More than 1,400 Greater Hartford individuals and families who are homeless or facing homelessness will receive much needed help thanks to the work of five area nonprofit agencies and funding of more than $924,000 from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
Grants were awarded to Connecticut Coalition to End Homeless Ness ($30,000); Hands on Hartford ($111,600); ImmaCare ($144,000); My Sisters’ Place ($220,000); and the Salvation Army of Southern New England Division ($326,640) to provide a range of coordinated services designed to prevent or eliminate homelessness. In addition, the Salvation Army of Southern New England Division received a $92,000 matching grant from the City of Hartford to support no-freeze efforts in the Capitol Region.
While there has been significant progress in addressing homelessness, there are also continuing challenges, particularly for youth and families. The large influx of people from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who came into the region after Hurricanes Irma and Maria has resulted in an increase in homelessness in Greater Hartford. Part of the difficulty in finding and keeping affordable permanent housing is due in large part to Connecticut’s expensive rental market, the eighth highest in the nation. The fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Hartford is $1,231. Many families and individuals of modest means are unable to afford current rents or must spend an untenable amount of their income (more than 30 percent) to secure even substandard housing. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition report, a renter would need to earn nearly $25 an hour for this to be affordable.
Most people who are experiencing homeless do not live on the streets. Many people, especially homeless families, are hidden from view, living doubled up in apartments or in emergency shelters or transitional housing. Efforts in Greater Hartford and across Connecticut continue to provide solutions to address homelessness. Service providers are working effectively together, through the Greater Hartford Coordinated Access Network, to improve the centralized response system and to ensure that it is flexible to changing needs, data-driven and adequately resourced. Hartford Foundation funds continue to play an essential role by enabling providers to divert, prevent and resolve homelessness for individuals and families.
“One of the most fundamental needs of all individuals and families is a safe, affordable place to live,” said Hartford Foundation Community Investments Officer Dawn Grant. “This funding not only supports emergency shelters and basic needs, but it helps advance collective solutions currently being implemented. The work of these nonprofits employs interconnected strategies including expanding day and night shelters, accessing meals, to diverting individuals from homelessness. Solving homelessness is a fundamental part of the Hartford Foundation’s basic human needs efforts and supports all of its strategic priorities.”
Some of the expected outcomes of these grants include:
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $750 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visitwww.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.