New Haven Homeless People, Advocates Push for More Resources
by Mark Zaretsky, New Haven Register, Dec. 17, 2022
If there’s one thing Tyrell Jackson and his neighbors, who live in a “tent city” along the West River off Ella T. Grasso Boulevard, could use this winter, it’s some sort of power source such as a generator.
If they had one, they could run heaters, charge their phones or even get an electric stove or hot pot to cook with or a refrigerator to keep food from spoiling.
“There are not enough resources,” said Jackson, 28, who grew up in West Haven and is a member of U-ACT, which stands for the Unhoused Activists Community Team.
“The biggest thing that I’ve been pushing for is some source of power,” he said before the start of a press conference that the Greater New Haven Regional Alliance to End Homelessness held at the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen’s Drop-in & Resource Center at 266 State St. Jackson called that “the main thing I need.”
U-ACT member Arthur Taylor would like to see some proper toilets on the New Haven Green, for one thing, “not like these out-houses they have down here,” said Taylor, 70, a city native and James Hillhouse High School graduate who currently is on a waiting list for senior housing.
The purpose of the press conference, led by DESK Executive Director Steve Werlin and attended by Mayor Justin Elicker, State Reps. Robyn Porter and Patricia Dillon, both D-New Haven, and representatives of most of the organizations that provide homelessness services in the city, was to highlight the need for more resources — and a consistent source of funding.
Werlin asked for the $5 million the state set aside for emergency homeless services this winter to be made permanent, so providers don’t have to “cobble together” funds every year to keep people alive, warm and safe. “The solution to homelessness is housing — deeply affordable housing,” Werlin said.
But while all providers and their allies in city and state government and the private sector work toward that, “we cannot forget about the immediate” needs, he said. “Home-lessness is dangerous all during the year,” but its challenges become particularly acute in winter, he said.
Read more at www.nhregister.com/news/article/New-Haven-homeless-advocates-push-for-resources-17659171.php