Hartford Foundation Awards More Than $1 Million to Help Alleviate Homelessness in Greater Hartford

More than 1,000 Greater Hartford individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless will receive much needed assistance thanks to the work of six agencies with support of more than $1 million in grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Grants were awarded to Immaculate Conception Shelter & Housing ($174,000); My Sisters’ Place ($220,000); Salvation Army ($323,000); Journey Home ($180,000); Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness ($30,000); and Cornerstone Foundation ($93,000).

While homelessness is decreasing among families (35 percent) and veterans (48 percent) in the Capital Region since 2009, the 2014 Point-in-Time Count conducted by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and funded by the Hartford Foundation, indicates that chronic homelessness has remained the same. The difficulty of finding and keeping affordable permanent housing is widespread.

“These grants support both short-term and long-term strategies to address homelessness,” said Judy Rozie-Battle, vice president for program at the Hartford Foundation. “Many families and individuals of modest means are still unable to afford current rents or spend an untenable amount of their income to secure even substandard housing. Funding will allow organizations to continue services, expand services, or test out new collaborative and collective impact models of addressing the issue of ending homelessness.”

“Unemployment and underemployment, coupled with a lack of affordable housing in 23 of the 29 communities in our region, call for new solutions” said Sharon O’Meara, director of community investments at the Hartford Foundation.

Some of the projected outcomes of these proposals include:

  • Over 1,000 clients to be served annually through rapid re-housing, eviction prevention/landlord negotiation, and sheltering.
  • Foundation funding will leverage $200,000 in municipal funds and $40,000 in private funds to support direct services to people who are homeless.
  • Housing advocates and providers will successfully implement the Point-in-Time count of people without homes in the Capital Region, including unaccompanied youth. Data generated will be used to successfully advocate for increased funding for underserved groups and the development of new strategies to reach out to underserved youths.
  • The Hundred Days Project will seek to quickly house individuals and families. This pilot project will result in positive changes in the housing system in the region and in the state.
  • Two new supportive housing units will be developed to serve Vernon and the area’s food pantry and shelter will be renovated.

“Homelessness is a solvable issue and the collaborative efforts of agencies in our region demonstrate that collective action can make a big difference,” O’Meara said. “These proposals reflect a continuum of interconnected strategies ranging from sheltering to advocacy necessary to solve the problem of homelessness.”

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrates 90 years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $600 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.