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REMINDER: Homelessness Awareness Day & Memorial Vigil – Tomorrow, State House

Posted January 4, 2017

REMINDER
HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS DAY & MEMORIAL VIGIL
THURSDAY, JANUARY 5
STATE HOUSE, MONTPELIER

 

Every year in January concerned citizens and housing and homeless service providers from across Vermont gather at the State House in Montpelier for a day to engage their representatives and senators and to renew the commitment to end homelessness in our state. This year, the annual Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil will take place on Thursday, January 5th, 2017. Please join us!

AGENDA

  • **NEW**Coffee & muffins, Cafeteria: 7:30 – 9:00 AM
  • Legislative Awareness Day, Card Room: 7:30 AM-2 PM
  • Reading of Legislative Resolution and Recognition of Homeless Service Providers and Advocates, House Gallery: 9:30 AM
  • Memorial Vigil, State House Steps: Noon

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.

At 9:30am, please be in the House Gallery to hear the reading of a resolution recognizing those experiencing homelessness and the work being done by homeless service providers and advocates.

At Noon community members, elected officials, and advocates will take to 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.

Please note that it is also Governor-elect Scott’s inauguration day, and so it would be best to arrive in Montpelier as early as possible to account for the special security measures at the State House that day.

For more information, contact MaryEllen Mendl at maryellen@unitedwaysvt.org, or Erhard Mahnke at erhardm@vtaffordablehousing.  Click here for the event flyer.

We hope to see you tomorrow!

Erhard Mahnke, Coordinator
——————————————–
Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition
802-660-9484 (wk) | 802-233-2902 (cell)
erhardm@vtaffordablehousing.org
www.vtaffordablehousing.org

 

vtha17

 



Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil – January 5th, State House

Posted December 28, 2016

Every year in January concerned citizens and housing and homeless service providers from across Vermont gather at the State House in Montpelier for a day to engage their representatives and to renew the commitment to end homelessness in our state. This year, the annual Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil will take place on Thursday, January 5th, 2017. Please join us!

Agenda

  • Legislative Awareness Day, Card Room: 7:30 AM-2 PM
  • Reading of Legislative Resolution and Recognition of Homeless Service Providers and Advocates, House Gallery: 9:30 AM
  • Memorial Vigil, State House Steps: Noon

The day will kick off early at 7:30am in the Card Room. People will be present 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. Please use this time to meet with legislators and discuss the good work you and your organization are doing in your region. 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.

At 9:30pm be in the House Gallery to hear the reading of a resolution recognizing those experiencing homelessness and the work being done by homeless service providers and advocates.

At Noon community members, elected officials, and advocates will take to 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.

Please circulate our flyer to your networks to help raise awareness about the day and increase turnout. Please note that it is also Governor-elect Scott’s inauguration day, and so it would be best to arrive in Montpelier as early as possible to account for the special security measures at the State House that day. We hope to see you there!

For more information, contact MaryEllen Mendl at maryellen@unitedwaysvt.org, or Erhard Mahnke at erhardm@vtaffordablehousing.

 vtha17

 



Register for workshop: Promote Housing Stability and Prevent Evictions

Posted November 21, 2016

You are invited to: 

Promote Housing Stability and Prevent Evictions

Two identical workshops in a series of trainings associated with Vermont’s Roadmap to End Homelessness 

Tuesday November 29th, 2016
12:30-4:00 PM
Kirk Alumni Center, Middlebury College
217 Golf Course Rd, Middlebury, VT 05753

Wednesday November 30th, 2016
9:00-12:30 PM
The Junction Room, Hotel Coolidge
39 South Main Street, White River Junction, VT 05001 

Light refreshments will be provided at each workshop 

Helping tenants to successfully retain their housing takes creative, progressive engagement, strategies that are inclusive of all key players including service providers, property managers, and tenants themselves. This session will discuss key skills, strategies, tools and resources, to help prevent evictions of vulnerable populations and provide a foundation for their continued growth and success. 

This session targets housing and service providers, including but not limited to supportive housing service providers, and affordable housing property managers. 

‘Promote Housing Stability and Prevent Evictions’ will build and enhance partnerships between housing and service providers serving vulnerable populations in the state of Vermont. The session will increase participants’ skills in communication, coordination, and ability to access resources and tools to prevent evictions and increase housing stability. 

Please RSVP by Wednesday November 23rd:

Middlebury: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H538JQG
White River Junction: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P8Z97DM

Contact Chelsea Ross at Chelsea.ross@csh.org with any questions.

The same training will be held at each location.  Register for one only.

 



VAHC & VCEH meetings – Sept 20, Old Labor Hall, Barre – Sue Minter & Phil Scott confirmed

Posted September 13, 2016

Dear Coalition Members and Friends,

This is a quick reminder for next Tuesday’s Annual Joint Meeting of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness.  After lunch, the VAHC Annual Meeting and the VCEH monthly meeting will be held concurrently at the same location:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Old Labor Hall
46 Granite St, Barre, VT
(Directions below)

We hope you or someone from your organization can attend!!  We have some very special guests and exciting agenda items confirmed:

  • Sue Minter, Democratic Party nominee for governor (at 9:45)
  • Lt. Governor Phil Scott, Republican Party nominee for governor (at 10:30)
  • Kate Ash (Sen. Leahy), Katarina Lisaius (Sen. Sanders) & Kevin Veller (Congr. Welch) will provide the latest updates from DC
  • Jen Hollar (VHCB) & Angus Chaney (AHS) will give an overview and update on the important “Roadmap to End Homelessness” initiative
  • Networking Lunch (at 12 noon, $5 donation requested)
  • VAHC Annual Meeting (1:00 – 2:00) & VCEH Monthly Meeting (1:00 – 2:30)

Here is a detailed meeting agenda.  Background materials will go out early next week.

We will meet with both major gubernatorial candidates separately to hear their thoughts on state policy and funding for affordable housing and homelessness and respond to questions from coalition members.  We are providing both candidates with a set of questions to help them frame their remarks and prepare them for likely questions during Q & A.

VAHC STEERING COMMITTEE & OFFICER ELECTIONS
At the VAHC annual meeting, members will be electing a Steering Committee and officers for the 2016/17 year.  We are fortunate to have six current members willing to continue serving.  Vice Chair Chris Donnelly from the Champlain Housing Trust, who has served for seven years, will be stepping down, as will Elizabeth Bridgewater from the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust.   We thank both for their valuable service to the Coalition.

The Coalition by-laws allow for up to nine people to serve on the Steering Committee.  As a result, there are up to three potential vacancies on the Steering Committee.  We are fortunate to have Alison Friedkin from Downstreet Housing & Community Development willing to join.  That leaves another two potential seats open.  Anyone who is interested should contact Chris at chris.donnelly@champlainhousingtrust.org, or Coalition Chair Ted Wimpey at twimpey@cvoeo.org.  The by-laws also permit nominations from the floor and call for direct election of officers by the membership.  Unless further interested candidates emerge, the Steering Committee recommends that members elect the following slate:

  • Ted Wimpey, Chair & Director, CVOEO Fair Housing Project
  • Sara Kobylenski, Treasurer & Executive Director, Upper Valley Haven
  • Cindy Reid, Secretary & Director of Development, Cathedral Square Corporation
  • Ray Brewster, At Large Member & Independent Consultant
  • Alison Friedkin, At Large Member & Director of Real Estate Development, Downstreet Housing & Community Development
  • Loralee Morrow, At Large Member & Regional Planner, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission
  • Tyler Sweeten, At Large Member & Peer Advocate Counselor Coordinator, VT Center for Independent Living

Click here for current Steering Committee bios and contact info.

DIRECTIONS TO OLD LABOR HALL:  From I-89 North or South:

  • Take Exit 7 onto Rte. 62 and follow the signs into Barre.
  • At the 5th light (junction with Rte. 302), take a right onto Main Street.
  • Turn right onto Granite Street (beside Peoples United Bank).
  • The Old Labor Hall will be on your left after you cross the railroad tracks.

PARKING
The parking lot of the Old Labor Hall is shared with a commercial granite company that requires transportation and shipping access during business hours.  Parking is restricted for weekday use to areas closest to the OLH. Renters who block access may be asked to move.  Street and metered parking is available in areas around the Hall.

We will *not* be offering a call-in option for this meeting, but will resume that at the regular monthly VAHC meeting on October 12 in Montpelier.

Hope to see you next Tuesday!

 



Help Us Welcome HUD Secretary Julián Castro to Vermont

Posted August 25, 2016

SAVE THE DATE – Thursday, September 1, 1:30pm, Burlington

Please join Senator Patrick Leahy, our two other congressional offices, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, and the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition in welcoming Julián Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to Vermont.

Senator Leahy is hosting a policy roundtable, entitled “The State of Housing in Vermont,” next Thursday, September 1st from 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm at the Contois Auditorium in Burlington City Hall.

Senator Leahy, Secretary Castro and partners from Vermont’s affordable housing and homelessness network will highlight a few of the state’s many successes, as well as the challenges we face, in providing affordable housing and supportive services to Vermonters of all income levels and abilities, including our lowest income, most vulnerable citizens.

Afterwards, join Senator Leahy, Housing Vermont and the Champlain Housing Trust to celebrate the opening of Vermont’s newest 40-unit, resident controlled housing cooperative on Bright Street in Burlington’s Old North End. The ribbon cutting and open house is from 3 – 4pm.

You are invited to attend both of these events. Here are the details:

“The State of Housing in Vermont” Roundtable Discussion
1:30 – 2:45pm
Contois Auditorium, Burlington City Hall

Bright Street Housing Co-op Ribbon Cutting
3 – 4pm
Parking available in the garage under the building located approximately at 114 Archibald Street

Click here for Senator Leahy’s announcement.

For more information, contact Kate Ash in Senator Leahy’s Montpelier office at 802-229-0569.

We hope to see you next week!

 

 



Survey: Roadmap for Ending Homelessness

Posted August 23, 2016

As you may know, a steering committee comprising housing and service providers, state agencies and funding organizations is overseeing an effort to accelerate our mutual  work to reduce homelessness and stabilize vulnerable populations.  The specific purpose is to build on existing efforts by developing a system for facilitating service-connected affordable housing options, building local capacity, determining costs and identifying available and needed resources.

The Committee has engaged the Corporation for Supportive Housing, which has assisted cities and states across the country with similar projects.  CSH is currently gathering information through interviews, facilitated meetings and an online survey as part of its assessment of current efforts and challenges encountered by experts in the field.  The feedback it receives will greatly inform its recommended “roadmap” for ending homelessness.

As Co-Chairs of the Roadmap Steering Committee, we hope you will take the time to complete this survey and share it with your colleagues and networks. We are especially interested in getting input from tenants, program participants and Vermonters with lived experience of homelessness. The survey will remain open until August 29th.

Your responses will be confidential and aggregated by staff at CSH.

Angus Chaney
Director of Housing
Vermont Agency of Human Services

Jen Hollar
Director of Policy
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

PS – It’s hard to see from the front of the survey, but CSH has wired it in the background such that if you check the radio button for tenant/consumer/lived experience it jumps you ahead to questions that are more relevant for — and accessible to — non-practitioners. It’s set up that in most cases lay people should be able to complete it themselves if they have some familiarity and access to computers.

 



HUD Awards $2.3 Million for Local Homeless Programs in Vermont

Posted May 3, 2016

Yesterday, HUD announced the final Tier 2 awards for Continuum of Care Programs with both CoCs (Balance of State and Chittenden) in Vermont approved for all submitted applications including:

  • All CoC renewal projects
  • All CoC reallocated projects (two new ICA/HMIS grants, new CVOEO/Coordinated Entry project, and a new VSHA Permanent Housing/Rapid Rehousing project in Franklin/Lamoille/Washington counties)
  • Two new Permanent Housing/Rapid Rehousing BONUS projects:
    • $131,542:  State of Vermont (AHS); “Domestic Violence – Housing First”.
    • $415,845:  Vermont State Housing Authority; 37 units/62 beds to serve literally homeless families, individuals, youth, veterans and victims of domestic violence in the counties of Addison (John Graham Shelter), Bennington (BROC), Orleans (NEKCA), Rutland (BROC & HPC), Washington (Capstone), and Windsor (UVH).

For the full press release and further information, click here.

For a guide to Vermont CoCs, click here.

 



Community Conversation on Homelessness – Montpelier, May 16th

Posted

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 Lbiren@montpelier-vt.org

 



Former Hotel Becomes Permanent Housing for Homeless

Posted January 26, 2016

VT Digger reports on the opening of the Beacon Apartments, which consists of 19 studio and one-bedroom apartments in the now renovated former Ho Hum Motel in South Burlington, will provide permanent housing and supportive services to chronically homeless individuals. The project is made possible through the work of the Champlain Housing Trust, the Burlington Housing Authority and the Community Health Centers of Burlington. Below is an excerpt from the article:

Many of the people who began moving into modest but newly renovated apartments this month at the former Ho Hum Motel haven’t had a place of their own in years.

One man said he hadn’t showered in 2½ months, recalled Ben Daniels, construction manager for the Beacon Apartments, as the single-story brick complex is known. Now he has his own bathroom with a shower.

The Beacon Apartments are a project of the Champlain Housing Trust, the Burlington Housing Authority and Safe Harbor, which is the Community Health Centers of Burlington’s health care program for homeless people.

The 19 studio and one-bedroom apartments on Route 7 between Burlington and Shelburne are not transitional housing, said Chris Donnelly, director of community relations for the housing trust. Tenants can stay forever if they choose, he said.

Working with United Way, the groups conducted a survey to identify the homeless people in the region most likely to die on the streets or in the woods. They’re also the people “most likely to cycle through emergency rooms,” Donnelly said — visits that ultimately drive up health care costs borne by the public at large.

The idea is to give the long-term homeless, many of whom struggle with substance abuse and mental illness, stable housing and support services that will allow them to live more normal lives.

“These are folks who have trouble navigating the system on a good day. They’ve really just been focused on survival,” said Erin Ahearn, Safe Harbor’s homeless health care program manager.

Many are the product of generational poverty and “never had the opportunity to be independent and successful on their own,” Ahearn said. They often grew up without a family home, frequently staying with friends or relatives, and in some cases on the streets, she said.

To read the full article, click here.

 



REMINDER: Homelessness Awareness Day & Voices 4 VT Kids conference – Thurs, Jan 7

Posted January 5, 2016


Annual Homelessness Awareness Day & Memorial Vigil
Thursday, January 7th
8am – 4:30pm
State House, Montpelier

 

Every year in January concerned citizens and homeless service providers from across Vermont gather at the State House in Montpelier for a day to engage their representatives and to renew their commitment to end homelessness in our state. Please join us this Thursday!

Plans for the day are shaping up.  The day will kick off early at 8:00am in the Card Room. People will be present there all day from 8 – 3:30pm to share information, connect with their representatives, see the work being done around the state, and to be a part of the conversation on which strategies are working in reducing homelessness and which ones still need work.

Please make every effort to contact your Representatives and Senators in advance to let them know you would like to meet with them.  You can find their names and contact information here: http://legislature.vermont.gov/people/all/2016.

From 10:30 – 12, the House Committees on Housing, General and Military Affairs and Human Services will hold a joint hearing on homelessness in Room 11.  Thanks to Coalition partner, Voices for Vermont’s Children, Representatives will hear testimony from nationally recognized pediatrician Dr. Megan Sandel, who has done path-breaking work on the effects of housing insecurity and homelessness on children.  They will also hear from Vermont homeless service providers and domestic violence advocates on the latest trends and recommended solutions.

At Noon community members, legislative leaders, administration officials, and advocates will take to the State House steps for a 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 and secure housing.

***We are honored to have Senator Patrick Leahy join us for the Vigil!***

At 3:30pm, please convene in the House Gallery to hear the reading of a resolution declaring January 7 as Homelessness Awareness Day and recognize those experiencing homelessness and the work being done by homeless service providers and advocates.

The House General Committee will reconvene afterwards (approx. 4:15pm) to hear from advocates who may not have had a chance to testify in the morning.

Please click here for a downloadable flyer to print and distribute. Thank you all for your continued commitment to helping to end homelessness in Vermont. We look forward to seeing many of you on the 7th!

 



Advocacy Matters: Transforming our State Together
Thursday, January 7
9 am – 3:30 pm
Capitol Plaza, Montpelier

 

Voices for Vermont’s Children is holding its annual conference the same day as our Vigil and Homelessness Awareness Day.  Folks at Voices know that homeless and housing advocates will be busy at the State House, but want to let everyone know that they are welcome to come for lunch to hear Dr. Sandel’s presentation, which has been scheduled for after the Vigil so as not to conflict.  You are also welcome to come for any other part of the day for a reduced fee.  If you want to go, you can pay at the door, but will still need to register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/advocacy-matters-transforming-the-state-together-tickets-20055551695.

Here is the original conference notice for more information:

 

Advocacy Matters: Transforming our State Together

January 7, 2016 | 9 am – 3:30 pm | Capitol Plaza, Montpelier

 

What would happen if the people devoted to serving Vermont’s most vulnerable people came together, created a shared vision and worked together to make that vision a reality? 

What if we really could change the world? 

At this year’s conference we will work to uncover our connected interests, consider the concept of “intersectionality,” and commit to approaching our work in solidarity. Keynote speaker Karen Tronsgard-Scott will explore these possibilities and share a model for creating change in ourselves and in our world. Her framework will lead into a panel discussion that takes a closer look at intersectional issues in Vermont, and the need to resist pressures to fight for scraps or pit constituencies against each other. Next, we’ll move into an interactive World Café style exercise where organizers and advocates will share the models they use to advance their social justice missions.

At noon we’ve created an opportunity for solidarity by joining advocates for a vigil against homelessness on the steps of the Statehouse. Immediately afterward lunch will be served with a presentation from Dr. Megan Sandel, a nationally recognized expert on housing and children’s health. Participants will then choose between 3 afternoon workshop sessions to develop strategies for action.

Help us build bridges between advocacy movements and commit to collective impact. 

For a full conference agenda and to register – click HERE.

 



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