Helping Connecticut Become Number One

The Rapid Results Institute is proud to be part of the effort that helped Connecticut become the first state in the nation to end veteran chronic homelessness. Three hundred previously chronically homeless veterans, some who had been living on the streets for years, finally have a home again.

Dr. Laurie Harkness, Director of the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center in New Haven says, “this is a major milestone that took a large, committed and talented group of people working together to achieve. It was dream day!”
Our work to end homelessness spans across the United States, and we work with partners from non-profits and government agencies to help communities end Veteran and chronic homelessness.

Nadim Matta, Rapid Results President is proud of the Connecticut success, “ This is great. Our work in Connecticut started about three years ago and I am on record saying there’s no reason for Connecticut not to be the first State to end chronic homelessness. And I’ glad that Connecticut came through for Veteran chronic homelessness.”

Connecticut is one of a handful of examples where the state government – as opposed to local municipalities within each state – signed up for the Zero2016 challenge. Connecticut is fortunate to have a VA Medical Center that has made ending veteran homelessness a key priority. The Medical Center’s homelessness teams have coordinated closely with their partners in Connecticut communities to ensure that all veterans experiencing homelessness get the opportunity to move into permanent housing with services to help them enjoy a healthy and dignified life.

Rapid Results’ involvement in Connecticut started in February 2014 when we were asked by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and other community leaders to help New Haven create a Coordinated Access and Housing Placement System” to optimize the allocation of housing resources among individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. We did this through the Rapid Results ‘100 Day Challenge’ methodology: bringing organizations together, setting audacious goals and empowering front-line workers and managers to make change happen in a totally different way – all within 100 days. The VA Medical Center was represented on the team that developed and began using the system as part of their 100-day challenge.

The team was fortunate to have the support of community leaders in New Haven, and also State level support from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, HUD, and the state’s two US Senators, Richard Blumenthal, Ranking Democratic Member on the Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Chris Murphy.

The success of the 100-day challenge in New Haven sparked interest in other communities in the State. In 2015, we helped replicate the process in several Connecticut communities including the Greater Hartford area, Fairfield County, Windham, and New London. And Nadim says Connecticut’s success is being watched from elsewhere in the country, “ I’m imaging there is going to be a lot of interest from other States and the work requires leadership, requires people giving up a bit of their autonomy for the collective good and it requires persistence.”