Monthly Archive for: ‘January, 2015’
On December 3rd sixty members of the Greater Hartford community assembled at the Lumsden Center of CRT to begin planning for Greater Hartford’s 100-Day Rapid Results Campaign. This stakeholders meeting was a productive and powerful show of solidarity for a campaign that will depend on strong partnerships and innovative solutions to succeed. Led by Journey Home Executive Director Matt Morgan and co-facilitated by Nadim Matta of Rapid Results Institute, the conversation focused on collective problem solving and team building. “We will be looking for team members who are passionate about ending homelessness,” Matt Morgan said, “who are involved in direct service delivery while having sufficient status and credibility in their organization to influence the way things are done.”
In two short hours, representatives from a broad spectrum of state and federal agencies as well as housing, shelter and medical care providers identified the most prominent barriers to housing Greater Hartford’s chronically homeless. Areas of focus included: increasing the percentage of housing resources for the chronic/vulnerable population, preparing data systems to track progress and decreasing the number of requirements preventing clients from accessing housing. Task forces were established to tackle each of these areas, and begin preparing deliverable goals for the 100-Day kick-off in March. This productive session made it clear that there is a collective will to innovate and address what is not working for the homeless community. After the recent success of New Haven’s 100-Day Campaign, with 171 formerly homeless individuals housed, Journey Home and our partners are excited to see what can be achieved for Greater Hartford.
Nine of Hartford’s residents who are experiencing homelessness now have an opportunity to start a new career. Homelessness is a problem that impacts thousands of Hartford residents every year. The root of homelessness varies from person to person, but a common barrier to gaining housing is the inability to find and sustain long-term employment. Belcan Corporation and Journey Home have partnered, along with a number of local homeless service providers, to create and provide employment opportunities.
The Aerospace Employment Placement Program will end in career-track jobs for some of Hartford’s most disenfranchised residents. Belcan Corporation’s Windsor Locks location which primarily services companies in Connecticut provides a skilled workforce to their aerospace customers. “This program is in line with our mission statement to combine the resources of the company and the energy of our employees to be a positive force in the communities where we live and do business,” says Steve Houghtaling, Belcan General Manager. “We believe this program will help us meet our growing need for low to mid-level skilled employees.”
In July of 2014, Journey Home was awarded a Community Development Block Grant to execute the Aerospace Employment Placement Program (AEPP). The AEPP is a social enterprise program focused on creating and sustaining employment for Hartford’s underserved population. Journey Home has used this grant to select candidates from Community Renewal Team’s Hartford Veterans Reintegration Program, as well as programs at The Open Hearth Association, and at the Salvation Army Marshall House. All candidates are currently living in a homeless shelter, transitional housing program or a Rapid Re-housing Program and all candidates have experienced homelessness in Hartford. These candidates have all successfully completed classes at Goodwin College this past December, and will now have on-site training at Belcan, and begin their job positions within the next few months. Goodwin’s blossoming manufacturing program instructed the students in basic manufacturing as well as supply-chain logistics- two subject areas essential to the students’ success at Belcan. This program stands out because all program participants will be offered employment at Belcan Corporation upon successful completion of the program. More importantly it could be a springboard to a new career. “We are helping people who are homeless make the leap out of poverty that is necessary to truly prevent them from being at risk of experiencing homelessness again” says Matt Morgan, Executive Director at Journey Home.
A second class of students, this one with a majority of participants who are veterans of the United States military, and all of whom have experienced homelessness in Greater Hartford will be starting classes at Goodwin this January. For further information on Journey Home’s employment initiatives, contact Roy Mainelli, Economic Security Manager, at Roy.Mainelli@JourneyHomeCT.org. “This program/activity is funded in part with Community Development Block Grant funds allocated to Journey Home Inc, by the City of Hartford.” Belcan is a global supplier of engineering and technical services to a wide variety of industries. Our services include product design and analysis, embedded systems controls, and manufacturing & product support.
Thanks to the Hartford Business Journal for this great write-up !
In accordance with federal regulations, regions all across Connecticut have been working collaboratively over the past year to develop and implement a system that can provide wraparound services to all individual and households experiencing homelessness. Each of these regions is referred to as a Coordinated Access Network (CAN). The Greater Hartford Coordinated Access Network, made up of over 100 leaders from local organizations that work with the issue of homelessness, has been meeting weekly since May to operationalize this new wraparound system. On November 17th, 2014, this new Greater Hartford CAN system officially went live. The structure of the system focuses on a single “front door” for access to housing services. Currently, any individual or household facing a housing crisis will be directed to call 2-1-1, where they will speak with a housing specialist to assess their needs. If they are not in need of immediate services, they will have an appointment scheduled with one of the homeless services case managers in the region to discuss their situation and determine the best options available to meet their needs. If the household is in need of immediate shelter, 2-1-1 will communicate with regional shelters to locate an available shelter bed(s). The main goals of this coordinated entry system are to ensure that all households receive equal treatment when experiencing a housing crisis, to guarantee client-focused services are delivered that align the most relevant services to each individual circumstance, and to facilitate the ability to capture meaningful data from the first moment a household experiences a housing crisis and extending until they are once again stably housed.
On Friday, November 14th, over 120 college students, and members of faith groups from all over Greater Hartford joined together at Journey Home’s 2nd annual Cardboard City Sleep Out to learn about and raise awareness for the issue of homelessness. With the help of community partners Foodshare, the Faces of Homelessness Speaker’s Bureau, Goodwin College’s MOVE/WISE program, Hartford Food System’s Grow Hartford youth program, Hall High School’s Global Problem Solving class, and First Congregational Church of Vernon, participants were able to hear first-hand from people who have experienced homelessness, watch a documentary about homelessness within Hartford, and hear from local experts on issues of food insecurity and justice. Participants then headed outside to spend a very chilly night sleeping in cardboard boxes on the University of Hartford Student Union lawn. With temperatures staying below freezing on one of the coldest evenings of the season so far, students got a very tangible taste of just a few of the discomforts that so many of our neighbors who do not have a home to go to each night are forced to face.
As a kickoff to National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week—held each year the week before Thanksgiving—the event was a great way to address an issue that is so often overlooked, or defined by socially accepted stereotypes. The night’s activities enabled participants to recognize and express gratitude for the gifts that they have in life, while also encouraging empathy for those who are less fortunate. Participants challenged assumptions and invited change by taking a stand, signing letters to their government representatives, and committing to getting involved by volunteering at soup kitchens, shelters, food pantries, as well as for the upcoming Greater Hartford 100 Day Rapid Results Campaign.
You can watch a short video made by participating students here!
On Wednesday, November 5th over 300 people came together at the Bond Ballroom in Downtown Hartford to honor William H. Farley. Bill Farley has devoted the last 53 years working to help so many people, especially those most in need. As founder of Journey Home, he has selflessly applied himself to helping all people in Hartford to have a real place they can call home. Throughout his distinguished career, Bill Farley has held leadership roles in many organizations serving the Hartford area, including PAL (Police Athletic League), University of Hartford, University of St. Joseph, Watkinson School, St. Elizabeth House, House of Bread, Greater Hartford Prayer Breakfast, Hartford Seminary, St. Mary’s Church in Simsbury, and the Town of Simsbury. Bill built the Farley Company — now part of CBRE New England — into the largest commercial real estate firm in Connecticut. And for the past eight years, he has committed himself to ending homelessness by founding and guiding the development of Journey Home. Journey Home could not be more grateful for Bill’s tireless efforts and shared commitment to our mission, and we are overwhelmed by the support shown by the Greater Hartford community in thanking him for his work, and ensuring its continuation with the help of so many generous financial contributions to Journey Home. We would like to extend a heartfelt message of gratitude to all of our sponsors, donors, and attendees.