95 North Avenue

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About 95 North Avenue

History: in 1893, the 95 North Avenue building opened with Frank Riley running a grocery store at this address. In 1902, Gerorge Saiger opened Saiger’s Department Store and Grocery on the first floor, with two or three apartments located on the second floor. In 1928, Alex Colodny purchased the building, running the popular Colodny’s Market, and Vermont’s first “supermarket” for more than 50 years. In 1979, Burlington College purchased the building, and opened its doors. In 2010, COTS purchased the property with a vision of creating a new type of community anchor, one that provides services, support and housing for people facing the crisis of homelessness.

In January 2016, COTS began extensive renovations on the historic structure, including a new addition constructed in the rear. As part of the project, done in partnership with Housing Vermont, a new permanent home for the Daystation was built on the first floor. Also, 14 affordable apartments were created to the second floor. Other updates included making COTS’ program spaces for homeless prevention, and family and adult services more accessible and far more energy-efficient. An elevator was added, too.

The renovation restored the historic portion of the building to it’s original 1893 look. During construction, part of the building’s original tin ceiling was discovered under a drop ceiling. This was restored, and is now visible on COTS main floor waiting area. COTS and Housing Vermont hosted an official ribbon cutting event in April 2017 with Congressman Peter Welch, Governor Phil Scott, Mayor Miro Weinberger, and many other supporters, partners and community leaders. The project was made possible through public and private funding sources.

Permanent, Affordable Housing: 14 apartments: There are 12 studios and two one-bedroom units, each with their own kitchen and bathroom. Laundry facilities, storage, and shared community space is also available. Seven of the apartments are fully-furnished, service-enriched units that receive private rental assistance through a COTS internal subsidy.

Program Space: COTS program are co-located with housing at 95 North Avenue.

  • Housing Resource Center (HRC): This is COTS’ homelessness prevention initiative, which was launched in 2008. The program is designed to help families and individuals avert the crisis of homelessness entirely. We also work with households to return to permanent housing more quickly.
    • Services: The HRC provides a variety of support and services to stabilize households in crisis, including rental and mortgage arrearages, security deposit assistance, and short-term subsidies.
  • Daystation: The original Daystation opened in 1988. This program, which offers people a safe and warm refuge from the streets, is designed to connect people with housing, services, and resources.
    • Services: The Daystation staff welcome guests, connects them with services and community resources, including health care and housing. A noontime meal is served daily. Community partners, including the VA, meet with guests and offer additional or specialized services. Workshops are offered on job readiness as well. Guests also receive mail and messages. Toiletries, socks, and other needs are distributed through this program. A volunteer provides haircuts. The Daystation’s new home includes for guests: commercial-grade washer and dryer, a shower, and computers.