Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness Receives Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant
Day 1 Families Fund grants $98.5 million to 32 nonprofits assisting families experiencing homelessness

HARTFORD, Conn. – (November 21, 2019): The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, a statewide leader in ending homelessness, today announced that it has been selected to receive a $2.5 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund. The grant will allow CCEH to fill key gaps in the state’s response to homelessness for families and working to end homelessness for families with children in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and its members have been working to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring for families, youth and individuals by implementing a coordinated statewide homelessness response system that has reduced homelessness by 32% since 2007. The Coalition spearheaded the development of shelter diversion — an intervention that assists households on the verge of homelessness — and also launched the be homeful project, a campaign that raises flexible financial assistance as part of shelter diversion. Since 2015, be homeful has helped more than 1,000 children from having to enter shelter and has supported a larger state-wide effort to prevent family homelessness.

“We are on track to end homelessness in our state and view this grant as the jumpstart we need to build a comprehensive approach to making sure that no child in Connecticut has to experience homelessness,” said Richard Cho, Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. “The Day 1 Families Fund will also provide much-needed emergency assistance to help families who have just fallen into, or are on the verge of, homelessness, and to make sure that families who do enter the shelter system can return to stable housing as quickly as possible.”

This one-time grant, awarded to organizations moving the needle on family homelessness, will allow the Coalition to increase and sustain flexible financial assistance linked to shelter diversion and rapid exit programs, while strengthening the state’s regional homeless networks, known as Coordinated Access Networks. CCEH also seeks to leverage the grant by enlisting other partners, sectors and funders across the state to collaborate and contribute resources towards a coordinated push to end family and child homelessness.

Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness is one of 32 nonprofits across the U.S. to receive the second annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, as part of a broad investment by the Day 1 Families Fund to help solve family homelessness. The Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $98.5 million in grants this year. The fund worked with an advisory board of homelessness advocates and experts who identified and invited organizations to submit grant proposals to support their efforts to address homelessness. This year, the grant recipients from around the country include: Bethany House Services, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, Catholic Social Services Alaska, Coburn Place, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, Covenant House, Family Gateway, FamilyAid Boston, ForKids, Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, HOPE Services Hawaii, HopeWorks, Interim Community Development Association, Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, Mary’s Place Seattle, MIFA, Our Family Services, Pathways of Hope, St. Joseph Center, St. Joseph’s Villa, St. Stephen’s Human Services, St. Vincent de Paul, The Road Home, The Road Home Dane County, The Whole Child, UNITY Of Greater New Orleans, Upward Bound House, Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, and YWCA Columbus.

“This grant will be a game-changer for Connecticut,” said David Rich, Executive Director of Supportive Housing Works, the lead agency within the Fairfield County Coordinated Access Network. “Emergency funds are an essential component of our system, and we are thrilled that Day One Fund has made this remarkable commitment.”
The Bezos Day One Fund was launched in 2018 with a commitment of $2 billion and a focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit

About Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness
The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness represents more than 100 members throughout the state — emergency shelter providers, transitional housing providers, community and business leaders, and strategic partners — who share the goal of ending homelessness. Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness advances this goal through leadership, community organizing, advocacy, research and education.