DARIEN, Conn. -- When Gov. Dannel alloy announced last week the state officially ended homelessness among veterans across the state, officials both locally and nationally applauded the feat, including Darien's Evonne Klein, Connecticut's Department of Housing Commissioner.
“Ending veteran homelessness is something to be proud of and this was made possible by the dedicated individuals on the ground working hard each and every day," Klein said. “These folks identify veterans and connect them to housing and the critical support services they need. We have a powerful network of advocates and providers in Connecticut, and it’s just one of the many reasons why we are national leaders in our efforts to prevent and end homelessness. Other states look to Connecticut as a role model and it’s important that we recognize everyone who came together to make this vision a reality.”
Just the second state in the nation to accomplish the milestone, Connecticut has implemented a comprehensive system to target chronic homelessness among veterans.
Chronic homelessness is defined as an individual with a disability who has been homeless for a period of at least one year or has had three or more episodes of homelessness that total one year. The recent announcement means the state has effectively eliminated homelessness among all veterans. Through a partnership of local, state and federal organizations, Connecticut has created a system that works to prevent homelessness among veterans and ensures that when there is a new episode of homelessness, it is brief and non-recurring.
Even with these strengthened homeless prevention services, this designation does not mean a veteran in Connecticut never again will experience an episode of homelessness. Instead, it means that when a veteran enters an episode of homelessness, the state has the capacity and sustainable systems in place to quickly find and connect this veteran to the assistance needed for him or her to achieve stable, permanent housing. The state’s network of partners continually are identifying veterans who are experiencing homelessness, rapidly providing them with interim housing when necessary, and placing them into permanent housing with the appropriate support services within 90 days, Klein said.
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