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Housing issues affect everyone in Connecticut, from those who are searching for a safe place to live, to those who may find it increasingly difficult to afford a place they already call home.WNPR is covering Connecticut's housing and homelessness issues in a series that examines how residents are handling the challenges they face. We look at the trends that matter most right now, and tell stories that help bring the issues to light.

Homelessness At All-Time Low In Connecticut

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. In August the federal government declared Connecticut the first state to end chronic homelessness among veterans.
Dave Collins
/
AP
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. In August the federal government declared Connecticut the first state to end chronic homelessness among veterans.
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. In August the federal government declared Connecticut the first state to end chronic homelessness among veterans.
Credit Dave Collins / AP
/
AP
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. In August the federal government declared Connecticut the first state to end chronic homelessness among veterans.

A new report by the Connecticut Coalition To End Homelessness says homelessness in the state is at an all-time low, with fewer than 4,000 homeless people in Connecticut since counts started in 2007.

Every year the Coalition does what’s called a point-in-time count, where they count all homeless people in the state on a given night. That includes people in shelters, and on the streets. This year they found about 3,900 homeless people on one night in January. 

That’s a 13 percent drop.

Lisa Tepper-Bates is the Coalition’s executive director. She says homeless providers like her group and other social service organizations are working together with state and federal agencies like never before.

“Seeing these numbers tells me that those tremendous efforts of those providers across the state are having the desired effect. So we’re saving lives and it’s working.”

The report also found a 20 percent drop in the number of chronically homeless people. Those are people with disabilities who have been homeless for at least one year, or four times in the past three years.

In February Connecticut became the second state, after Virginia, to effectively end veteran homelessness by providing all veterans with access to housing. Governor Dannel Malloy says the state is trying to eliminate chronic homelessness by the end of the year. 

Copyright 2016 WSHU

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He fell in love with sound-rich radio storytelling while working as an assistant reporter at KBIA public radio in Columbia, Missouri. Before coming back to radio, he worked in digital journalism as the editor of Newtown Patch. As a freelance reporter, his work for WSHU aired nationally on NPR. Davis is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism; he started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.

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