In 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life as well as accurate means for real-time data collection, the figures for homelessness throughout the United States were on the rise. With over half a million people experiencing homelessness across the country in January 2020, no state or community was left untouched by the problem. From individuals to families, people from every walk of life were, and continue to be, represented among those who are homeless.
Homes With Hope, headquartered in Connecticut, has been on the front line of helping the homeless since 1983. And leading private credit manager Colbeck Capital Management wholeheartedly supports the grassroots nonprofit.
“Homes With Hope is a wonderful organization with an admirable purpose,” said Morris Beyda, partner and chief operating officer of Colbeck Capital Management. “Helping to provide the resources needed to help homeless individuals transition into independent life is a cause we believe in supporting.”
As of January 2020, nearly 3,000 people were experiencing homelessness on a daily basis in Connecticut. The state reported that, of this population, over 300 represented entire family households that lacked shelter and a basic means to provide for themselves, and nearly 200 individuals experienced chronic homelessness. While data is still pending to determine the full impact of the pandemic on this crisis, demand for assistance and requests for housing throughout the state were up throughout 2020.
Food and Shelter Alone Not Enough
Since 1984, Homes With Hope has been dedicated to combating homelessness throughout the Nutmeg State, specifically within the community of Westport and the surrounding region in Fairfield County. Its efforts are targeted at helping disenfranchised and compromised populations get back on their feet with more than just food and shelter. Rather, Homes With Hope provides a full lineup of services designed to help people address the root causes of their circumstances and get back to productive and independent lifestyles for the long term.
Its mission statement reads, “Homes With Hope has grown significantly since 1984. As the need began to increase, we realized that food and shelter alone were not enough to help people move from homelessness to self-reliance. In response, Homes With Hope expanded the support services and housing options currently available to our clients by providing the resources needed for them to be successful in their journey out of homelessness.”
To do this, Homes With Hope relies heavily on donations from the community. The nonprofit organization operates a number of different options to service those in need, from emergency shelter to supportive and rapid rehousing, along with a community kitchen and food pantry. These efforts are supported, in part, by donations made by companies like Colbeck Capital Management, which take a vested interest in helping the local organizations make a positive and timely impact. Funds are redirected to programs that need them most in real time, helping to effect real change.
This change is measurable and far-reaching. In 2021 alone, Homes With Hope served a total of 951 individuals or households with a variety of services. More than 80 individuals were taken into supportive housing to get them off the streets and provide necessary shelter in times of need. A total of more than 450 households received food and goods from the food pantry, which is stocked solely through the community’s generosity.
Perhaps even more impressive is the work Homes With Hope does with the youth it serves. According to the nonprofit, 34% of the population it serves is under the age of 24. To this end, Homes With Hope has developed several dedicated programs especially designed to help address this population’s needs academically and emotionally. After-school academic programs supplement learning to help students stay on track with their studies while they’re experiencing displacement. Additional programs help encourage community and empathy among those affected in a support group that helps young participants regain their self-esteem and resilience. In 2021, over 100 youth and young adults benefited from support provided by youth academic and personal growth programs offered by the organization.
Organizations and individuals alike can support Homes With Hope throughout the year through tax-deductible donations received through the nonprofit’s website. Additional opportunities present themselves throughout the year through community events and fundraisers. One such event is the organization’s annual Stand Up show, which features live performances from comedians like American Comedy Award winner Kathleen Madigan. Event sponsors, which include Colbeck Capital, range from corporations to individuals and families representing the diverse and philanthropic community surrounding those in need in Fairfield County.
Funds are allocated to fuel programs throughout the Home With Hope entity, including those for people who struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic hardships. Additional mentoring programs are provided to help address underlying concerns and causes for homelessness and to seek out more permanent resolutions for circumstances of distress and duress. Mentorships are also available for those who are at risk for homelessness or who are struggling to provide adequate support for their dependents.