reach crisis-level proportions and with that comes a kind of panic mind-set and a cacophony of opinions, ideas, and knee-jerk reactions. Connecticut is fortunate to not have those intense pressures on our housing market (yet). We are able to make smart and thoughtful decisions. But that does not mean we should not rest on our laurels. Indeed, it is in times without crisis that we should double-down on building out our system to bring homelessness down to a minimum.
  4. We have a supportive Congressional delegation – We met with every single member of our Congressional delegation or their senior staff, and in each meeting were met by nothing but the greatest pride and support for our work to end homelessness. While Connecticut has made a lot of progress on our own, we still need help from Washington. As Congress comes back from recess, we will be sure to equip our members with information on ways that they can help—from providing additional resources to making key legislative and policy changes.

Our staff and colleagues have certainly earned some time off. But I know that when we all return to work, we’ll come back buzzing with new ideas and energy for ways to make our system better, more inclusive, and more effective at helping people obtain stable homes. Have a great final few weeks of summer!


Richard Cho
Connecticut’s Response to Hurricane Maria: A Story of Unity
On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, destroying homes, wiping out electrical grids, and leaving people without clean water. Connecticut has one of the largest Puerto Rican communities of any state, with thousands of families coming to seek shelter with family and kin. In the first six months of the disaster alone families in Connecticut welcomed 10% of the 135,000 who came to the U.S. mainland in search of shelter.
On July 30, Governor Lamont, with CCEH, United Way of CT, members of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, and more held a special press conference to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of many to provide over $938,000 is emergency housing assistance to over 1,200 self-evacuees including more than 530 children.

For a full listing of partners and fact-sheet about the effort:
Diversion Successes and Challenges in the Hartford and Central CANs

Contributed by: 
Matthew Morgan
Executive Director - Journey Home

In order to solve the issue of homelessness, we must stop people from becoming homeless in the first place. We have found over the past four years that it is possible to find other options for those looking to enter into emergency shelter or looking at the option of sleeping on the streets. This activity is called “shelter diversion”.

Four years ago, the Greater Hartford Coordinated Access Network (CAN) and the Central Connecticut CAN (Greater New Britain/Bristol area) began putting into practice diversion programs, which have helped families steady themselves, reunite with friends or family, or move into their own apartments, rather than turning to emergency shelter for help. Shelter diversion is not something people can learn overnight, but rather it is a detailed strategy that prevents homelessness before it starts by helping people find quick alternative housing arrangements, as well as connecting them with services and financial assistance to help them get back to permanent housing.

Highlights from the 2019 National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference
The National alliance to End Homelessness conference in Washington DC during the week of July 22nd did not disappoint. CCEH staff was again invited to present on a variety of different topics. Deputy Director, Mimi Haley, facilitated a discussion for the Capacity-Building Network on systems collaboration, co-led a workshop for YHDP communities, and presented on panels for Coordinated Entry Evaluation and Youth-Family mediation strategies. Sarah Fox, again co-led our Capitol Hill Advocacy Days and also presented on shelter diversion in CT.
Carl Asikainen, our Youth Systems Coordinator, led a panel on innovative practices in host homes, highlighting the work of Noank Community Services and Council of Churches. Tashmia Bryant, our Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, was a first time attendee and presented on the race & equity work she has done and is planning this year.

CCEH also hosted our annual NAEH dinner this year at Georgia Brown's. A good time was had by all!
CCEH Shares Highlights & Resources

CCEH staff have shared some highlights from conference workshops, Capitol Hill Day, and other helpful links to continue learning from the conference. Visit our  website to see the highlights.
NAEH Capitol Hill Day
On Wednesday, July 24 th , 2019, the Partnership for Strong Communities and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness coordinated meetings with the Connecticut Congressional Delegation as part of the National Alliance to End Homelessness Capitol Hill Day. As part of Capitol Hill Day, we had the opportunity to have in-person meetings with Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-5), Congressman Jim Himes (D-4), and Congressman Joseph Courtney (D-2), as well as meetings with housing legislative staffers for Senator Murphy, Senator Blumenthal, Congresswoman DeLauro, and Congressman Larson. 

One of the key lessons from Capitol Hill Day was that our congressional delegates are our partners, and it’s important to share the impact that federal policies and resources are having in the lives of the people that we served. Please click here to reach out to Congress and let them know how federal funding is impacting the lives of the clients that you serve. 

Click Here for the full summary and 2019 Reaching Home Federal Fact Sheets
Join the CCEH Team!

Executive Assistant
CCEH is seeking an experienced, organized, and conscientious individual to join our team as an Executive Assistant. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Executive Assistant would provide administrative support for the CEO, senior managers, CCEH teams, and CCEH’s Board of Directors. Duties include record-keeping related to flexible financial assistance; logistical coordination of statewide advocacy activities, trainings, and conferences; and assistance with grant reporting and development activities.

Read the Full Description Here
Apply Via Indeed

Communications Coordinator
CCEH is seeking a talented, motivated Communication Coordinator to coordinate external communications for the organization. The successful candidate will work with colleagues to shape and coordinate communications to different stakeholder groups. This position will play a critical role in supporting the organization’s messaging in the press, through marketing materials, proposals and advocacy materials, in social media, and through major flagship events including the organization’s annual conference.

Read the Full Description Here
Apply Via Indeed
CCEH Announces Program Manager for Prevention and Exit Strategies -
Diana Berube
We are thrilled to welcome Diana Berube as our Program Manager for Prevention and Exit Strategies. This new position will oversee our current diversion efforts and emergency assistance funds and work with our statewide partners to expand these programs.

Diana is a resident of Bristol, CT where she lives with her three beautiful children. Diana began work in the homeless services field in Connecticut in 2015 as a Grant Coordinator providing McKinney-Vento services to unstably housed students and families for Bristol public schools. In this position, she joined her local task force to end homelessness and quickly realized her passion for the work. This task force saw a need for homeless outreach in Bristol and created a new position through a grant from the Main Street Community Foundation. Diana gladly accepted the position. As Housing Coordinator for the task force and later as Navigator for St. Vincent DePaul Emergency Shelter, Diana enjoyed working out in the community identifying literally homeless individuals and helping them navigate homeless and housing services. Her most recent position has been conducting CAN assessments as Housing Support Specialist for CHR at the Central CT Coordinated Access Network Diversion Center. Diana is thrilled to be taking her experiences in working on the front lines of homeless services to her new position as Program Manager for Prevention and Exit Strategies.
CCEH Bids a Fond Farewell to Julia Minchew
We wanted to share with all of you that Julia Minchew, our Communications and Program Development Coordinator, will be leaving CCEH. Julia’s incredible spirit, passion for her work, and creativity has contributed to so much of our efforts to end homelessness. Among her many successes, she coordinated our Rapid Re-Housing Learning Collaboratives, organized our Annual Training Institute, led our communications efforts, and provided energy and enthusiasm to our whole staff. Julia, who is now the proud mom to her beautiful baby boy Finnegan, will remain part of our CCEH family. We will miss her wonderful presence but hope you will join us in sending her warm support in her endeavors ahead.
Specialized Housing and Services for Victims of Human Trafficking NOFA

Program Application Due Date:  October 30, 2019 by 11:59:59 PM EDT
Technical Assistance Application Due Date:  August 30, 2019 by 11:59:59 PM EDT
Upcoming Trainings & Events

Visit the CCEH Provider Resource Library for more topics and resources.
Visit the CCEH Webinar Library for all recordings.
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness
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