March 3, 2016, was the Homeless and Housing Advocacy Day for the Greater Hartford Coordinated Access Network (GH-CAN). We had about 17 legislators and legislative aids come listen to the personal stories, pertinent facts, and important information regarding the legislative priorities put forth by the Opening Doors Campaign from the Partnership for Strong Communities. These legislative priorities consisted of creating 150 units of permanent supportive housing, expanding rapid re-housing, supporting coordinated access to homeless resources, providing immediate assistance for homeless youth in crisis, developing a Medicaid option for supportive housing services, and expanding access to childcare for homeless children.
With the priorities mentioned, we were able to focus our presentation for the legislative officials on those six topics. We showed the importance and need for their support to help this extremely vulnerable population. We emphasized that with legislative assistance, we can directly help and make a positive impact on the lives of so many people. Advocacy Day is a way to show the faces of those impacted and a way to use the power we have to make a difference. No matter what happens with their vote to move these legislative priorities forward or backward, we helped to further explain the need to help this community. We came out to advocate for more housing and support service resources to ensure all Connecticut residents have a safe place to call home.