Connecticut’s homeless shelters urge lawmakers to extend COVID-19 emergency
Homeless shelters implored lawmakers during a Housing Committee meeting Tuesday to extend Gov. Ned Lamont's COVID-19 emergency in the state.
The shelters need hotel rooms to house the homeless, but without an emergency declaration, the federal government won't pay for rooms.
News 12’s John Craven was at Open Doors Shelter in Norwalk, where – like other shelters across the state – the pandemic limited the availability of space to take people in.
MORE: Stop the Spread
“Only one person will sleep where four people used to sleep,” says Michele Conderino, the director at Open Doors. It can now house only 15 men.
Shelters are also worried about a wave of evictions. The state is helping on that front. So far, it has given out $81 million in federal rental help to more than 10,000 families.
But at Open Doors, they know that's not enough to overcome a historically tight housing market.
"It's very challenging to be looking at what we could be doing but are not able to do," says Conderino.
Homeless shelters are also struggling with testing residents for COVID-19 and getting enough workers to run the facilities.