NEW BRITAIN - A new task force to end homelessness across the state has been formed within the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.
The new CCM homelessness-prevention task force is being chaired by New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Ben Blake, mayor of Milford. It’s a coordinated effort between municipal leaders, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and Sustainable CT to prevent homelessness in the state by providing municipalities to be better equipped to address the issue, develop recommendations, and recognize municipalities for their ongoing achievements and efforts to address homelessness.
Stewart said the CCM was asking for municipalities interested in serving on the task force and she immediately jumped at the chance.
“I knew I wanted to participate because the aim of this group is to bring together different community leaders to talk about practices that work in the respective communities to combat homelessness and bring awareness,” she said. “We hope this will provide a tool kit for all towns to address the problem, especially as the cold weather approaches.”
CCM Executive Director Joe DeLong said the conference has a strong commitment to addressing critical social welfare issues.
“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,” he said. “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.”
In the most recent Point-in-Time Count by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, 3,033 people were homeless in shelters, sleeping outside or other places not meant for people to live in on a single night in the state. The coalition reported a 32-person reduction in homelessness based on the one-night census measure since 2007.
The task force met mid-November and a resolution will be created with input from the task force members, according to CCM. Once the resolution is approved by the task force, the work will begin on reaching out to all towns and cities in the state to encourage them to adopt the resolution.
Stewart said the resolution asks for nothing else but a commitment to help the homeless population and have firm support by pledging to put resources in place.
In New Britain, the task force complements several existing plans with similar goals, including Building Hope Together, the city’s permanent work plan to end homelessness, and its collaboration with the Central Connecticut Coordinated Access Network, which helps connect those in need with the necessary help and resources.
“We’re never going to not have a homeless problem, so we need to work on how we can make solutions sustainable and continue to provide resources for those who need it,” said Stewart. “We also hope that through all the programs and the task force, we can encourage more communities to participate.”
People in need are encouraged to call 2-1-1, call the city’s Community Services Department at 860-826-3360, or drop by the department at City Hall, 27 W. Main St., third floor.
Contact Catherine Shen at 860-801-5093 or firstname.lastname@example.org.