Off the Street BFT

OTS BFT serves the homeless & at-risk-of-becoming-homeless in Connecticut by providing much-needed security deposits & simple household basics (furnishings & necessities) that transform a house into a home. We encourage you to check out our website and learn more about how you can help.

         Learn more here!

     For more information, call:

(203) 590-1501

or  email:

 OTSBFT@GMAIL.COM

 

Off the Streets

Last year my wife and I were introduced to “Off the Streets” at the organization’s first fund raising dinner in the Assumption church hall. “Off the Streets” was formed a few years ago in Connecticut by a deacon in our diocese to find housing for the homeless. Deacon Kevin Moore of our own parish founded the local Bridgeport, Fairfield, Trumbull chapter.


Information provided at the dinner showed that families with children make up 36% of the homeless population. Single men make up 44%, and single women make up 13%. Unaccompanied minors make up the remaining 7%. Surprisingly, 44% of the homeless population are engaged in paid work, but for one reason or another, they still have to live in shelters, their cars, or on the streets.


In many cases the homeless only lack the funds to provide a security deposit for an apartment rental, and furnish the apartment. According to its mission statement, the goal of “Off the Streets” is to provide “a security deposit and basic furniture and living needs for those homeless people who have no other means of providing these, but do have a means of paying a monthly rent.”


Although it works with local social service agencies to find and screen candidates, OTS does not rely on national, state, or local government funds. It is a 501c3 charity that relies totally on volunteer staff. It has no paid staff and operates on a minimal overhead of $20 per month. In its brief existence, “Off the Streets” has succeeded in providing almost 1000 homeless individuals and families with a place to live. It has a devoted group of volunteers who work year round.


An OTS pamphlet explained how it helps.
*OTS generally pays security deposits and other upfront costs.
*OTS can usually provide a fully furnished apartment in as little as two to fourteen days.
*OTS provides basic household goods (furniture, bedding, etc. ) to help give its clients a fresh start.


The “Off the Streets” website provides information on what OTS does and on the ways others can help. Its annual fund raising dinner dance will be held Saturday evening, Oct 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Assumption church hall. The cost/donation is $75 per person.

Frank DeStefano