Letter / Carol Walter: We still miss her presence
At the end of last year, we lost a cherished member of the community that is working to end homelessness. And we still miss her presence.
Carol Walter, who served as executive director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, was a champion in the fight to end homelessness in the state of Connecticut. She not only advocated for people who are homeless, giving them a voice, but she also developed and advanced long-term solutions to chronic homelessness; most notably, shelter diversion and rapid re-housing strategies, permanent housing and supportive services, and programs for veterans and families with children. Because to Carol, providing temporary shelter was only a stop-gap measure.
A force for change, Carol presided over a shift in the way CCEH approached homelessness, including a more effective coordination of services among other organizations tackling this issue. And her oversight of the CCEH annual statewide Point-in-Time census, which enumerated homelessness in shelters and on the street, provided us all with a better understanding of the causes of homelessness, enabled us to design more effective interventions to help homeless people rebuild their lives, evaluated the impact of programs serving homeless people and tracked the overall progress toward ending homelessness in Connecticut.
Prior to joining CCEH, Carol worked at other homeless shelters in the state, including Shelter for the Homeless in Stamford. It was my pleasure to know Carol, and I am honored to have served with her in my position as treasurer of the CCEH board of directors. I know that all of us who are providing services to homeless people continue to be inspired by the example that she set.
Carol Walter was devoted to our mission to end homelessness in Connecticut.
Gone too soon, we miss her presence. And we always will.
Rafael Pagan Jr.,
Shelter for the Homeless