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REMINDER: Homelessness Awareness Day & Memorial Vigil – Jan 10, State House, Montpelier

Posted January 9, 2018




Your voice is needed at the State Capitol! Come to Montpelier to tell lawmakers how we can end homelessness in Vermont! Join advocates from all across the state at Homelessness Awareness Day at the State House.  We need you to engage with representatives and senators in your service area to let them know what is needed to make homelessness a brief and infrequent experience in our state. PLEASE JOIN US!


7:30 – 9:00        Coffee, muffins & meetings with legislators, Cafeteria (best time to meet with lawmakers)

7:30 – 3:00        Legislative Awareness Day (meet & greet lawmakers), Card Room

9:00 – 11:00      Joint hearing of House Human Services and General, Housing & Military Affairs Committees – Room 11

11:00 – 11:30     Senate Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs Committee – Room 27

12:00 – 12:30    Memorial Vigil, State House Steps

1:00 – 1:30        Reading of Legislative Resolution & Recognition of Homeless Service Providers & Advocates, House Gallery

1:30 – 2:30        Public Hearing on the Governor’s Recommended FY 2018 Budget Adjustment, House Appropriations Committee – Room 10



  • We thank Governor Scott and lawmakers for supporting all the state resources needed to help reduce homelessness, especially the $35 million housing bond, which is a *major* step forward.
  • Please continue to support the investments we need to solve our affordable housing shortage and implement the recommendations of the “Roadmap to End Homelessness,” investments that will:
    1. Create new affordable homes for Vermonters,
    2. Provide rental assistance and other financial supports to fill the gap between our high rents and what low-income Vermonters can afford, and
    3. Deliver supportive services needed for Vermonters with the greatest challenges to remain stably housed.
  • Vermont has successful programs that deliver proven outcomes. Please continue to support full funding for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and increased investments in the Vermont Rental Subsidy Program, Mental Health Rental Assistance Vouchers, Family Supportive Housing, Housing Opportunity Grant Program, Corrections Transitional Housing, and Housing First.


The day will kick off early at 7:30am with coffee and muffins in the Cafeteria. This will be a great time to meet with your representatives and senators to discuss the good work you and your organization are doing.  To make your time at the State House most effective, please be sure to reach out to lawmakers prior to the event to ask them to meet with you.

People will be present in the Card Room all morning and into the afternoon to educate lawmakers about the work being done around the state, about which strategies are working, and what still needs to be done to help end homelessness in Vermont. The Card Room is on the 2nd floor, on the way into the cafeteria.

From 9-11am there will be a joint hearing of the House General, Housing & Military Affairs and House Human Services Committees in Room 11, with many witnesses from the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness and the Chittenden Homeless Alliance scheduled to speak. Click here for the schedule of witnesses.

From 11-11:30am there will be additional testimony on homelessness in the Senate Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs Committee. You may also be interested to sit in on testimony in this committee from several key housing agency heads (DHCD, VHCB, VHFA) starting at 9am. Click here for the schedule of witnesses.

At Noon community members, elected officials, and advocates will gather on the State House steps for the annual Memorial Vigil to remember our friends and neighbors who have died without homes, and to bring awareness of the struggles of those still searching for safe, affordable and secure housing.

At 1:00pm, please be seated in the House Visitor’s Gallery at the rear of the House Chamber to hear the reading of a resolution recognizing those experiencing homelessness and the good work you do to help reduce their plight.

**ALERT** At 1:30pm the House Appropriations Committee will hold a Public Hearing on the Governor’s Recommended FY 2018 Budget Adjustment in Room 10.  DCF has proposed a $200,000 cut to the highly successful Vermont Rental Subsidy Program.  Please contact committee staff person Theresa Utton-Jerman at or 802-828-5767 to speak against this cut.  Please also support DCF’s request to increase the Emergency Housing budget by $871,000.  Click here for more information, or contact Erhard Mahnke at or 233-2902.



Strong Turn-Out Will Be Key – It is essential that we create a strong presence in the State House. Bring folks from your organization: board members, clients, staff, and local supporters. A strong show of support will be particularly important for the Memorial Vigil at 12 noon outside, on the State House steps, and also at 1pm in the House Chamber when your work will be recognized by the entire body.

Meetings with Lawmakers – Quality interactions with representatives and senators from your service area are critical to the day’s success. One-on-one or small group meetings are the best way to get our message across. To guarantee the most effective use of your time, please make appointments in advance, if possible. If you haven’t done so already, please CALL or EMAIL as soon as possible. Breakfast and after the Vigil at lunch are the best times to schedule your meetings.

How to Contact Your Representatives & Senators – Send them an email or call the Sergeant-at-Arms desk at 1-800-322-5616 and leave a message. Let them know that you’ll be at the State House this Wednesday and would like to meet. Their contact information is in the legislative directory.  If you can’t get an appointment ahead of time, let them know when you’ll be at the State House. If you can’t find them when you arrive, you can send a note via a legislative page. Be sure to note where you are in the State House.

An Exciting Day is Planned – Governor Phil Scott, Lt. Governor David Zuckerman, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille, and the chairs of key legislative committees, Reps. Helen Head and Ann Pugh and Senator Michael Sirotkin, are all confirmed to speak at the Vigil.  And there are numerous committee meetings for you to sit in on.

Sign in and get a nametag when you arrive – They will be available in the Card Room (second floor, on the way into the cafeteria). Legislators appreciate name tags with your name, your organization and the town you vote in.

Parking – Is always a challenge in Montpelier. You can try on-street parking wherever you can find it. Other options include the Capitol Plaza lot off State Street, the Department of Labor parking lot on Green Mountain Drive (second left after you come off the interstate, just past the first traffic light). Also, the Capitol Shuttle runs every 20 minutes from 7:20 am – 5:20 pm. Do not park in areas designated for legislative parking – you will be towed!

*   *   *   *   *

**A FINAL NOTE** The monthly Affordable Housing Coalition meeting normally scheduled for this Wednesday has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 24, 9:30 – 12:00, at the Vermont Center for Independent Living, 11 East State Street.  The meeting time has been extended to include a special legislative advocacy training by Matt Levin of the Vermont Early Childhood Alliance.

Thanks for your help and cooperation and see you at the State House on Wednesday!


Joshua Davis
Groundworks Collaborative
Co-Chair, VT Coalition to End Homelessness

Peter Kellerman
John Graham Housing & Services
Co-Chair, VT Coalition to End Homelessness

Erhard Mahnke
Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition


REGISTER NOW: New England Housing Network Federal Policy Forum – 12/16

Posted November 17, 2016

New England Housing Network
Federal Forum 


Friday, December 16
9 AM – Noon

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
600 Atlantic Avenue


We have been advised that space is limited and filling quickly for next month’s Federal Forum, sponsored by the New England Housing Network. Click below to register.

Registration closes December 12 or when filled. Note pre-registration and photo ID at the door are required due to security measures at the Federal Reserve. Forum fee is $35.


Friday, December 16, 2016

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
(Breakfast & registration begins at 9:00 AM)
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston

Please note that you must register and bring a photo ID due to security measures at the Federal Reserve.

What will the Trump Administration and Congress do about the unmet need for affordable housing in our country?  At this forum, we’ll hear from national experts about what they predict will happen, and we’ll hear reactions from New England speakers about what the impact will be on our states.  We’ll also consider what we can do proactively to encourage a robust federal affordable housing agenda as we begin 2017.

National Speakers:

  • Chris Estes, President and CEO, National Housing Conference
  • Benson “Buzz” Roberts, President and CEO, National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders
  • Barbara Sard, Vice President for Housing Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Diane Yentel, President and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition

New England Speakers:

  • CT – Florence Villano, Executive Director, Connecticut Housing Coalition
  • MA – Chrystal Kornegay, Undersecretary, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development
  • ME – Bill Shanahan, Executive Director, Northern New England Housing Investment Fund
  • NH – Ben Frost, Director of Legal and Public Affairs, New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority
  • RI – Barbara Fields, Executive Director, Rhode Island Housing
  • VT – Gus Seelig, Executive Director, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board

New England Housing Network Lead Agencies:
CT   Connecticut Housing Coalition
MA   Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association
ME   Maine Affordable Housing Coalition
NH   Housing Action New Hampshire
RI   Housing Action Coalition of Rhode Island
VT   Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition


Thank you to our generous event sponsors!


For more information, contact CHAPA at 617-742-0820.



Save the Date – NLIHC Forum to Address Affordable Housing Landscape Post-Election

Posted November 10, 2016

NLIHC’s 2017 Housing Policy Forum in Washington, DC, April 2-4, 2017 will convene thought-leaders, policy experts, researchers, affordable housing practitioners, low income residents, and leaders from Capitol Hill and the new Administration to discuss the post-election landscape for affordable housing in America. The Forum will explore emerging challenges and opportunities given the leadership changes in Washington and the best strategies for achieving positive affordable housing policy solutions. For more information, go to, or call NLIHC at (202) 662-1530, or e-mail


Save the Date – Better Buildings by Design 2017


Mark your calendar for Efficiency Vermont’s Better Buildings by Design 2017, the region’s premier design and construction conference, which features interactive learning about building durability, efficiency, and value for both residential and commercial projects. This year’s conference takes place Wednesday, Feb. 1, and Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center, South Burlington, Vermont. Click here for more information.


Advanced Tax Credit Compliance & Income and Assets Training – August 24th & 25th in West Lebanon, NH

Posted July 26, 2016

Vermont Housing Managers Association (VHMA) and Granite State Managers Association (GSMA) are pleased to offer the following trainings with A. J. Johnson.

Advanced Tax Credit Compliance (view agenda)
When: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Where: Fireside Inn & Suites, 25 Airport Road, West Lebanon, NH
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m.)

Income and Assets (view agenda)
When: Thursday, August 25, 2016
Where: Fireside Inn & Suites, 25 Airport Road, West Lebanon, NH
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m.)

The Advanced Tax Credit Compliance training will meet the annual 6 hour training requirement!

Registration Costs:
Both Trainings = $275 per person for VHMA / GSMA members
$375 per person for non-members
Advanced Credit Compliance only = $200 per person for VHMA/ GSMA members
$300 per person for non-members
Income and Assets only = $150 per person for VHMA/GSMA members
$250 per person for non-members
Lunch is included in the registration fees.

Registration Deadline: August 10, 2016. Click here for more details and the registration form.

Please note that no refunds will be granted after August 10, 2016.

If you wish to stay at the Fireside Inn, please call them directly, 1-877-258-5900, and advise them that you are attending training at the hotel and they will give you a reduced room rate.

If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact Heidi Setien at


Asset Management Training Opportunity – September 22nd in Randolph, VT


A training for non-profit housing developers sponsored by VHCB Presented by Robert M. Santucci, Senior Consultant, Urban Renovation Consultants, Inc. Thursday, September 22, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Langevin House, Vermont Technical College, 599 Furnace Rd., Randolph

As many as 50% of nonprofit housing portfolios have serious asset management indicator shortfalls. Come to this training to learn how to assess your situation, make future projections, evaluate alternatives, and make strategic mid- and long-term plans for your real estate portfolio.

Session Objectives:
• Introduce the Asset Management Toolkit
• Recommend asset management plans
• Encourage rapid risk ranking
• Identify benchmarks and trends
• Offer one simple and one professional CNA planning

Audience: Owners, property managers, asset managers and funders of residential portfolios

Topics Learned: Asset management policy options; asset versus property management, benchmarking and risk analysis, CNAs

Toolkit: Extensive Excel spreadsheet to capture and project capital needs reserves, benchmarking templates; risk ranking templates; asset management plan format; asset management examples. Tools will be provided on a flashdrive along with a copy of Bob Santucci’s book, Asset Management Handbook for Real Estate Portfolios.

Register by Thursday, September 2: To register, please compete the attached form and send along with your payment to: Laurie Graves, VHCB, 58 E. State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602. Lunch is included. Questions? Require accessibility or dietary accommodations? email


Fourth Annual White River Junction VA Medical Center Community Mental Health Summit – September 14th

Posted July 21, 2016

Date: September 14, 2016
Time: 9am-1pm
Location: White River Junction VA Medical Center – Bldg. 44, Room 103

This year’s Summit will include two plenary sessions; 1) access to mental health care for Veterans and their family members and 2) Suicide Prevention. Sign-in and networking will take place from 9-9:30am, with opening speakers beginning at 9:30am.

Please email this form to to register. Please note that lunch will not be provided, but you are welcome to bring a bag lunch.


Action to End Homelessness in Washington County Launches Campaign

Posted May 20, 2016

Congratulations to VIA of Central Vermont, which kicked off a “Housing First” campaign to end homelessness in Washington County by 2020. Their Action on April 26 featured commitments from seven housing and mental health advocates to join forces with the faith communities in Montpelier and Barre to obtain the necessary resources and support staff to provide housing for those who are currently homeless.

The Times Argus ran a story on their front page about the Action, which you can see here. A video of the 80-minute event can also be seen on ORCA media.

Pathways to Housing is the lead organization in Vermont that urges a housing first model, which focuses on providing housing for those in need before attempting any other services, and then combines that housing with supportive treatment in the areas of mental and physical health, substance abuse, education, and employment.

VIA will sponsor a workshop, “Housing 101”, to prepare those interested in participating in an organizing campaign. The workshop features a presentation by Hilary Melton, Executive Director of Pathways VT, about the Housing First model, as well as trainings by VIA leaders on Building People Power, Growing Relationships through Intentional Conversations, Continuing the Conversation on Social Media and Sharing and Collecting Stories. They will end the workshop with break-out sessions to brainstorm strategies in bringing this vision to reality. Click here to reserve your space!

Day and Time: Saturday, June 4th, 2016, from 9 am to 12 noon. Address: Old Labor Hall, 46 Granite St. Barre, VT 05641. For questions, contact (802) 651-8889 or


Community Conversation on Homelessness – Montpelier, May 16th

Posted May 3, 2016

The City of Montpelier, through its Housing Task Force, in partnership with Good Samaritan Haven is hosting a Community Conversation on Homelessness. The public is invited and encouraged to participate in a dialogue that will include representatives from the City, Downstreet Housing and Community Development, the Montpelier Police Department, Montpelier Community Justice Center, Another Way, Vermont Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs, Montpelier businesses and individuals who have experienced homelessness.

You will have the chance to talk about your experience, observations, and concerns regarding homelessness; become informed about efforts underway; and contribute ideas regarding ways to end homelessness.

The Community Conversation on Homelessness is at the Christ Church, 64 State Street, Montpelier on Monday, May 16, 2016. A free dinner for all participants starts at 5:00 pm and the dialogue will happen between 6:00 and 8:00 pm.

This will be the third event specific to homelessness put on in the Montpelier and Barre communities within the past six weeks.There will be an update from the VT Interfaith Action group on what conclusions came from their homelessness panel as well as updates from the Good Samaritan Haven and the Washington County Continuum of Care network.

Questions? Please contact: Laura Biren, AmeriCorps VISTA at


SAVE THE DATE – Vermont Collective Impact Conference – November 2-3, 2016

Posted April 21, 2016

2016 Vermont Collective Impact Conference
Two-day conference: November 2-3, 2016
Stoweflake Resort & Conference Center, Stowe, Vermont

We are pleased to share the good news that the 2016 Vermont Collective Impact Conference will be held on November 2-3, 2016. This statewide, two-day conference will build on the momentum of the 2015 Collective Impact Conference and will provide opportunities for teams of stakeholders to learn and work together in furthering emerging or existing Collective Impact efforts. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend with existing partners; teams may include community leaders, business leaders, nonprofits, policy makers, government at all levels, funders, advocates and other stakeholders working together to achieve common priorities through Collective Impact.

Rooms will be available for conference participants at the Stoweflake Resort & Conference Center. Stay tuned for more details and registration information – and feel free to forward this news to anyone you know who may be interested in attending. Visit for more information over the coming months.

Conference sponsorship opportunities are available; for more information contact Amy Carmola


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