Canal Street Veterans Housing Flagpole and Plaque Dedication

Posted On June 21, 2013 By | 2 Comments on Canal Street Veterans Housing Flagpole and Plaque Dedication

Veterans Housing Flag

Special thanks to the color guard from VFW Post #6689 in Essex Junction.

On June 13, the community came together to honor the men and women who serve and served in our military and to recognize the amazing supporters who helped make the Canal Street Veterans Housing possible.

“Veterans have sacrificed so much for this country, and we are so proud to have this beautiful building to let them know how much we appreciate their service,” said Rita Markley, COTS executive director. “Canal Street demonstrates that Vermont knows how to treat our veterans when they return home, offering them safe and decent housing.”

Canal Street is so special because it provides veterans with time to transition back into the community, allowing participants to stay up to 24 months.  During their stay, vets receive the care and gain the skills they need to move on to permanent housing on their own.  Since opening in 2011, 25 homeless vets have graduated from the program.

This housing facility for veterans has been made possible through a COTS partnership with Housing Vermont and by an invested community of volunteers, local businesses, and veteran organizations.

COTS took the morning to thank all the supporters who have helped to make this innovative veterans program and housing possible in a Flagpole and Plaque Dedication Ceremony.

We are happy to report that we had an amazing turnout for the event.  We are so thankful to everyone who joined us in celebrating the unique success that is the Canal Street Veterans Housing.The event started with a flag raising ceremony, centering around a newly installed flagpole donated by District 2 Department of Vermont Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Veterans look on

Veterans from the American Legion Family of Enosburg Falls, VT look on as the flag is raised.

Then we awarded dedicated plaques to the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Green Mountain Unit 1, the American Legion Family: Post #42, Auxiliary Unit #42 and SAL Squadron #42, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #758 for their generous gifts that funded the furnishings for individual apartments.  Many other veteran groups recognized at the event also make Canal Street Veterans Housing a reality.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Cray of the Vermont National Guard, Phil Fiermonte from Senator Sanders’ Office, Susan Elliot from Rep. Welch’s Office, and John Tracey from Senator Leahy’s Office all spoke to the merit of the Canal Street Veterans Housing program and its dedication to helping and honoring those veterans that need some extra support when returning home.  Mr. Fiermonte also took a moment to read a letter from Senator Bernie Sanders.

We also took the opportunity to present the Blue Star Mothers of Vermont with the Wilma Rayta Volunteer of the Year Award for their dedication to our Canal Street veterans.  They have helped to sustain the program with food and in-kind gifts, as well as supporting vets with day care and transitioning out of the program and into permanent housing.

Valerie Pallotta accepted the award on behalf of the Blue Star Mothers: “We are extremely honored to be accepting this award. All we wanted to do was give back to you, who have given so much for our freedom. We can’t begin to thank you.”

For an inside look at the ceremony, be sure to check out our veteran photo album on Facebook.

Categories: Events, Housing, Veterans, Volunteers
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2 responses to “Canal Street Veterans Housing Flagpole and Plaque Dedication”

  1. Silver Price says:

    This new building, which began welcoming residents in February 2011, creates two-year transitional housing for formerly homeless veterans who need extra support.

  2. SITE & PROGRAM The trapezoidal site includes a view of the Winooski River falls with its eroded banks of local redstone, a building material prominently used in the area for hundreds of years. The unusually lot configuration and steep slope formed the basis for the building’s shape. Twenty veterans reside in a mix of apartment types along with communal spaces, a counselor’s office, and a program manager’s apartment on the lower 4 floors. The 2 top floors are tax credit supported affordable housing. All of the efficiency units, which vary in layout, include full kitchens and baths. There are two types of 2 BR units within the transitional housing, and can serve two individual vets or a vet with a child/ren. The twelve affordable units include ten efficiencies and two, 2BR apartments. The common spaces have large windows opening to the street front and the community.