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1,500 unhoused CT residents are in need of warmth this holiday season

The tents of a homeless camp line the sidewalk.
Michael Dwyer
/
AP
The tents of a homeless camp line the sidewalk.

Legislators and housing advocates are calling on the state of Connecticut to provide more funding for shelters during the upcoming legislative session.

They say nearly 1,500 of the state’s residents are unhoused — and service providers don’t have enough resources to bring them inside this winter.

Sarah Fox is the CEO of Connecticut’s Coalition to End Homelessness, which represents 75 of the state’s service providers.

“We knew we had an affordable housing crisis and we've had housing challenges in the state,” Fox said. “But this level of unsheltered homelessness and the fact that if the resources all are allocated, we will still have 850 people remaining outside on our coldest nights this winter, that is something that when I heard the numbers in a call just last week, I gasped.”

State Representative Bobby Sanchez (D-New Britain) serves as the director at a homeless shelter in Meriden. He said they don’t have enough space to bring everyone inside, and they don’t have enough staff to run the facility.

“I'm struggling to get people, to retain people or to hire people to do this work because of the funding, and it's just unbelievable that every year we have to ask and beg for funding,” Sanchez said.

During the upcoming legislative session, Fox said they plan to ask for $20 million to address homelessness.

The state allocated $5 million to addressing homelessness this year.

To find shelter in Connecticut, call 211.

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