100 Day Challenge works to end youth homelessness in Bristol region

Published on Sunday, 16 June 2019 20:35


BRISTOL - The City of Bristol will be participating the 100 Day Challenge, sponsored by the Central Coordinated Access Network.

The project is a regional initiative to find housing for homeless youth and young adults in the communities of Bristol, New Britain, Plainville, Berlin and Southington.

Coordinated Access Networks are organized by service providers working with the homeless to coordinate efforts to streamline and standardize access to assistance, according to the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

“The last statewide youth count was in 2018 and found that there were 5,054 unaccompanied youth who were homeless or unstably housed in Connecticut,” said Annemarie Sundgren, Bristol’s Community Services coordinator.

“With a statewide goal of ending youth homelessness in the state by 2020, CCAN and the all of the participants in this year’s 100 Day Challenge hope they can help achieve this goal for our local communities,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu.

“In addition to Annemarie Sundgren, we also have represented on the regional committee Pat Stebbins from Brian’s Angels, Agape House, the Board of Education, and Stanley Cardona, a formerly homeless youth who was recently named the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year,” she said.

“People should know that the U.S. Congress is funneling millions of dollars into Connecticut and other states to end homelessness. The mission to make any instances of homelessness brief and ensure that they don’t occur again,” said Councilman Scott Rosado, who serves as liaison to the city’s Youth Commission.

The 100 Day Challenge is backed by the Partnership for Strong Communities, a statewide nonprofit policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ending homelessness, expanding affordable housing, and building strong communities in Connecticut.

According to PSC, the 100 Day Challenge is led by “a broad-based coalition of advocates, providers, state agencies, and young adults.” There are eight 100 Day Challenges happening across the state with the aim of housing youth and young adults experiencing chronic homelessness. The efforts are funded by “a wide array of local philanthropies.”

Through the challenge, CCAN hopes to “safely and stably house 40 unaccompanied youth and young adults between the ages of 16-24, 80% of whom will be actively engaged with one or more of the following supportive services: health, education, employment, and state/local government resources.”

According to PSC, the challenges “are designed to empower and support communities in pursuit” of addressing youth homelessness through the use of a high visibility promotional campaign and support from local coaches, peers and stakeholders.

Led by the Melville Charitable Trust, philanthropic support for the 100 Day Challenges is coming from funders across Connecticut, including: American Savings Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, Connecticut Community Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, Fairfield Community Foundation, Farmington Bank Community Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Ion Bank Foundation, Liberty Bank Foundation, Main Street Community Foundation, Manchester Interfaith Social Action Committee, Melville Charitable Trust, Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, United Way of Greater New Haven, United Way Greater Waterbury, United Way Northwest, United Way of West Central Connecticut, and Webster Bank.

CCAN encourages residents, youth, and anyone needing its services to call 860-826-3366.

Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or scorica@bristolpress.com.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Sunday, 16 June 2019 20:35. Updated: Sunday, 16 June 2019 20:37.