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2,500 children, teens were homeless in Connecticut this year, survey finds

Nearly 2,500 children and teens in Connecticut were homeless in 2020, according to a survey released by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

The survey report, called the "2020 Youth Outreach and Count Report," found that 696 children and 1,766 teenagers were homeless in 2020, and another 1,748 children and 3,613 teenagers lived in unstable housing.

"These results are stark," said Dr. Richard Cho, CEO of Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. "We know how to connect youth with services when we find them, but identifying young people struggling with homelessness is an all-hands-on-deck endeavor."

The survey was conducted in January by nearly 250 volunteers who canvassed schools and other areas where young people are likely to gather. The data was collected before the COVID-19 pandemic, which Cho said has made it even more difficult to identify and reach youth in need of housing assistance.

The survey was supported in part by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, commissioner of the department, said in a statement that the department "is committed to all efforts that will create better pathways and outcomes for young people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity, particularly at this vulnerable stage in their development."

The coalition soon will launch a municipal campaign, in collaboration with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and Sustainable CT, to better understand the scope of youth homelessness in Connecticut and will work with municipal employees to connect youth with services that can help them.

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