Jobs and Financial Stability Crucial To Efforts To Address Homelessness 

Opening Doors, the Federal Plan to End Homelessness developed by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), includes five major themes necessary to successfully address homelessness.   The third major theme of the Federal plan is the need to “increase economic security.”  The plan indicates that this includes efforts to provide employment opportunities for people at risk of homelessness as well as to increase access to services intended to reduce people’s vulnerability to homelessness due to economic reasons.  USICH notes that while national efforts in recent years had brought about a decrease in chronic homelessness, the economic recession has resulted in a large increase in the number of individuals and families facing homelessness for the first time for financial reasons as the result of the loss of employment. 

Danbury Housing Partnership Chair Mark J. Nolan commented that this trend “is consistent with what we are seeing in the Danbury region.  While we have made great strides in implementing meaningful programs to address homelessness, the recent economic recession has changed the face of homelessness in the region.  Our most vulnerable populations remain under great stress, but now persons who never dreamed of being in that position are also staring the stark realities of homelessness in the face.”

Employment and housing are dual pillars of the Federal plan to address homelessness.  USICH states that the best defense against becoming homeless is a job that pays fair wages.  In an era of limited tax resources and decreases in donations to non-profit service providers, it is essential that all levels of government as well as private agencies work together to ensure the most effective utilization of available resources to help those who need help the most get back on their feet. 

Future Partnership news updates will address the final two major themes of the Federal plan.

For more information about the Danbury Housing Partnership, please call Chair Mark J. Nolan at 203-797-8255 or visit www.danburyhousingpartnership.org.

For more information about USICH and the Opening Doors plan please visit www.usich.gov.