How can I find help?

If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness or is at imminent risk of homelessness, please call 211.

How many people are experiencing homelessness in Connecticut? 

Over the course of each year, thousands of people in Connecticut experience an episode of homelessness. In Connecticut, we rely on two important methods for measuring the population that experiences homelessness. First is the annual “Point-In-Time Count,” required for federal funding through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Each winter, this head-count of all individuals who are experiencing homelessness is performed on one night in January. In 2022 the Connecticut count held on January 25 identified 2,930 individuals, a 13% increase from 2021. The second tool for measuring this population is known as the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a database used by homelessness service providers like Columbus House across the state. HMIS allows service providers to track and share information. Additionally, Connecticut now has a registry of all households experiencing homelessness on the state’s Coordinated Access Networks’ waitlist for housing called the By Name List (BNL) which is published weekly. This data, along with many other useful tools and dashboards developed for providers to understand the scope, roots, and solutions to homelessness, can be found at www.ctcandata.org. These innovative tools were developed in partnership with Opening Doors of Fairfield County, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, Supportive Housing Works, Connecticut DOH, Partnership for Strong Communities, and Columbus House. As of April 18, 2023, there were 3,245 people (includes adults, youth, and children) on the weekly BNL in Connecticut. Sadly, despite all of these valuable resources, there are still countless people who slip under the radar and are not tracked each year.

Who is experiencing homelessness in Connecticut?

Of those experiencing homelessness on a given night in Connecticut:*

  • 2,005 are adults without children
  • 311 are families
  • 560 are children
  • 149 are Veterans

* Source: Connecticut's Annual Point in Time Count on January, 25, 2022. Click to view and download the report.

What are the root causes of homelessness?

  • Lack of affordable housing

  • Unemployment or financial hardship

  • Chronic medical conditions

  • Substance misuse

  • Mental illness 

  • PTSD

  • History of abuse and/or neglect


How prevalent is mental illness among those experiencing homelessness?

During Connecticut's Point in Time Count of those experiencing homelessness in January 25, 2022, 542 people interviewed reported having a mental illness.

* Source: Connecticut’s Annual Point in Time Count on January 25, 2022.


What role does substance abuse play in those who are experiencing homelessness?

During Connecticut's Point in Time Count of those experiencing homelessness on January 25, 2022, 319 people interviewed reported having a chronic substance abuse issue.

* Source: Connecticut’s Annual Point in Time Count on January 25, 2022.

Can you have a job and still experience homelessness?  

Yes, and many of our clients do hold a job. Given the cost of living in Connecticut, they simply do not earn a “living wage,” that is, enough to pay housing costs.

What is the cost of housing in Connecticut?

According to Partnership for Strong Communities Housing Data Profiles, 49% percent of renters and 30% of homeowners with a mortgage in Connecticut spend more than 30% of their income on housing. This leaves little money for other necessities, such as food, utilities, healthcare, childcare, transportation, and more. In order to have funds left for other necessities, a minimum wage worker ($14.00/hr) would need to work 79 hrs a week to afford a modest 2-bedroom apartment at the Fair Market Rent of $1,446/mo.* (*National Low Income Housing Coalition Out of Reach 2022: Connecticut.)

Is Columbus House a government agency?  

No. Columbus House is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that must raise funds each year in order to meet its operating and program costs.

Where does your financial support come from?  

The majority of our funding comes from federal, state, and local grants that Columbus House must apply for annually, with no guarantees, and usually with no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases. The remainder of our revenue comes from individual, corporate, and foundation contributions.

Does Columbus House work with other agencies?  

Yes, many! Columbus House makes referrals to other community-based social service agencies, including the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center, the Connecticut Mental Health Center, the APT Foundation, Connecticut Veterans Legal Assistance, and many others. (See our Resources page.)

How can I offer help?

There are so many ways to make a difference! Check out our Get Involved page for details!