Stamford service group to address local homelessness

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STAMFORD -

A Stamford service group is joining forces with other groups to try and break the cycle of homelessness.

The plan was all set in motion when the MTA informed the group Inspirica about the number of homeless people at Stamford's train station, and they have since joined forces to create a change.

MTA officials say up to 30 people can be found sleeping at the popular station on any given night.

Inspirica officials say that the reason can stem from several issues including a high cost of living and low wages.

"The Stamford/Norwalk metropolitan area is now the fifth most expensive housing market in the nation," says Inspirica's Jason Shaplen. "The cost of living has soared, but wages have not. They've remained stagnant, even declined. Connecticut is now the only state in the nation that hasn't yet recovered the jobs we lost in the recession."

The MTA says they contract with the Bowery Residents' Committee, or BRC, which provides people with resources to get back on their feet. BRC met with Inspirica to come up with ways to address the issue of homelessness.

Shaplen says the group is focusing on proactive changes, such as reducing the amount of time people spend in shelters by helping them get full-time jobs and placing them in affordable housing that his group is opening.

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