[Hpn] Record number of homeless being turned away from shelters;Connecticut;11/30/01

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Fri, 30 Nov 2001 14:38:54 -0500


-------Forwarded article-------

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
<http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=2710445&BRD=985&PAG=461&dept_id=161556&rfi=6>


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 
providers.

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 
eight months.

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 
years ago.

---End of forwarded article---

~~~For those seeking additional information:

Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness:

http://www.cceh.org


State of Connecticut Department of Social Services:

http://www.dss.state.ct.us

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**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
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-------End of forward-------

Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA



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