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Connecticut News

Homelessness Drops 24% In Connecticut

Dave Collins
Luis Vazquez, a Navy veteran who was homeless off and on for 10 years, sits outside his home in a veterans' housing complex in Newington, Conn., in 2015.

Homelessness is on the rise nationally – but on the decline in Connecticut. That’s the finding in a new report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Homeless dropped by 23.7% in the state. So why is Connecticut bucking the trend?

“We, like many other communities, have been implementing a housing-first approach. We’ve not only organized homeless services across our state, but also we’re doing our best to make sure people don’t have to wait for assistance to get connected to stable housing,” said Richard Cho with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

Cho also said a spike in homelessness was due to Hurricane Maria.

“We had to count households who were evacuated from Puerto Rico to Connecticut and were placed in the federal emergency sheltering program through FEMA. What you’re seeing as a decrease from 2018 to 2019 also reflects the fact that there are no longer households in those emergency shelters.”

Cho said California’s increasing homelessness problem offsets the decline in Connecticut and other states. More than half of all unsheltered homeless people live in California, according to the report.

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness will hold an annual count of homeless people in the state later this month.