INITIATIVE – Ending Chronic homelessness
Developed and led by New York-based Community Solutions, Ending Chronic Homelessness aims to end chronic homelessness following up on our success of ending veteran homelessness, in 2016, through the use of community partnerships and cost-effective practices. By streamlining and standardizing the housing process, roadblocks are effectively minimized for all people experiencing homelessness in communities throughout the United States. One major component of Ending Chronic Homelessness includes the creation of a list that is continuously-updated. The list includes names of each person experiencing homelessness within a community. Here in Fairfield County, this system of standardized tracking ensures our community’s most vulnerable citizens are quickly and efficiently connected with the most appropriate housing option.
Additionally, Ending Chronic Homelessness empowers communities to end chronic and veteran homelessness in their region. This initiative is supported by the creation of a national platform for innovation, knowledge capture and cross-team sharing; government and philanthropic leadership engagement; and intensive coaching to partnering communities.
INITIATIVE – PROJECT HOMELESS CONNECT
Project Homeless Connect is a one-day event connecting adults, families and youth who are homeless or may be at risk of homelessness. The purpose of the event is to provide free access to comprehensive health and human services in one location, on one day each year. Participants can access countless social services, as well as mental health assessments onsite. In addition, they are connected to follow up appointments, which would normally require numerous phone calls and long waits for services. Collaboration is the hallmark of PHC, represented by a broad range of agencies and dedicated volunteers who focus their efforts on serving each client in whatever way possible.
INITIATIVE – POINT-IN-TIME [PIT] COUNT
Each January, Opening Doors of Fairfield County [ODFC] staff and volunteers partner with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness [CCEH] to conduct a hands-on count of homeless residents located within the Fairfield County region. The annual Point in Time Count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] to provide a snapshot of homelessness on a single night. Recent count results showed that in Fairfield County there were 361 individuals identified as homeless, 216 of them under the age of 18, with 30 individuals between the age of 18 and 24. The PIT Count allows us to:
Collect data to inform our efforts and progress in ending homelessness
Develop a consistent methodology for collecting reliable data to measure program effectiveness
Help service providers and policy makers better understand the needs of homeless people to design effective interventions
ODFC also participates in the Homeless Youth Count which is part of the coordinated system that helped end veteran homelessness.