From homelessness to housed

The January 2016 Connecticut Point In Time (PIT) Count said there were 3,911 people who are homeless in Connecticut. That is a 3.4 percent decline from 2015 and 13 percent decline from 2007.

Who is assisting in the reduction of homelessness in Connecticut?

screenshot-2017-02-09-15-36-44The Columbus House.

Reducing homelessness in Connecticut is a major priority for Columbus House, and the chief executive officer, Alison Cunningham, is devoted to the cause. After providing an inside look at what the Columbus House offers — such as warm meals, 81 beds, additional cots for overflow, 90-day long stays for persons fighting to get back on their feet — it is obvious that the goal is not only getting human beings off the street, but to provide long-term housing for people who need some help.

This is not fiction. Let’s talk about Angel. Angel, a native of Puerto Rico who found himself serving a 15-year prison sentence, was left with nothing after his release and found himself on the streets as an addict who spoke little English. But Angel found the Columbus House, who identified him as Frequent Users Systems Engagement (F.U.S.E) client. This network provides men and women who are constantly in and out of shelters and incarceration with management services and supportive housing.

The counselors at the Columbus House worked with Angel so that he could enroll in English lessons at the library, and they provided services to help him overcome his addiction.

In March of 2012, Angel was housed. He is still in his apartment, owns a car, goes to church every Sunday and has established a life for himself, all thanks to the assistance of the Columbus House.

Even with funding for shelters continuously declining, Columbus House fights to provide opportunities for people who need additional assistance. Donations are always welcome and will be used by people committed to making the transition from homelessness to housed.

By Kayra Clouden

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