March 2015

A letter from Lisa Tepper Bates

Dear friends,

It has been a tough winter, and we owe our thanks to all of you who have worked so hard to reach every person in need to offer emergency shelter.  Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.  

With spring now in sight, we can re-focus on our way ahead, and recall the innovations underway in Connecticut, to not only shelter everyone experiencing homelessness, but to create a path to housing for all those we serve.  We know this is a challenging time, and the state's financial situation means it will be a tough legislative season. CCEH is working hard to offer you the best information we can on a timely basis to help you understand what actions that we can take to seek the resources you need to end homelessness.  Please do your part to help advocate.

In the wake of New Haven's tremendous success in expediting the housing of chronically homeless and highly vulnerable people in that community, our colleagues in Hartford, Eastern Connecticut, and Fairfield County will be launching 100-day initiatives March 9 to accelerate their work on coordinating exit from homelessness for people in their communities!  We look forward to sharing more with you about those efforts in the coming weeks.  At the same time, we are working with you to explore new ways to think about housing for all those who experience homelessness - including those who are not indicated for permanent supportive housing. Please read below about "Ready to Roommate" - an innovative way to respond to the needs of very low income people who experience homelessness. 

Thanks for all you do, every day, to shelter those in need and to end homelessness in Connecticut.

Advocacy Dates to Remember


Thursday, March 5 2:00pm - 3:00pm

  • Hear an update on the state budget climate this session

  • Review state and local initiatives

  • Share ideas on telling your local story

 Register online here.

Submit Written Testimony for March 6, 2015 Appropriations Hearings on Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services FY2016-FY2017

  1. Download Talking PointsTestimony Template Here
  2.  Email written testimony to by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 5th.

Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format on your organizations letterhead to (Template provides guidelines for format).  Written testimony should be limited to matters related to comments related to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services budget. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. 


Thank Governor Malloy

Call, email, or write Governor Malloy a brief personal message thanking him for his continued commitment to ending homelessness and providing safe, affordable housing for all and expressing support for the proposals detailed above.

Phone: 860-655-4840



Governor Malloy

State Capitol

210 Capitol Avenue

Hartford, CT 06106



Wednesday, April 1 & Thursday, April 2 9:00am - 2:00pm

YOU are the experts on what works to end homelessness in your community!

  • Make your voice heard - meet with your legislators to discuss current efforts to end homelessness and advocate for resources that you need

  • Each Coordinated Access Network (CAN) will have a one-hour time slot

  • CCEH/PSC will provide a template for presentations and CAN-specific data

For more information on any of the above, contact Sarah Fox ( or Elizabeth Grim (

National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness 

Kristen Granatek, CCEH's Manager of Technical Assistance and Program Services, recently attended the National Alliance to End Homelessness' National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness in San Diego.


There was a significant change in the tone and theme of this year's conference from previous years in that there was an increased focus on exit strategies.  Coordinated access has been implemented across the country.  Homeless services providers are working together as never before.  Rather than focusing on the front end of homeless services, much of the conference focused on how we work together to truly end homelessness: by exiting people from it.  In her opening remarks, NAEH President and CEO Nan Roman reminded us that coordinated access is not the end goal.  Coordinated entry and exit is the end goal - coordinated access is the means by which we get there.  As such, many of the sessions focused effective strategies for ending family and youth homelessness: rapid rehousing, early intervention strategies for homeless youth, and planning for realignment of resources to meet the needs of specific populations.  


Collaboration was another important theme of the conference. Several sessions focused specifically on bringing together stakeholders outside of homeless services to collaborate with our system and better meet the needs of those we serve jointly.  These include employment services, child welfare and social service agencies, domestic violences services, and faith-based groups.  The lesson was one we know well: collaboration works.  We must come together to break down silos and meet the needs of those we serve across sectors.


If you'd like more information, conference presentations are available on NAEH's website.  

Download: Ready to Roommate Training

On Thursday, February 26, 30 homeless services staff from across the state came to Hartford for a day-long training on Ready to Roommate.  


David McCarthy of Columbus House presented his model of shared housing with this group.  Shared housing is a simple concept with which we are all familiar.  Housing is expensive and living alone is often difficult; having a roommate makes it affordable, and a more positive overall living situation. It's not always so simple for people who have experienced homelessness.  Finding a suitable roommate and apartment can be very difficult.  


David matches roommates, provides support around common issues of living together, and supports them in finding a rental unit.  He brought in a local landlord who works with him on one such shared home to talk about how to work with landlords, find appropriate units, and navigate logistics around leases and tenant issues.  Throughout the day, David presented strategies and solutions for working through common problems, ensuring that the shared unit works for both tenants and landlord.  


An important take away: Ready to Roommate is not a program requiring new funding or extensive additional resources.  It was an answer to a problem - how to support people in obtaining stable housing.  David created a model that worked, using existing program resources.


Download: Ready to Roommate

Download: Is shared housing a way to reduce homelessness?

Download: Exiting Homelessness Without A Voucher

More than 300 volunteer for Point-in-Time count

The severe winter weather forced organizers to push back the annual count of Connecticut's homeless population to February 18, but that change didn't put a dent in the enthusiasm of the more than 300 volunteers who turned out across Connecticut that night for the annual homeless census.

Said volunteer Denise Bell of Simsbury: "I found the evening humbling, challenging, and heartwarming ... I am glad to have been part of the survey, found clients open and gracious, and found many willing to be vulnerable and share. I was touched and inspired by the commitment and open-hearted nature of our team leader and impressed with the young members of our team stretching their personal comfort zones. All of the clients with whom I spoke were hopeful for the outcomes of the survey and thus I truly hope it does facilitate targeted change.

CCEH invites homeless service providers, advocates, policy makers and other experts from around Connecticut and across the country to respond to our Request for Presentations at the 2015 Annual Training Institute, Solving the Puzzle: Uniting Local, State, and National Efforts to End Homelessness, set for Thursday, May 14 at the Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT.  The 2015 CCEH Annual Training Institute (ATI) marks the 13th premier capacity-building event for organizations working across Connecticut to prevent and end homelessness. The goal of the ATI is to provide training and information to an estimated 400 persons who serve individuals and families who experience homelessness, advocates, funders, and other stakeholders.

Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters

Family shelters provide essential services to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers during a difficult time in their lives. As you work to connect families to permanent housing, you can ensure that your shelter environment assists the physical, socio-emotional, and intellectual development of children ages 0-5 to support these children through their experience of homelessness. Creating this safe, developmentally appropriate environment will assure that the infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in your shelter have the best possible start to a bright future, as they exit homelessness into permanent housing.

The Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters is specifically designed to help shelter staff members create shelter environments that are safe and developmentally appropriate for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. In this tool, you will find recommendations and information on how your shelter environment, programming, policies, and staff can support early childhood safety and development. Similar tools have been developed and implemented with much success in child care, early learning, and early childhood development settings. 


This tool is just one of several resources that the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) created to support the healthy and safe development of children experiencing homelessness.


Download it here. 

Upcoming Training Opportunities through CCEH

Registration for CCEH's Motivational Interviewing Training Series is now open.  Windsor based Community Solutions Inc will be providing this training on 8 dates across the state in March, April and early May.  Full details are available here.  Don't miss out on this great opportunity for front line staff to learn this critical skill!


A large number of people experiencing homelessness have also experienced or are currently experiencing domestic violence. CCEH is partnering with CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) to offer Enhancing Services to Domestic Violence Survivors cross training to homeless services providers and domestic violence service providers in an effort to better serve survivors. This two-hour session will provide basic information on the dynamics of domestic violence to homeless services providers, followed by a discussion with local domestic violence services providers on how to better collaborate in your community.  Please save the date of March 23 for the Hartford area and March 25 for the Bridgeport area.  Both sessions will take place in the morning.  Additional information coming soon!