Norwalk shelter: Number of homeless families has grown

A shelter in Norwalk said Tuesday that the number of homeless families who need their services has grown.

The news comes nearly two weeks after Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that a lot had been done to decrease chronic homelessness throughout the state and touted that Connecticut led the nation in ending veteran homelessness.

Jeannette-Archer-Simons, the executive director at the Open Door Shelter on Merritt Street, says that despite some progress to end homelessness, their accommodation for homeless families is almost always full. She says this is because family homelessness is a bit more complicated to tackle.

Archer-Simons says she has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of families they have served over the past year. A woman who lived there for a year with her two children said she was surprised by the number of families there.

Malloy has touted that the state is leading the nation in ending veteran and chronic homelessness.

Archer-Simons says there are about 80 to 90 families in Fairfield County that are on the waiting list to get into a shelter. She says getting those numbers down would require a systematic approach that could begin with affordable housing.

A spokesperson from the state Department of Housing says now that they have addressed chronic and veteran homelessness, they can direct their resources to end family and youth homelessness. They are hoping to end it by 2020.

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