Connecticut has made great strides in addressing chronic homelessness using a community impact model. Alpha Community Services YMCA (ACS Y) partnered with other community agencies to create a Coordinated Access Network, the CAN. Individuals and families dial 211 to initiate service and are quickly scheduled for an assessment with a CAN Navigator. ACS Y ‘s Family Navigator meets with hundreds of individuals and families each year, learning about them, referring them to appropriate community resources, and assessing their housing needs. In some cases, with the right assistance, perhaps a security deposit, clients can obtain their own housing. In other cases, they may be referred to temporary shelters, like the ACS Y family emergency shelter’s two locations on Brooks Street and Clinton Avenue in Bridgeport. Our shelters aren’t just a place to sleep! They are safe, clean places where families can live and eat together, do laundry and homework, and get the tools they need to get back on their own, stronger than before.
The Families-In-Transition program operates the largest emergency shelter for families in Connecticut. Clients live in this facility for sixty to ninety days. ACS Y Case Managers provide on-site social services and House Managers provide 24-hour supervision.
The Clinton Avenue Shelter is comprised of two three-story buildings with six apartments in each building that serve as emergency housing for families. The Emergency Shelter is located on the West End of Bridgeport, the second site for the Families-In-Transition program. The shelter provides the opportunity for twelve homeless families to live in an apartment setting with their entire family for sixty to ninety days. ACS Y provides a Case Manager who conducts shelter home visits and has an office at 387 Clinton Avenue.