NEW HAVEN, Conn — Homelessness is an issue that is hitting the doorsteps of many people, and the Greater New Haven Coordinated Access Network (CAN) aims to efficiently help those facing it.
The network offers individuals and families from around the Greater New Haven area a streamlined and standardized process for accessing assistance. It's a network within the United Way of Greater New Haven.
“Prior to coordinated access in 2015, clients had to navigate services all on their own. They would have to go to each organization, each shelter, each housing provider and add their name to a waiting list to be able to get one of those services. With coordinated access that is done for them,” said Margaret LeFever, Senior Coordinated Access Network Manager at United Way of Greater New Haven.
LeFever said they have more than 120 people that are experiencing homelessness who are connected to a housing resource and are not able to find a rental unit that they can afford.
“We have seen homelessness double in Greater New Haven since the start of the pandemic,” said LeFever.
Finding a solution to curb these numbers isn’t easy, but CAN is one way the United Way of Greater New Haven is solving the ongoing issue.
“They have to go to one place, have a CAN appointment conducted and then from there they are referred to the resources that they need in order to end their homelessness,” said LeFever.
This network helps places like Columbus House, a shelter for women, men, Veterans, and families.
“Now that we have coordinated access, people call 211 and they go through our triage system and that way we are able to connect people really efficiently,” said Margaret Middleton, CEO of Columbus House.
This efficiency is helping those in need of a place to lay their heads at night.
“We connect the people who are in need of the shelter with the shelter beds without having to have that person literally travel around until they find an open bed,” said Middleton.
DeAndria Turner is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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