History & Successes
The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) was founded in 1982 as a membership organization by staff and volunteers of homeless shelters in response to increasing homelessness. From that time forward, CCEH has grown into a multi-pronged operation that represents the voice of the homeless assistance frontline; advocates for resources, policies, and public support to end homelessness; provides training and support to help providers implement best practices; and leads statewide data collection and analysis to enhance efforts to end homelessness.
During the 1980’s, dramatic cuts to federal assistance programs combined with stagnant wages and rising housing costs sent many into homelessness. By this time, deinstitutionalization from mental health hospitals also led to an influx of individuals with special needs into homelessness as community supports were insufficient. Increasing homelessness drove shelter workers together to form CCEH to fight for services for those in need and most importantly, affordable housing. In 1983, this advocacy resulted in Columbus House (New Haven) becoming the first publicly funded homeless shelter. The state of Connecticut continues to provide critically needed funding to help support emergency shelters across the state.
Working in a shared effort with members, colleague advocacy organizations, philanthropy, and state and federal government partners, CCEH is working to end homelessness. Here’s what we do:
- Collaborate with the Partnership for Strong Communities (Reaching Home Campaign) and other partners on the implementation of the Opening Doors–CT plan to end homelessness in our state.
- Co-lead with Partnership for Strong Communities Connecticut’s Zero: 2016 campaign to end veteran homelessness in 2015 and chronic homelessness in 2016.
- Create and manage the be homeful campaign to end family homelessness and its partnership with Paddington BearCoordinate and support statewide advocacy efforts to secure the resources and policies needed to end homelessness.
- Educate elected officials and members of the public on the problem of homelessness and approaches to solve it.
- Co-design and support the implementation of Coordinated Access to homelessness resources in communities across the state.
- Support shelters, housing and services programs via education, training, technical assistance and networking opportunities (including regular training programs utilizing national experts and the organization of the Annual Training Institute, attended by more than 350 community leaders, providers and activists).
- Provide support to communities through the CCEH Community Impact Team to enhance collaboration and improve local systems.
- Lead efforts to expand resources and enhance statewide capacities for Shelter Diversion and Rapid Rehousing.
- Lead and manage the federally-mandated statewide Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and provide analysis of data to improve performance.
- Lead the statewide Point-in-Time Count, a HUD-mandated annual census of homelessness.