27 Connecticut funders band together to end family homelessness

An innovative, collaborative effort to end family homelessness in Connecticut, Secure Jobs Connecticut, is set to begin across the state this month. The Melville Charitable Trust, along with more than two dozen funders are awarding $500,000 in grants, with an additional $200,000 from the Connecticut Department of Housing, to help formerly homeless families obtain and maintain employment. The Trust provided a match for every philanthropic dollar local partners collected, up to $50,000 per region.

The grants, made as part of the Secure Jobs Connecticut two-year pilot initiative, represent state-of-the-art policies set forth to end homelessness by connecting homeless families to housing and to education, training, and support programs that are designed to increase family income through stable, competitive employment. The initiative is projected to help 150 families in the Southwest, South Central, Southeast, Northwest and North Central regions of Connecticut (Please see attached Fact Sheet for a list of funders and supporting agencies per region).

“Secure Jobs Connecticut will draw new attention within the workforce system to the needs of parents who are eager to secure full-time employment, but who face multiple barriers. It is our hope that the results of this program will inform much-needed adjustments in employment and housing programs to better serve homeless job seekers in the future,” said Janice Elliott, Executive Director of the Melville Charitable Trust. “The level of commitment and collaboration from our fellow Connecticut funders has been tremendous and speaks to the strong philanthropic community in the state.”

“We’re pleased to be partnering with Melville Charitable Trust and our local funding partners to ensure that Fairfield County families facing homelessness have the opportunity not just to get back on their feet, but to thrive. “ said Nancy M. von Euler, Vice President of Programs at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

According to the Connecticut United Way, it costs $64,689 for a family of four in Connecticut to afford the essentials. This means that a family of four would require an hourly wage of $32.34 to afford the basics. But 51% of Connecticut jobs pay less than $20 per hour, leaving many families unable to meet monthly expenses and leaving them vulnerable to a host of problems, including homelessness.

Currently, state rapid re-housing programs help families quickly exit homeless shelters and return to stable housing by providing short-term rental assistance up to twelve months and case management support services. However, once families are placed into long-term housing, their stability is potentially at risk, given the high rental costs in Connecticut and the fact that most of the assisted families are headed by unemployed or underemployed single parents.

The Secure Jobs Connecticut initiative will enable families to make ends meet and avoid returning to homelessness by supplementing these rapid re-housing efforts with the opportunity for a steady income. This program will coordinate the efforts of providers and funders of housing, workforce and child care services. Additionally, regional grantees will be assisted by the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund and the Partnership for Strong Communities, which will work with the state’s housing, labor and service agencies to address policy barriers on a larger scale.

The Melville Charitable Trust

The Melville Charitable Trust is the largest foundation in the U.S. that is exclusively focused on ending homelessness. Since inception, the Trust has invested more than $120 million to alleviate homelessness by developing supportive housing and community solutions. Patient, strategic and consistent investment has provided the Trust with a broad view of the field and a growing confidence in what approaches work; melvilletrust.org.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards, and has awarded over $185 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit FCCFoundation.org.

FACT SHEET

Secure Jobs CT: Regional grantees and funding partners

Southwest Region

Grantee: Career Resources

Total Funding Award: $100,000

Collaborating Foundations (7):

Melville Charitable Trust – $50,000

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation – $19,000

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County – $15,000

Greenwich United Way – $5,000

United Way of Western Connecticut – $5,000

New Canaan Community Foundation – $3,000

Community Fund of Darien – $3,000

South Central Region

Grantee: New Reach

Total Funding Award: $100,000

Collaborating Foundations (3):

Melville Charitable Trust – $50,000

United Way of Greater New Haven – $50,000

Community Foundation for Greater New Haven – $5,000

South East Region

Grantee: Thames Valley Council for Community Action TVCCA)

Total Funding Award: $70,000

Collaborating Foundations (6):

Melville Charitable Trust – $35,000

Liberty Bank Foundation – $12,500

Community Foundation of Eastern CT – $10,000

Dime Bank Foundation – $5,000

Dominion – $2,500

Edward and Mary Lord Foundation – $5,000

North Central Region

Grantee: Capital Workforce Partners

Total Funding Award: $100,000

Collaborating Foundations (3):

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving – $85,000

Melville Charitable Trust – $7,500

American Savings Foundation – $7,500

North West Region

Grantees: New Opportunities, Inc.

Total Funding Award: $109,500

Collaborating Foundations (14):

Melville Charitable Trust – $50,000

United Way of Greater Waterbury – $10,000

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation – $6,000

Leever Foundation – $2,500

Connecticut Community Foundation – $10,000

Webster Bank – $5,000

American Savings Foundation – $5,000

Bank of America – $10,000

Ion Bank – $5,000

Community Foundation of Northwest CT – $1,500

Thomaston Savings Bank – $1,500

Litchfield Bancorp – $750

Torrington Savings Bank – $1,500

Northwest Community Bank – $750

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