HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Nobody could tell you exact numbers, but there are young people who don’t have a place to call home.
Agencies in the state are coming together to tackle youth homelessness.
“Five months ago, I couldn’t have said I’ve accomplished this,” said Tiguan Collins.
Channel 3 met Tiguan Collins at the Salvation Army Marshall House.
The 23-year-old became homeless in 2018, but he’s been going through the foster system and couch surfing for years.
“When no other family wanted to take me in, this door opened,” said Collins.
When he had no other place to go, Collins dialed 2-1-1 and connected with a new program for homeless youth.
There are four beds at the Marshall House and there is a recreation room.
“Now, looking forward I think I got the hang of what I need to do,” said Collins.
The City of Hartford and groups like the Salvation Army and journey home have partnered to tackle youth homelessness.
Mayor Luke Bronin says they fought for and won over 80 new housing vouchers with HUD worth more than $700,000.
“We have so much work to do to combat youth homelessness we have far too many young people who are homeless, who are at risk of being homeless and housing insecure,” Bronin said.
The federal grant dollars will be used for rapid rehousing, crisis housing and youth navigation to help young adults who are homeless or at risk to find a stable outcome.
“There are lots of youth who are often housing unstable, couch surfing and moving from place to place frequently without a stable place to live,” said Matt Morgan, Executive Director of Journey Home.
The results have been rapid. After four weeks, Collins is moving out to a place he can call his own.
“I was approved for my own apartment. A one bedroom literally the next street over. Follow your heart and follow your dream. Don’t fall don’t lead, just be your own leader,” Collins said.
The City of Hartford is also a member of the Greater Hartford Youth Engagement Team Initiative, which was awarded $1.5 million last year through another HUD grant.