[Hpn] Record number of homeless being turned away from shelters;Connecticut;11/30/01
Morgan W. Brown
Fri, 30 Nov 2001 14:38:54 -0500
Friday, November 30, 2001
Journal Inquirer <http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?brd=985>
[Manchester <www.ci.manchester.ct.us>, Connecticut]
Record number of homeless being turned away from shelters
By Don Michak, Journal Inquirer November 29, 2001
HARTFORD - The number of people asking for emergency shelter across
Connecticut is increasing rapidly, and a record number is being turned away,
according to a statewide network of shelter and transitional housing
The Wethersfield-based Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, whose
members provide shelter and housing for 16,000 people annually, also says it
is unlikely the demand will decrease given the deteriorating economy and the
number of families soon to be cut from state welfare rolls.
The coalition says that, over the first six months of this year, 8,658
people who asked for shelter were turned away. That's compared to 4,486
turned away over the same period last year.
It also says that the number of times people were turned away from shelters
between October 2000 and June 2001 increased by 86 percent over the previous
State Department of Social Services data show that 16,621 people were
sheltered in the year between Oct. 1, 1999, and Sept. 30, 2000, when 11,241
people were turned away, the coalition says.
The coalition's executive director, Mary McAtee, says the current situation
raises "issues of public health and safety.''
She has asked Gov. John G. Rowland to meet with her and members of the group
"to discuss how we can increase our collective response to this crisis.''
In a letter to the governor earlier this month, McAtee warned that the group
has a "growing concern about the ability of the existing shelter network to
respond to the increased need among Connecticut residents.''
She added that the network is seeing a "dramatic increase'' in the number of
people asking for shelter who "have serious mental health or addiction
problems, are being released from acute care hospitals while still needing
medical care, are coming directly from jails or prisons, and have histories
of pedophilia or other sex offenses.''
"Many shelters are concerned that their programs do not have sufficient
staff to safely shelter and assist this diverse population,'' she continued.
McAtee, noting that emergency shelters are funded with a mix of federal,
state, and local dollars, as well as private donations, also told Rowland
that money problems could force several shelters to close.
Of the 44 shelters that get state funds, "eight to 10 are struggling to
raise enough private funding money to keep the doors open, and about the
same number are approaching that point,'' she said.
The coalition includes 49 shelters across the state, including about a dozen
in Hartford and other north-central Connecticut towns.
They include the East Hartford Community Shelter on Main Street, operated by
the Hartford-based Community Renewal Team; the Samaritan Shelter on Main
Street in Manchester, operated by the Manchester Area Council of Churches;
Tri-Town Shelter Services Inc. in Vernon; and Holy Family Home and Shelter
Inc. on Jackson Street in Windham.
The coalition says 10 percent of families entering shelters are two-parent
families, and that half of the adults entering shelters have no income, up
from 28 percent a decade ago.
It also says 20 percent of the adults are employed, up 11 percent from 10
---End of forwarded article---
~~~For those seeking additional information:
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness:
State of Connecticut Department of Social Services:
**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
material is distributed without charge or profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
this type of information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only.**
-------End of forward-------
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA
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