CSH SIF TEAMS MEET IN WASHINGTON DC

Members of Opening Doors Fairfield County were part of the Connecticut team that convened in Washington DC for the CSH Social Innovation Fund (SIF) national initiative. This five-year effort effectively demonstrated how supportive housing pulls people with the most complex issues out of the revolving door of costly crisis services.  

Findings from the evaluation of the SIF Supportive Housing Program were presented by New York University’s evaluation team and concluded this program reduced utilization of shelters and costly health care, primarily through reduced hospitalizations.  These reductions can substantially offset program costs.

Connecticut was joined by providers from Los Angeles (CA), San Francisco (CA), Ann Arbor (MI) to advance their plans to sustain an effective model that integrates health and housing supports and resources to more effectively and more efficiently provide care to vulnerable people.  The Connecticut SIF team also advocated for key homeless programs on Capitol Hill meeting with the offices of Senator Chris Murphy and Representative Rosa DeLauro. 

Homelessness fell 24% in three years. How did Connecticut do it?

“This is a governor who not only said, ‘We’ll follow the federal priorities,’” said Tepper Bates. “He actually absorbed the importance of that and said, ‘I get this. I get that if we do this, we will save lives and save resources in other systems, and I see that as a priority for Connecticut.’”

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Fairfield County Recognized at State-Wide Dinner

Three local leaders in Fairfield County were recognized Thursday by the Partnership for Strong Communities for their tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness to end homelessness. Kathy Hunter (Deputy Director of Supportive Housing Works), Carmen Colon, (Vice-President of the Bridgeport YMCA) and Carla Miklos (Executive Director of Operation Hope) were awarded the Diane Randall Leadership Award by the state-wide policy and advocacy organization at their annual Reaching Home Celebration dinner in Cromwell.

The three were noted for their 60-plus combined years of service and advocacy for people in crisis and in developing innovative solutions to counter homelessness. Examples of successes included the creation of a Community Development Financial Institution for people with disabilities, restructuring the federal HOME program to advance the development of supportive housing projects, and providing oversight in retooling Fairfield County’s crisis response system by prioritizing the most vulnerable and restructuring the service delivery staff. Also highlighted was their collective work in launching the Greater Bridgeport Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, spearheading a multi-agency housing first collaborative, and providing leadership for Opening Doors Fairfield County.

The Reaching Home dinner celebrates the statewide campaign to end homelessness and its collective successes. Recognition was also given to housing tenants who have made significant contributions to their community through The Carol Walter Supportive Housing Tenant Award. Awardees this year included Willie Thomas Miller, a resident in Bridgeport who has overcome major challenges and currently volunteers for the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery serving as a role model while working to becoming a physical therapist.

Willie Thomas Miller, proudly holding his Carol Walter Supportive Housing Tenant Award.

Willie Thomas Miller, proudly holding his Carol Walter Supportive Housing Tenant Award.

Ben Vereen, an accomplished entertainer who has appeared on stage, screen and TV, was the guest speaker at the Reaching Home Dinner. Vereen’s strong sense of social consciousness has taken him around the world lecturing on topics such as overcoming adversity.

Left to Right: Carla Miklos (Executive Director, Operation Hope), Carmen Colon (Vice President, Bridgeport Y's), Tony Award-winning entertainer Ben Vereen, Kathy Hunter (Deputy Director, Supportive Housing Works), and State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (Fairfield).

Left to Right: Carla Miklos (Executive Director, Operation Hope), Carmen Colon (Vice President, Bridgeport Y's), Tony Award-winning entertainer Ben Vereen, Kathy Hunter (Deputy Director, Supportive Housing Works), and State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (Fairfield).

Photos courtesy Partnership for Strong Communities and Gary Lewis Photography.

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County Honors ODFC Co-Chair Adam Bovilsky

On Tuesday May 23, 2017, the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County (UWCFC) held their 2017 LIVE UNITED Celebration at The Schelfhaudt Gallery at the University of Bridgeport.

The UWCFC awarded ODFC Co-Chair Adam Bovilsky The Madison Sayles Neighbors Helping Neighbors Award, for his outstanding work in the region.

In his acceptance speech, Adam took the time to both honor the tireless efforts of the United Way, and recognize the unprecedented collaboration among organizations in the region around preventing and ending homelessness.

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The evening brought together many individuals, institutions, and community partners to celebrate the UWCFC’s important, ongoing work of:

Tackling the ravaging effects of poverty on children and families
Confronting the education inequity in Coastal Fairfield County
Breaking down the barriers that keep children from achieving their potential and
Inspiring youth to embrace their future.

Please click here for more photos from this event.

Photographs courtesy United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.

ODFC's Work Contributes to Decline in CT Homelessness

Yesterday, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) held its 15th Annual Training Institute (ATI) in Hartford.

Left to Right: David Rich (Supportive Housing Works), Commissioner of Housing Evonne M. Klein, Governor Dannel P. Malloy, and Lisa Tepper Bates (Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness).

Left to Right: David Rich (Supportive Housing Works), Commissioner of Housing Evonne M. Klein, Governor Dannel P. Malloy, and Lisa Tepper Bates (Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness).

During his Lunch Remarks, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the findings from the 2017 Point-in-Time Count and the 2017 Youth Count, both held in late January of this year.

Governor Malloy congratulated everyone in the room on the hard work that has collectively led to a decline in homelessness throughout the state of Connecticut.

Please click here to read more from CCEH about the findings from the 2017 Point-In-Time Count and the 2017 Youth Count.

Please click here to read the full report from CCEH, "Connecticut Counts: Reports on Homelessness in Connecticut," released to the public yesterday, May 18, 2017.