COTS Shelters

That’s because in honor of our annual Walk and the opening of our newly renovated program facility, we are celebrating “transformations” and “second chances,” as symbolized by the butterfly. “I think that by our COTS Walk, my office will be filled to the brim with origami butterflies,” Community Outreach and Volunteer Specialist Sian Leach said. We’re calling this: The Butterfly Project. Our goal: Fold 3,500 origami butterflies – 100 butterflies…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Events, Fundraisers, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness, Social Media, Volunteers
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What is the Daystation? The Daystation is a drop-in shelter, and is open 365 days a year seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It offers a refuge from the streets and access to an array of services. This is where individuals can meet with COTS staff and connect with local resources, receive mail and telephone calls, and find support toward their goal of self-sufficiency. Daystation staff…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Donations, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness

A shower, a bed and a community: These are three values that COTS’ Waystation stands by. “We try to limit activities that happen at here,” Waystation Manager Aurora Lenz-Watson said. “This is a space where guests can relax and sleep. We try to keep it really quiet and calm for the most part.” This is COTS’ original program, providing emergency shelter for single adults since 1982. The Waystation is located…

Categories: Advocacy, COTS Shelters, Donations, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness, Volunteers

Flourishing gardens, Pinterest-inspired crafts and evenings at Centennial Field — the idyllic Burlington, Vermont summer is spent outdoors, and with a community. At COTS’ Daystation, community is an essential value to the success of the guests. “We try to build community on different levels, and you know in the community, some people like to go to bingo, or do other things that aren’t focused on what’s wrong with you,” Daystation…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness, Uncategorized
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If you’ve ever worked the soil or spent time in a garden, you know it produces more than a generous harvest of food. The therapeutic element of gardening, the whole metaphor of being able to plant something, nurture it and see it grow and bear fruit is powerful and can be transformative. This year, gardens have sprouted at three different COTS facilities: our Daystation, Main Street Family Shelter, and Canal Street…

Categories: Children, COTS Shelters, Families, Veterans
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We recently asked our staff to share some of the stories of the people they work with every day — parents, children, and individuals facing the crisis of homelessness in our community. These stories are the reasons we will walk at at the COTS Walk on May 1st. Please join us: Register today. … For the single mom who called crying … She had good news to share on housing and…

Categories: Children, COTS Shelters, Donations, Events, Families, Fundraisers, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness, Housing
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It’s time to play the music! It’s time to light the lights! It’s time to meet the Puppets at the Puppet Show tonight!   While the children in shelter (and many of our younger staff) aren’t old enough to remember the original “Muppet Show,” we can still relate to the hours spent as children with imaginary play, creating courageous heroes and vile villains. Now, thanks to the generous support of…

Categories: Advocacy, Children, Community Partner, COTS Shelters, Donations, Education, Events, Families
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  COTS, in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Human Services and other local groups, opened a 40-bed Winter Warming Shelter on Nov. 3 in downtown Burlington. The winter-only emergency shelter will operate 6 p.m.-7 a.m., seven nights a week, through March 31, 2016, as a more effective and less costly alternative to the previous system of motel vouchers. “This shelter will be an ongoing resource each winter to ensure…

Categories: COTS Shelters
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COTS recently completed a weatherization project at the Main Street Family Shelter. The project’s goals: to make the shelter more comfortable and livable for its guests, and to lower COTS’ annual energy expenses. The partnership and generous support of Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity’s (CVOEO) Champlain Valley Weatherization, Commons Energy, and Consumer Construction made this project possible. We are very grateful! The project began with a thorough energy audit,…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Homelessness, Housing
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At the COTS Daystation, much is done to ensure that clients have access to the services they need to establish and maintain self-sufficiency.  Programming at the Daystation goes beyond crisis needs – activities also affirm each individual’s dignity. This is where AmeriCorps member Sydney Kalas comes in.  Following the suggestion of a local art therapist, Sydney decided to introduce mandalas – geometrically intricate designs of Indian origin – to guests…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Staff and Board