Opening Doors: A Movement to End Homelessness in Fairfield County
Despite the bleak reporting, there is rising optimism that homelessness can, in fact, end in our communities. Ending homelessness is a complex endeavor as social factors such as mental illness, poverty, abandonment, PTSD, disability and underemployment contribute to homelessness. Opening Doors of Fairfield County (ODFC) brings together 150 stakeholders representing foundations, nonprofit service providers, housing developers, government entities, businesses and the clergy. And it involves those who are currently homeless and who were once homeless. The effort focuses on coastal Fairfield County—including Stamford/Greenwich, Greater Norwalk and Greater Bridgeport—where homelessness is most severe.
Opening Doors of Fairfield County (ODFC) was created through the merger of three distinct Continua of Care (CoC): Opening Doors Stamford/Greenwich, Opening Doors Greater Norwalk and Opening Doors Greater Bridgeport. The merger represents the committed efforts of civic, religious, political, business and non-profit leaders throughout Fairfield County.. The ODFC region includes Brookfield, Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, Newtown, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Norwalk Redding, Ridgefield, Sherman, Trumbull, Stamford, Stratford, Weston, Wilton and Westport.
Opening Doors of Fairfield County Strategies
Five major strategies have been identified:
Increase leadership, collaboration and civic engagement, with a focus on providing and promoting collaborative leadership at all levels of government and across all sectors, and strengthen the capacity of public and private organizations by increasing knowledge about collaboration and successful interventions to prevent and end homelessness.
Increase access to stable and affordable housing by providing affordable housing and permanent supportive housing
Increase economic security by expanding opportunities for meaningful and sustainable employment and improving access to mainstream programs and services to reduce financial vulnerability to homelessness
Improve health and stability by linking health care with homeless assistance programs and housing, advancing stability for youth aging out of systems such as foster care and juvenile justice, and improving discharge planning for people who have frequent contact with hospitals and criminal justice systems
Retool the homeless response system by transforming homeless services to crisis response systems that prevent homelessness and rapidly return people who experience homelessness to stable housing.
Opening Doors of Fairfield County (CT-503) 2015 Releases New Funding for PSH and RRH
ODFC - CT 503 Submission for the 2015 HUD-NOFA complete: November 19, 2015