United Way Activates its Rapid Response Fund to Address Current Housing and Homelessness Emergency

Dec.01, 2023

Hartford, Conn. (November 14, 2023) – The United Way Rapid Response Fund for Homelessness and Housing has been activated in response to the 13 percent increase in people experiencing homelessness. The fund will prevent and address homelessness by providing direct assistance to families at risk of losing their homes with the goal of keeping people in stable housing; and, assist those currently in shelters to move into stable housing.   United Way announced its initial investment of $100,000 to start the fund.   

“For nearly 100 years, United Way has been uniquely positioned to respond to emergency, immediate needs impacting our community.  Homelessness has been on the rise in our region, and we had to respond before conditions got worse with costs rising and winter fast approaching,” said Eric Harrison, President and CEO United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. 

Donations to this fund will meet immediate housing needs such as emergency assistance for rent, utilities and shelter to prevent people from becoming homeless. Funds will also help people who are currently unhoused move into stable housing through the Coordinated Access Network.  

“This initiative will allow the Coordinated Access Network to serve more people across our region this winter. These funds will help stabilize families and prevent homelessness while also helping those who are unhoused secure housing. As the need continues to increase, strategic partnerships and collaboration like these are more important than ever to ensure that everyone in our community has access to safe, stable housing,” added Matt Morgan, Co-Chair of the Coordinated Access Network.  

If you or your organization would like to contribute to United Way’s Rapid Response Fund, please visit unitedwayinc.org. “Your support is needed now more than ever as the number of people experiencing homelessness is rising. This week marks National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and we invite people in our community to join us in taking action to ensure that our neighbors have safe, stable housing through United Way Rapid Response Fund: Homelessness and Housing,” added Harrison.  

“In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in homelessness and as a result, a great strain on our towns as they work to provide adequate assistance to everyone in need. This investment is significant – a true lifeline to many as we face the winter and an added increase in need for shelter,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “This critical funding will provide 52 towns in central and northeastern Connecticut with the support to address existing barriers, aid those on the brink of homelessness and provide basic needs to their residents. Thank you to United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut for making this fund a priority.” 

If you or someone you know are in need of support for housing, please dial 2-1-1 and press option “3” or contact your local municipal social services department. 


About United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut      
United Way brings people and resources together to address immediate needs and find long-term solutions to challenging problems. United Way does this by investing in programs and services, leading community change initiatives, and mobilizing resources and volunteers to ensure that children succeed in school, people get jobs and are financially secure, people are healthy and basic needs are met during tough times. For more information, visit unitedwayinc.org.       

About Coordinated Access Network 
Connecticut Coordinated Access Networks (CT CANs) is to streamline the process for individuals and families experiencing homelessness to access their community’s housing resources in a standardized, comprehensive, and accessible way. It aims to most efficiently and effectively determine eligibility and availability of housing resources, and targets funding appropriately to end each household’s homelessness. 

Media Contact: Anyeline Céspedes López | United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut   | acespedes@unitedwayinc.org | 787.502.0436  

Kate Blackburn | United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut | kblackburn@unitedwayinc.org | 860.493.6836