homelessness

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

In August, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced that the state had effectively ended chronic homelessness among Connecticut veterans. 

Through an initiative known as Zero: 2016, the state is aiming to end all chronic homelessness – the most persistent kind -- by the end of this year

Homelessness is hard enough, but being a young adult and homeless brings its own set of challenges. No longer eligible for family shelters, 18- to 24-year-olds can be targets of theft and assault by older homeless adults, experts say. In Boston, a new homeless shelter just opened — for young adults only.

The night before the shelter opens, there is a celebratory dinner in the basement of the First Parish church in Harvard Square. The space has been through a $1.3 million renovation, with funds coming from foundations, grants and donations.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Earlier this month, the Partnership for Strong Communities released its annual report on housing access and affordability in Connecticut. This hour, we find out what it tells us about local housing conditions -- including efforts to end homelessness and increase affordable housing supply across the state. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When eleven people – eight adults and three children – moved into a mansion in Hartford’s West End, neighbors cried foul.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

There's a bill in Congress that could expand a unique legal-medical partnership in Connecticut to the rest of the country. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Standing in Hartford’s downtown library, Salvatore Pinna was over the moon. He met a woman. Life could not be sweeter.

The last time we checked on Pinna, he’d just moved into a Hartford apartment after some 20 years on the street – some of that time, literally on the street. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Violet Thomas came out as a transgender woman three months before high school graduation in 2013. She found some respite in her guidance counselor’s office, but things went from bad to worse at home.

So Thomas left, and began moving from couch to couch among friends. But she stayed nowhere very long.

Connecticut VA Healthcare System

The federal government has declared Connecticut the first state in the country to end chronic homelessness among veterans. 

This story is part of Only A Game’sTime Show” which examines how the passage of time influences sports.

 

When J.R. Richard was scheduled to pitch, batters sometimes came up with suddenly sore arms, headaches, or flu-like symptoms. At the peak of his career in the late ‘70’s, when the 6-foot-8 right-hander was striking out more than 300 batters a season with a fastball that exceeded 100 mph, the Houston Astros pitcher was among the most intimidating figures in baseball.

Eight months after homelessness hit a record in New York City, you can still see the need of the city's most vulnerable in Tompkins Square Park.

"Good morning! Two pieces?" asks Mario Cornejo, as he places slices of frosted banana bread on paper towels for a long line of hungry people.

"It used to be just a small pot before," explains Cornejo, a volunteer with a New York group called Food for Life since 2008. "Now it's a big pot and bigger salad containers, more trays of cake."

Jonathan Olson

Since March, advocates, activists, lawmakers, and service providers have been tirelessly working to advance the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Connecticut. Their efforts were part of statewide 100-Day Challenges led by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and Journey Home of Hartford. 

Connecticut Senate Democrats

One of the bills already signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy targets women who've served in the Armed Forces. The state Department of Veterans Affairs has been tasked with creating a program that reaches more than 16,000 women veterans living in Connecticut.

Susan Campbell

On April 23, after 20 years on the streets, Salvatore Pinna moved into a Hartford apartment. It was his first ever.

Pinna's is one of the success stories for Greater Hartford’s 100-day challenge to greatly reduce chronic homelessness.

GotCredit / Creative Commons

According to a 2014 report, more than 300,000 Connecticut households struggle to pay their energy bills. In fact, the average low-income household owes rougly $2,560 more in annual energy bills than it can actually afford.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Sean Connolly is the new Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. He's also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve who says he wants the state to do even more to serve all veterans.

Faced with a state rule that links funding to the admission of people who are actively using drugs or alcohol, a group that runs a homeless shelter in Manchester, Conn., is choosing to close the 40-bed facility. More than half of the shelter's budget reportedly comes from the state.

Sal Pinna Finally Finds a Home

Apr 16, 2015
Susan Campbell / WNPR

I didn’t think the story would end this way.

Sal Pinna has been homeless for 20 years, since he came to Connecticut from his native Long Island to enroll in a substance abuse program. 

Pinna is a 52-year-old man who loves the Mets, Batman, and Dean Martin. He wants a home, but the myriad forms and appointments that are required have proven to be beyond him. Pinna has diabetes, and he’s been diagnosed with depression, and a few years ago, bipolar disorder. 

Heather Brandon / WNPR

A Manchester social service agency will close its 40-bed homeless shelter July 1 rather than comply with a state order to admit homeless people who abuse alcohol and drugs. 

City of Stamford

Earlier this week, Connecticut DOT officials shut down a state-owned parking garage at the Stamford Transportation Center. A chunk of concrete fell from one of the parking decks to the deck below over the weekend. Fortunately, no one was injured.

The garage is almost 30 years old, and has been part of a redevelopment plan of the state’s for a very long time -- a plan that will probably involve replacing the parking garage. But for now, it’s closed for evaluation, and that’s thrown off about a thousand commuters who rely on the rails to get to work.

It points to a bigger question: what will the state do about developing around transit stations? Are we stuck planning primarily for cars? 

Office of Richard Blumenthal

A Vietnam veteran from New Haven has filed a lawsuit that seeks to force the government to quickly decide veterans' appeals for disability compensation. 

DVIDSHUB / Creative Commons

New patterns of extreme weather have insurance companies thinking more seriously about climate change. As storms intensify and damages increase, many are looking at new ways to predict losses from climate related risks. 

How Do You Get an ID When You Have No Home?

Apr 1, 2015
Susan Campbell / WNPR

It was a bitter cold Friday in March, and Sal Pinna was heading into the wind on Main Street in Hartford.

"Cold enough, but I don't feel a thing," Pinna said. "I guess I’m used to it."

Pinna, a Long Island native, has been homeless for 20 years in Connecticut, but he wants very much to get an apartment. He has in his backpack a xeroxed copy of his birth certificate – but that’s not good enough for official paperwork. Without proper identification, Pinna is stuck in shelters, or worse.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's working group that's examining how to improve the Connecticut Veterans Home has hired an architect.

The advisory group has met almost monthly since October to evaluate the programs and services given to veterans at the sprawling campus in Rocky Hill. 

Homelessness in Greater Hartford: Meet Sal Pinna

Feb 20, 2015
Susan Campbell / WNPR

Salvatore Pinna, 52, grew up on Long Island and came to Connecticut 20 years ago. In official parlance, Pinna is chronically homeless, which is how the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development describes someone who has been homeless for a year or more, or who has had at least four incidences of homelessness in three years, and has a disability. 

Pinna more than fits the description. He has effectively been homeless since he came to Connecticut in the '90s. Some of that time he spent living on the streets and sleeping under bridges. 

Chion Wolf

Salvatore Pinna moved to Connecticut 20 years ago. The 52-year-old has been living on the streets and under bridges since he moved here. He's one of many chronically homeless people in the state.

This hour, we meet Sal and hear the first of a series of stories about homelessness in Greater Hartford, where the 100-Day Challenge is about to begin, an initiative to try to to eliminate barriers and connect stakeholders -- to create a plan to end chronic homelessness -- in 100 days.

kidscounsel.org

Starting Wednesday, legal advocates will be driving around Hartford to connect with homeless youth. The Center for Children's Advocacy has purchased a van to create a mobile legal aid office.

D.C.'s new mayor Muriel E. Bowser surprised advocates for the homeless in the district when she filed an emergency motion late Thursday, hoping to end a mandatory demand to provide all homeless families a private room when temperatures drop below freezing.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Before this winter storm, the state activated its severe cold weather protocol. It’s an effort to make sure no resident is without shelter during a weather emergency.

Aundreá Murray / WNPR

State officials gathered at the capital city on Wednesday to announce a new initiative aimed at ending homelessness among veterans and the disabled within the next two years.

The mayor of Springfield is calling on the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to end a practice by the past administration of placing homeless families in congregate housing.

An angry Mayor Domenic Sarno said de-facto group homes for homeless families have been created in apartment buildings concentrated in a handful of city neighborhoods since last fall with city inspectors finding in some cases 3-4 families living in a single apartment.

" This is absolute BS," said Sarno at a city hall news conference.

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