Five Local Funders Join Efforts to Help End Youth Homelessness

A broad spectrum of local grantmakers joined together to announce their commitments to the Statewide 100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness. The first of its kind in the nation, the effort brings together funders, nonprofit providers, state agencies, and young adults, to develop creative solutions to provide housing and improve services for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness throughout Connecticut.

funders contributing to the 100-Day Challenge for the Central Connecticut Coordinated Access Network (CAN) are: American Savings Foundation, Farmington Bank Community Foundation, Main Street Community Foundation, United Way of West Central Connecticut, and \ United Way of New Britain and Berlin. The Central CT CAN serves New Britain, Bristol, Plainville, Southington and Berlin.

100-Day Challenges are an innovative way to jump-start Connecticut’s efforts to end homelessness among youth and young adults,” said Kiley Gosselin, executive director of the Partnership for Strong Communities, a statewide nonprofit which staffs and manages the Reaching Home Campaign to end homelessness in Connecticut. “We are excited to see such a diverse coalition of funders coming together to support this effort to end youth homelessness in Connecticut.”

The Central CT CAN has set an ambitious mission statement and goal for the collaborative effort – “In 100 days, we will safely and stably house 40 unaccompanied youth ad young adults between the ages of 16 to 24… 80% of whom will be actively engaged with one or more of the following supportive services: health, education, employment, and state/local government resources.” Equally important, the Challenge will build connections between existing youth services providers, and provide learning opportunities for all involved.

Youth and young adults that would like to connect with the 100-Day Challenge should contact Youth Navigator Victoria Osborn at (860) 827-3366.

Additional Detail on the Statewide 100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness:
In 2018, the statewide Youth Count found that there were 5,054 unaccompanied youth who were homeless or unstably housed in Connecticut. The state of Connecticut has set the goal of ending homelessness among youth and young adults by the end of 2020 - with the ambitious plans outlined in the state’s Opening Doors for Youth 2.0 Plan. The 100-Day Challenge provides a means to galvanize action to achieve this goal.

100-Day Challenges are designed to empower and support communities in pursuit of an ambitious goal. The compressed timeframe of 100 days, high visibility, and support from coaches, peers and stakeholders all work together to inspire teams to collaborate, innovate and experiment to achieve rapid progress and sustainable system change. This methodology was pioneered by Rapid Results Institute (RRI) and has been used by communities and governments around the world to tackle complex social issues. In almost every case, results are achieved at levels that far exceed normal performance levels. For example, in 2017, a 100-Day Challenge team in Hennepin County, Minnesota set a goal to ensure that 150 youth age 16-24 exited homelessness into safe and stable housing, and 75% of them would be employed. 100 days later, 236 youth were in safe and stable housing and 57% were employed.

has been an outpouring of philanthropic support for the 100-Day Challenges from funders across Connecticut. This collaborative funding effort has included supporting stipends for young adults with lived experience to be full members of local 100-Day Challenge teams. Federal and statewide funders include the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dalio Philanthropies, Webster Bank and the Melville Charitable Trust.

“It is critical that all young people in Connecticut have safe, stable places to live and opportunities to reach their full potential,” Aimee Hendrigan, Vice President of Programs at the Melville Charitable Trust said. “We are pleased to support this innovative effort that prioritizes the voices of youth with lived experience of homelessness.”

Updates on the 100-Day Challenges can be found at www.pschousing.org/youth-100-day-challenge. Those interested can also follow the Challenge using #EndYouthHomelessness and #Changein100Days on social media. Please be on the lookout for information on the wrap-up event for the 100-Day Challenges, which will occur in mid-August.