Homelessness

Included below is the Executive Summary from the final report of the New London Homelessness Working Group. The entire report can be accessed by clicking on the link below.

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    A Homelessness Working Group was created by an action of the New London City Council to examine issues relative to the homeless situation in the City of New London. A nine member group was formed consisting of members of the New London City Council Committee on Public Welfare, three persons representing St. James Church and Homeless Hospitality Center, a person representing the business committee, and two interested citizens. Over the course of ten weeks, group members provided opinions and details regarding homelessness, deliberated divergent points of view, and met with several organizations in order to bring recommendations to the New London City Council.

    The Homelessness Working Group believes that homelessness is a problem with no easy or immediate solution and that until such a solution is found, homeless shelters are necessary. The Homelessness Working Group feels, however, that homeless shelters should only be located in areas which minimize adverse effects to surrounding environs and for that reason, such facilities should be located outside of the New London Central Business District. The Homelessness Working Group further believes that issues associated with homeless shelters should ultimately be governed by the City of New London Planning and Zoning Commission and not New London City Council action. The Homelessness Working Group also feels that until such oversight is developed, strict policies should be in place to encourage those suffering from alcohol and drug abuse to get the help they need.

    Therefore, although other recommendations are included herein, the Homelessness Working Group proposes the following primary recommendations: 1) that the New London Homeless Hospitality Center be supported in an effort to relocate the homeless shelter currently sited at St. James Church, to a new location outside of the New London Central Business District; 2) that the City of New London Planning and Zoning Commission begin the process of regulation changes needed to permit and oversee homeless shelters; 3) that until the operation of homeless shelters is governed by planning and zoning regulations, the current policy of testing all individuals entering the St. James Homeless Shelter for blood alcohol content be rescinded, and that the New London Homeless Hospitality Center consider implementing a revised interim policy which limits the number of times those under the influence of drugs or alcohol are allowed access to homeless facilities.

    Summary Report and Recommendations of the City of New London Homelessness Working Group (.pdf)