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Connecticut homelessness advocates call for expanded state funding before winter

Tents line a sidewalk.
Jeff Chiu
Tents line a sidewalk.

Saturday was the first day of fall, and cold weather will be here soon. The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness says now is the time to prepare for winter — when it’s most important for people to have reliable shelter.

The coalition represents more than 75 shelters, transitional housing providers and businesses that work to get people into secure housing.

Coalition CEO Sarah Fox said there are likely more than 500 individuals without shelter in the state, and soon, it will be too cold to sleep outside.

“We're moving into winter,” Fox said. “Yesterday it was 46 degrees. The days are ticking. I'm bringing us all together and CCH is bringing us all together to ensure that we have a coordinated response. And that we have everything in place to save lives.”

The coalition asked the legislature for $50 million last session, but only received $5 million. They say they will need more money to keep people inside this winter.

State Representative Tony Scott, who is on the Housing Committee, said the state government isn't doing enough to fight homelessness.

“This is not a partisan issue, it is not,” Scott said. “It is a humanitarian issue that we need to address, and we need to put that forefront of our minds.”

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.