Donor Briefings

Meeting Basic Needs During a Time of Inflation (RECORDED)

Hosted in collaboration with the Basic Needs Fund at The Community Foundation


Mar 22, 2023


12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.




Ian Brooks, Emily Byrne, Margaret Middleton. Moderator: Todd Foster

Left to right: Todd Foster, Ian Brooks, Emily Byrne, Margaret Middleton

On March 22, a virtual panel discussion was held on the state of basic needs in Greater New Haven and the response from local organizations. We heard about the work on the ground, what we can do to help and ideas for change.

From groceries to rent, heat and electricity, Connecticut families and individuals are facing much higher costs than they were just a few years ago. By some measures, we are living through the steepest rise in prices in a generation. Many are increasingly requiring assistance from our social safety net.


Rev. Todd Foster, Advisory Committee Member, Basic Needs Fund; Director, Global Missions Cornerstone Christian Center


Ian Brooks, Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Masters Manna

Emily Byrne, Executive Director, Connecticut Voices for Children

Margaret Middleton, Chief Executive Officer, Columbus House

Questions? Contact Carmen Burgos.


What We Heard

  • High living costs, especially housing, combined with the loss of COVID-related benefits have created a perfect storm for many families.
  • The recovery from the pandemic hasn't felt like a recovery for people that had unexpected medical expenses or lost a job.
  • Unsheltered homelessness and family homelessness are on the rise.
  • Tens of thousands of deeply affordable housing units are needed to end the homelessness crisis.
  • Clothing closets are running low and demand for other basic needs are outstripping the supply at local nonprofits.
  • Nonprofit organizations that provide basic needs are struggling to meet program costs.

What You Can Do

  • Inform yourself with data resources.
  • Advocate for reforms that increase affordable housing in every city and town.
  • Look to the model used for ending veteran's homelessness to advocate for reforms that would end homelessness overall.
  • Advocate for policies that result in economic justice.
  • Contribute to basic needs organizations. Link to organizations in Greater New Haven.
  • Give to the Basic Needs Fund.

Resources for You

As part of coming together around issues impacting our community, The Community Foundation hosts a series of donor briefings featuring local nonprofit and community leaders. To learn more about the Donor Briefing series, please contact Dotty Weston-Murphy.