DANBURY, Conn. -- State Rep. Dan Carter (R-2) wants to help fight homelessness in the state and is asking the public to help.
"We all know one person or another who is living paycheck to paycheck and literally a step from being forced onto the street. This happened to a woman I know and her 10-year-old daughter a few weeks ago. In my effort to assist her, I was shocked to learn how few resources are available to keep people in their homes when faced with difficult times," said Carter, who represents Bethel, Danbury, Newtown and Redding.
Carter said that the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness recently shared the results of its study that as of February 2015, more than 4,000 people in Connecticut were homeless – more than 200 of which were veterans, and about 3,000 under the age of 25. This is only a 9 percent decrease in homelessness from last year, and a 10 percent decrease since 2007 – a whopping 8 years ago.
"Homelessness affects the lives of men, women and children of all ages and ethnicities, particularly those who suffer from a terminal or mental illness, substance abuse or domestic violence. However, there are many more people who become homeless because they made just enough money to keep them from qualifying for help. One financial crisis snowballed into an overflow of financial problems for them, and as a result cost them a roof over their head," he added.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Connecticut has the 25th largest homeless population in its emergency and transitional shelters than any other state in the country. Carter said the state currently does not have sufficient temporary and transitional homes, shelters or services available to meet the high demands and needs of our communities.
Carter also said that he plans to fight for legislation that will make housing, education and healthcare more affordable to residents across Connecticut.
"I hope to see business-friendly bills that will create employment opportunities and provide new services to those in need. With increased support, we can achieve our goal of ending all chronic homelessness by 2016," he said.
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