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TIMES ARGUS – Counting our homeless: Vermont struggles to pinpoint needs

Posted July 30, 2013

By Eric Blaisdell. Reposted from the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, July 28, 2013.

“It’s anyone’s guess how many people are actually homeless in Vermont.

They aren’t exactly lining up to be counted, and the ones who have been identified represent only a fraction of the total homeless population.

The lack of reliable data has undermined the efforts of advocates for the homeless while providing political cover for policy makers, experts in the field say.

Moreover, the incomplete count has made it more difficult to secure adequate funding to combat the problem, and direct aid to where it’s needed most.

However poor the data, the problem is undeniably severe.

Surveys of the homeless population show a sharp climb in recent years, coinciding with the onset of an economic recession that began taking its toll in 2008. Tropical Storm Irene dealt another blow in 2011, when residents of devastated communities lost access to shelter…”

PDF of Full Times Argus Article


Times Argus Editorial – Too far a reach

Posted April 23, 2013

Editorial. Reposted from the Times Argus, April 21, 2013.

“Ordinarily, major reforms receive close attention from affected groups and from legislators keen to study a problem and examine solutions. But sometimes a governor will launch an initiative from within the inner sanctum of his administration, without warning or the kind of preliminary work that is designed to build support from the public and the Legislature. That is what has happened with Shumlin…

There was moving testimony in the House from people in the program about the difficulties they encounter in finding stable employment, housing, transportation and child care, and not for want of trying. Cutting off benefits could throw a small core of troubled families into chaos, introducing new instability among people struggling to get by…”

View PDF of Full Editorial


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Times Argus Editorial – On being mediocre

Posted April 9, 2013

Reposted from the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, March 29, 2013.

“The Rule of Demonstrable Mediocrity prevails in places where the paramount concern is to save money. Those who believe the public interest sometimes demands more than the minimal expenditure of money know that the rule maintains a tenacious hold…

One example is the administration’s plan to change the state’s principal welfare program, Reach Up, which is designed to move low-income residents from welfare to work…Only a tiny fraction of Reach Up participants ever reach the five-year limit, but it can be surmised that they are the most troubled or impaired among the program’s job seekers and there are probably good reasons, beyond laziness, why they have been unable to achieve independence. Yet the new strictures on the program would throw their lives into chaos and impose unnecessary hardships…”

Link to Full Times Argus Editorial

View PDF of Full Times Argus Editorial


Affordable housing is out of reach in Vermont

Posted March 14, 2013

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released it’s report, Out of Reach 2013, earlier this week. The national study highlights the growing gap between minimum wage and the cost of a basic apartment. Specifically, the report focuses on barriers to finding and maintaining an affordable home nationwide. Since it’s release, affordable housing has been spotlighted in local media:

Barre Montpelier Times Argus
Renting in Vermont: Gap remains between income and affordability
View PDF of Times Argus article

Vermont Public Radio News
Reports Paint Different Pictures Of Affordable Housing
View PDF of VPR News article 


Link to Out of Reach 2013 report