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RFP for DOC Transitional Housing Open Bid Process

Posted July 24, 2012

Please be advised that there is a current open bid process for a Request for Proposals (RFP) from the Department of Corrections for transitional housing and supportive services.  Attached is the RFP in its entirety and can also be found on: – Open Bids 7/23/12

Please note that proposals must be received (via mail) by August 30th at 1:30pm.   No late responses will be accepted.

Feel free to send this to any interested parties.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Karen Lawson, DOC Housing Coordinator –

RFP-transitional housing 2012


Re-Envisioning the General Assistance Housing Program: Open Meeting for Stakeholder Input


Re-posted from the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness & the Agency of Human Services 

The Vermont Department for Children and Families extends an open invitation to participate in a statewide meeting regarding the General Assistance Housing Program. Additional information about the stakeholder input process is posted on the DCF website at  On the website there is a link to a videotaped message from Commissioner Dave Yacovone about DCF’s commitment to re-envision the GA Housing Program to better serve Vermonters who are at risk of homelessness.  Please take a few minutes to look and listen.

WHEN:    Thursday, August 9, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Gifford Hospital, Randolph – Maple Leaf/Red Clover Conference Room –  Directions:  Look for the Conference Center Entrance from the main parking lot or use the main entrance.

WHO:  Open to all who have an interest in homelessness in Vermont.

WHY:  The Vermont Department for Children and Families spends in excess of $1.6 million each year to temporarily house homeless individuals and families. Most of this money is spent on local motel rooms. While this is a strategy that may be necessary to meet crisis needs, motel rooms are not adequate, especially for families, for more than a few days. For many families it takes much longer than that to secure a safe and affordable rental unit. Last year over 500 families (with and without children) sought emergency housing assistance for the second year in a row, and over 70 families received housing assistance for the third year in a row. How can we meet the needs of these families so they are not facing homelessness year after year?
Contributing to the challenge of meeting Vermonters’ temporary housing needs is the highly restrictive nature of the General Assistance program rules. It’s clear to DCF and many others the rules need a thorough review and updating to better meet the needs of the homeless population and to help address the underlying reasons for homelessness.

DCF is seeking information and ideas from community partners about how to meet Vermonters’ temporary housing needs efficiently, effectively, and in a timely manner.

WHAT:   At the meeting, DCF will ask participants to tell us what they think about:

  • Characteristics of the current system of services and assistance that keep people from moving towards housing stability.
  • Services and assistance that can help people achieve housing stability.
  • Ways of determining eligibility that consider people’s risk of homelessness.
  • How to prioritize need in light of resource constraints.
  • How best to manage the application and eligibility determination processes.

Please pre-register by Wednesday August 1 with Luciana DiRuocco or 802-871-3385.  Please provide your name, e-mail address, organizational affiliation (if any), and any requests for disability-related accommodations.

Original Statewide Meeting Announcement


Burlington Free Press: Court: Tenants must get notice on water shutoffs

Posted July 19, 2012

Written By: Dave Gram, Associated Press

Sunday, July 15, 2012

MONTPELIER — A Barre woman who had to haul jugs of water while on crutches after her landlord’s failure to pay the water bill prompted a shutoff by the city is hailing a federal court decision saying she should have had a chance to appeal.

“I’m just so happy that finally someone has told the city what they are doing is wrong,” said Brenda Brown, who was recovering from foot surgery and using crutches when the water in her rented apartment was shut off for two weeks. “I went through hell without water for all that time and nobody at the city would listen to me.”

Vermont Legal Aid brought the class-action case for Brown and similarly situated tenants and got a mixed ruling from U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss.

Legal Aid lawyer Christopher Curtis called the ruling, issued Thursday, “a victory for all Vermonters. If you receive public water, you have rights. The city was essentially saying renters don’t have any due process rights when it comes to this basic necessity of life.”

He added, “The decision confirms that the public municipal water supply is meant to be available to all Vermonters, regardless of whether you own or rent your home and that access to the public water supply rises to the level of a protected property interest.”

The judge rejected Legal Aid’s claims that tenants should have been allowed to establish accounts in their own names when a landlord defaults on the water bill.

But the ruling did say the city must give the tenants notice and a chance to appeal.

Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon said he was disappointed the court did not give more explicit instructions for what the new appeal process the decision calls for should be like.

“It said we need to give the parties, the occupants of the property, the right to appeal to the City Council. But it didn’t describe what that process would be,” Lauzon said. He said the decision left open the possibility the City Council could simply reject such appeals.

Lauzon said the city told Brown she could resolve the issue by paying the $600 past-due water bill. But he said she lived in one of four apartments in the building and wanted to pay just a quarter of the bill. He said it would be difficult to impossible for the city to work out such deals with tenants when their buildings are on a single water meter.

The judge suggested such procedures may have to be worked out by the Legislature.

“Plaintiffs’ arguments regarding how and why the city’s refusal to provide water service to tenants should be addressed are thus generally left to the legislative process rather than the courts,” she wrote.

Link to Burlington Free Press Full Article

PDF of Full Burlington Free Press Article



COTS is ‘hobbling together the spaces’ after flooding

Posted July 16, 2012

Ryan Smith of PuroClean removes remnants of water-soaked sheetrock as clean up continues at the Committee on Temporary Shelter’s (COTS) Daystation in Burlington on Thursday. The drop-in center for the homeless was heavily damaged from flooding in the aftermath of a severe thunderstorm on July 4th. / GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS

Matt Ryan, Free Press Staff Writer – July 13, 2012

While workers gut the flooded interior of the Committee on Temporary Shelter’s Daystation, members of the Burlington nonprofit are scrambling to raise funds and provide services elsewhere.
Roughly 50 to 60 clients dropped into the Daystation daily to eat lunch, get their mail and contact prospective employers and landlords. A week ago, heavy rain swamped the basement-level shelter, displacing staff and clients and causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

The fast storm that roared through on the Fourth of July knocked over trees, flooded one of Burlington’s busiest intersections and left some 5,000 utility customers without power.

Water rushed downhill and collected around the Committee on Temporary
Shelter facility at the corner of South Winooski Avenue and King Street. The
water level climbed more than 3 feet outside the building and poured inside.

Since then, COTS has continued to provide the Daystation’s services in the building’s second story, where caseworkers meet with clients, and where its overflow shelter on St. Paul Street is housed, said Becky Holt, COTS spokeswoman.

“We’re just kind of hobbling together the spaces,” Holt said.

The rainwater destroyed at least $45,000 worth of computers, appliances and furniture, Holt said. She said COTS had “minimal insurance” and hopes to raise $30,000 to help cover the cost. As of Thursday, the nonprofit had raised about $10,000 she said.

“We have this amazing community,” Holt said. “People are rallying and asking how they can help.”

COTS welcomes volunteers who want to prepare lunch, but has left the cleanup to the professionals, because the rainwater swept sewage into the building, Holt said.

Demolition of the Daystation continued Thursday. Workers had swept up most of the debris and cut the Sheetrock walls about three feet from the floor, exposing the wood and metal studs underneath.

The shelter will remain inhabitable for several weeks, Holt said.

 Link to Article

PDF of Full Burlington Free Press Article


Vermont 5-Year Plan Feedback Needed

Posted July 12, 2012

Your feedback is important!

The Vermont 5-Year Plan to End Homelessness Committee created and each voted on the top goals and strategies in the attached draft plan.  The draft plan was presented to the VT Council on Homelessness at the June 28th meeting.

  • In addition, email Maura all best practices that your agency and/or local continuum of care believe should be included in the plan.  Examples:  Ready-to-Rent Workshops, Back Rent Program, housing-first model, etc.

The VT 5-Year Plan Committee consists of the following:

Homeless Providers:  Kimberly Woolaver (GSH), Jeanne Montross (HOPE), Deborah Hall (RCHC), Rita Markley (COTS), Martha Sassarossi (COTS), Jonathan Farrell (COTS)

Advocacy Organizations:  Auburn Watersong (VT Network), Rachel Batterson (VT Legal Aid), Denise Bailey (VCIL)

State & Quasi-State Agencies:  Angus Chaney (AHS), Shaun Donahue (AHS), Monica Hutt (AHS), Brian Smith (AHS), Maura Collins (VHFA), Rick DeAngelis (VHCB), Daniel Blankenship (VSHA)

Daniel Blankenship, Homeless Grants Administrator & Shelter Plus Care Program Administrator – Vermont State Housing Authority – – (802)828-3295


Job Posting: Vermont Center For Independent Living, Peer Advocate Counselor


Vermont Center for Independent Living, a statewide disability rights organization, is currently seeking a candidate for the following position:

Peer Advocate Counselor

Full/part time position in our Burlington office.

Must have personal experience with disabilities. The PAC will work with individuals and groups of people with disabilities to empower them and increase their ability to live independently as full and equal citizens in the community.  The PAC will also participate in outreach activities and technical assistance to increase community options and supports.

Send Cover Letter and Resume to:

Sue Booth, VCIL

11 East State Street

Montpelier VT 05602


VCIL is an EOE/Affirmative Action employer.  We provide reasonable accommodations in the recruitment and employment of people with disabilities.


White River Junction VAMC Looking for Shelters to Contract & Partner with for Veteran Homeless & Healthcare Services


The White River Junction VAMC is looking for shelters to contract and partner with for the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Service. The following are the directions for all eligible applicants to submit proposals – please forward on to others as appropriate.

Directions for interested VA Shelter Contracts are:

• Go to Fed Biz Opps Homepage:
• Put in: “Vermont” as the place of performance.
• There will be two solicitations posted according to geographical region (look for *Special*Emergency Shelter Homeless Veteran) – please respond to the appropriate solicitation according to the regions posted.
• If a potential Vendor as never had a contract with the VHA before, that Vendor must first register with the Central Contractor Registration Database, directions on the solicitation webpage.
• You will find the solicitation and attachments to the right of the webpage where the Statement of Work and requests are detailed.
• The Contact information for Contracting officer –  Mr. Salvatore Voter is listed at the bottom of webpage.
• ***Submissions are preferred to be received by e-mail, but please contact Mr. Voter directly if you prefer to post-mail the bid.
• The Solicitations will be available for bids for 30 days, starting July 9th. The last day to submit a complete bid will be August 9th.

Please know that the clinical team for Healthcare for Homeless Veterans are not a part of this initial bid process and are unable to assist with submissions. Any questions can be submitted directly to the Contracting Officer listed on the solicitation form.

The WRJ VAMC covers counties in both Vermont and New Hampshire. The following counties are the targeted areas for potential Vendors: Grafton, Coos, Essex, Caledonia, Chittenden, Rutland, Windsor, Cheshire, Windham and Sullivan.

Leigh M. Smith – Shelter and Transitional Housing Liaison / HUD – VASH/ HCHV Services / COTR – 802-595-9023



Posted July 6, 2012

As you may know, the July 4th storms and flash floods that hit Burlington and other parts of the state flooded out the Committee on Temporary Shelter’s Daystation. The damage is extensive: computers, donated clothes, tables, chairs, carpets, boxes of paperwork — everything below the 16 inch watermark has been destroyed. The Daystation will be closed for at least a month, leaving all the folks who use the Daystation daily to eat lunch, pick up mail, and use the computers and phones to reach prospective employers and landlords. The Burlington Free Press gives you a good picture of how bad the situation is:
As damage estimates rise, COTS closes Day Station after deluge.

Donations are needed immediately: paper goods (plates, cups, napkins), plastic utensils, trash bags, disposable serving dishes, moving services. Please bring donations to COTS administrative offices at: 95 North Ave., Burlington (Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday). Anyone interested in volunteering space, labor, food or other donations should contact COTS at or 864-7402.

You can also donate online at