NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness is out with its legislative agenda for the year.

It wants lawmakers to invest 50 million dollars into the homeless response system.

The group says the system is overburdened – underfunded – and facing a workforce shortage because providers cannot afford to pay employees what they deserve.

Kara Capone CEO of Community Housing Advocates Inc. shared the following statement with News 8:

Homeless service providers act as the emergency rooms of the state’s housing safety net. Our services are critical and just as important as fire services, police services, EMT and other emergency services. Yet homeless services have over the years been taken for granted. We have been told year after year to do more with less. This is the year we collectively say no, no more. Our services need to be fully funded.

She said homelessness is up 39% this year alone.