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Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on

Homeless Services
DRAFT

REVISED August 31, 2020


Background
Outline
Connecticut began seeing a community spread of COVID-19 in early March 2020, and
has been experiencing a growing number of confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and
fatalities since.

In addition to its impact on the state’s general population, businesses, government


functions, and non-profit services, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant
impacts among Connecticut’s homeless population and homeless services. Namely, in
order to avoid potential outbreaks within homeless shelters, Governor Lamont
authorized the decompression of congregate homeless shelters through relocation of
residents into hotels.

This chartbook presents available data to indicate how the COVID-19 pandemic
appears to have impacted homeless populations and homeless services.
Connecticut’s Homeless Response System
Outline
CAN System Overview
A high -level diagram of the coordinated access process from entry to exit

Diverted from Homelessness Rapid Exit/Self -Resolved

Household Rapid Re -
in Need of
Housing
Assistance
Prioritized for
CALL
Shelter

2-1-1
CAN Housing
Assessment By-
Solutions
Name
Meetings in
Staying in Shelter List
OUTREACH
each CAN

Outreach plays the critical role of ensuring


those outdoors or unlikely to use the 2 -1-1 Permanent
process are put on the By-Name List Supportive
Housing

Conduct VI -SPDAT when/if appropriate,


which adds client to By -Name List
Coordinated Access Network Regions
Outline
Homeless services in Connecticut are
organized into seven regional networks,
known as ‘Coordinated Access Networks’ or
‘CANs.’

CANs receive referrals for homeless


assistance from 211.

Within each CAN region, homeless services


providers coordinate to divert households
from shelter, manage access to shelter,
conduct homeless outreach, and match
homeless households to housing program
vacancies.

Data on CAN performance is available at


https://cceh.org/data/interactive/ and
https://ctcandata.org/.
211 Requests for Housing and Homeless Services –
October 2018 to July 2020
Outline
Calls to the state’s 211 Infoline for housing and homeless services provides one measure of general demand for
homeless assistance.

Current data shows that the number of 211 calls and web-requests related to housing and homeless services
were rising prior to the pandemic, and also are higher with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

30000

25000
22821

20000 18389 18427


1746317598
15525 1640017198 16098 15817
14679
15000
12008 1139811857
9969 9056 9372
10000 8455 8813
7317 6913 6499
5000

0
Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19 Apr-19 May-19 Jun-19 Jul-19 Aug-19 Sep-19 Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20
Shelters Low-Cost Housing Rent Assistance Mortgage Assistance Other

Source: ct211counts.org
211 Referrals to Coordinated Access Networks
October 2018 to July 2020
Outline
Another measure of the demand for homeless
services are the referrals made by 211 to the 3500
regional homeless services networks
(Coordinated Access Networks). 211 schedules 3000 2775 2879
2772
CAN appointments for people whose housing
2475 2494
needs could not be resolved by 211. Typically 2500 2384 2348 2383
2418 2383 2370
2291
2205 2194 2190
only half of scheduled appointments are actually 2003
2078 2084 2093 2138
1982 1931
attended. 2000
1695
16031547 1543
1472 14401387
The number of scheduled CAN appointments in1500 12541292 1212
12891357 1346 13231390
1161 1181 1162
July 2020 decreased by 26% when compared to 1113
959 949 997
July 2019 due to a significant drop in May 20201000

A high proportion of attended appointments is 500


still being maintained with 6% increase in July
2020 when compared to July 2019, this is still 0
likely the result of the shift toward holding
Scheduled Attended
telephonic CAN appointments.
Source: CT HMIS
211 Referrals to Coordinated Access Networks
October 2018 to July 2020
Outline
One of the ways that Coordinated 800

Access Networks help reduce rates of 700 677


658 657 663
homelessness is through an 625
602
intervention known as shelter 600
561 572 582
559
575 567
544
diversion, in which households referred
485
by 211 are assisted to retain housing or 500
444
463
447

secure new housing through problem- 400


397 408

solving counseling and flexible financial 335


355

301
assistance. 300

The number of shelter diversions 200

though appears to have increased 100


significantly since the pandemic is
marginally higher in July 2020 when 0

Mar-19…
compared to July 2019, even with
Dec-18

Dec-19
Feb-19
Jan-19

Jun-19

Aug-19

Sep-19

Feb-20
Jan-20

Jun-20
Jul-19

Jul-20
Apr-19

Apr-20
Oct-18

Nov-18

Oct-19

Nov-19
May-19

Mar-20

May-20
increased efforts to reduce new entries Diversions

into congregate shelters. Source: CT HMIS


Use of Connecticut’s Homeless Shelters – Who are Physically in Shelters?
Outline
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the use of homeless shelters in Connecticut, which is the direct related
of the shelter decompression effort.

From March 1, 2020 through August 28, 2020, the number of people sleeping in homeless shelters declined by 73%, with the
greatest reductions in new shelter admissions (-86%), single adults(-76%) and seniors (-72%).

SHELTER BED NIGHT COUNTS

Changes
Number of Emergency Shelter Stayers 3/1 -3/16 3/16-4/3 4/3-4/24 4/24-5/8 5/8-5/22 5/22-6/5 6/5-6/19 6/19-7/3 7/3-7/17 7/17-7/31 7/31-8/14 8/14-8/28 since 3/1
Adults 1663 1365 817 672 578 516 484 464 442 467 458 413 -1250
Single Adults 1435 1173 654 512 443 393 382 357 355 371 352 339 -1096
Minors 346 272 223 240 203 185 141 149 139 141 172 125 -221
Families 183 155 130 131 111 102 83 86 74 79 90 64 -119
Aged 62 and Older 134 119 56 49 42 36 30 37 31 34 34 37 -97
Youth ages 18 - 24 48 80 57 43 31 33 35 42 44 44 42 39 -9
New Shelter Admissions 96 47 47 29 19 16 14 33 24 36 26 13 -83
Total Clients ( Adults + Minors) 2009 1637 1040 912 781 701 625 613 581 608 630 538 -1471

Source : CT HMIS Shelter Utilization


Report
Use of Connecticut’s Homeless Shelters – How Many Enrolled as Shelter
Clients?
Outline
Shelter enrollments refers to the number of people who are enrolled as clients of shelters, regardless of
whether they are physically in shelters or in hotels.

While nearly half of Connecticut’s sheltered homeless population are now physically in hotels, the total
number of people who are enrolled as clients of shelters decreased by 45 %. These decreases affected most
populations, with the largest decreases among seniors (49%), Families and Youth (47%)
SHELTER ENROLLMENTS
Changes
Emergency Shelter Stayers As of 3/1 As of 4/3 As of 4/24 As of 5/5 As of 5/22 As of 6/5 As of 6/19 As of 7/3 As of 7/17 As of 7/31 As of 8/14 As of 8/28
since 3/1

Adults 1213 1173 1060 1036 937 905 875 826 790 770 725 699 -514
Single Adults 1050 1019 913 892 779 758 736 695 669 653 619 599 -451
Minors 285 261 248 239 229 213 199 196 185 181 170 160 -125
Total Households 1259 1212 1094 1067 911 881 850 801 768 752 713 688 -571
Families 474 435 412 397 379 352 330 322 299 291 269 253 -221
Aged 62 and older 113 111 92 89 76 76 74 71 65 63 59 58 -55
Youth ages 18 – 24 77 70 63 58 53 53 56 53 55 53 46 41 -36

Unaccompanied Youth ages 18 – 24 40 40 37 35 34 34 37 33 37 37 33 27

-13
OPEN ENROLLMENTS 1575 1504 1371 1333 1219 1171 1074 1022 975 951 895 859 -716

Source : CT HMIS APR


Shelter Enrollments are on a constant decline since March 2020
Outline
From March through July 2020, all shelter enrollments declined by 63%, this is largely due to efforts at reducing entries into
congregate shelters . In the same vein, when compared to July 2019, shelter enrollments declined by 58% in July 2020.
Shelter diversions on the other hand, increased by 15% since March 2020.
2500

2228 2166 2204


2163 2226 2194 2165 2116
2041 2060 2020
1952 1909 1961 2021 1995
2000 1885 1896

1500
1282

1000
955
833 789
658 657 677 625 663
561 602 572 582 559 575 567
500 544
444 463 485 447
397 408 355
335 301

0
Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19 Apr-19 May-19 Jun-19 Jul-19 Aug-19 Sep-19 Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20

Source: CT HMIS APR Shelter Enrollments Diverted from Shelters


Shelters have remained decompressed since April 2020
Outline
From March through July 2020, shelter occupancy declined by 64%, this is largely due to efforts at decompressing the shelters.
when compared to July 2019, clients’ physical presence in shelters declined by 60% in July 2020.
New shelter admissions are also on a decline by 58% in March 2020 and 69% when compared to July 2019.
3000

2500 2340 2414 2372 2356 2291 2235 2251


2180 2205 2203 2160
2101
1967 1936 1948 1970 2040 2028
2000

1500
1293

1000 933
809 768

500

217 229 228 266 226 219 206 267 216


178 172 186 185 166 194 173 190 139
0 58 39 65 58
Oct-18 Nov-18 Dec-18 Jan-19 Feb-19 Mar-19 Apr-19 May-19 Jun-19 Jul-19 Aug-19 Sep-19 Oct-19 Nov-19 Dec-19 Jan-20 Feb-20 Mar-20 Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 Jul-20

Bednight Counts New Shelter Admissions


Source: CT HMIS Shelter Utilization Report
Estimated Unmet Demand for CAN and shelter services - Individuals
Outline
HMIS data for demand and supply among Individuals without children, comparing April - June 2020 to the same
three-month period of 2019.
Data from CAN appointment outcomes and new Emergency Shelter enrolments.
CAN OUTCOME: Diversion OUTCOME: Acceptance OUTCOME: Waitlisted Shelter Unmet shelter
Appointments Diverted from rate Accepted rate Waitlisted for rate enrollments need estimate:
Attended shelter (directly to Shelter (Direct from Accepted +
Shelter) apt or from Waitlisted –
Waitlist) Shelter
enrollments

April to June
2,659 743 27.90% 409 15.40% 1,255 47.20% 1,199 465
2019

April to June
3,587 1,319 36.80% 259 7.20% 1,730 48.20% 445 1,544
2020

Change +35% +78% +32% -37% -53% 38% 2% -63% +232%

Sources: https://cceh.org/data/interactive/can/ and https://ctcandata.org/dashboards/emergency-shelter/


Estimated Unmet Demand for CAN and shelter services - Families
Outline
HMIS data for demand and supply among Families with minor children, comparing April - June 2020 to the same
three-month period of 2019.
Data from CAN appointment outcomes and new ES enrolments.
CAN OUTCOME: Diversion OUTCOME: Acceptance OUTCOME: Waitlisted Shelter Unmet shelter
Appointments Diverted rate Accepted rate Waitlisted for rate enrollments need
Attended from shelter (directly to Shelter (Direct from estimate:
Shelter) apt or from Accepted +
Waitlist) Waitlisted –
Shelter
enrollments
April to June
1,059 724 68.40% 72 6.80% 209 19.70% 155 126
2019

April to June
697 550 78.90% 30 4.30% 97 13.90% 59 68
2020

Change -34% -24% +15% -58% -37% -54% -29% -62% -46%

Sources: https://cceh.org/data/interactive/can/ and https://ctcandata.org/dashboards/emergency-shelter/