COTS Shelters

  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
Tags:, , , , , ,

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
Tags:, , , , , , , , ,

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

This summer has been very exciting for us.  Thanks to our Family Shelter AmeriCorps member Macy Margolin we have a brand new garden in the back of our Main Street Family Shelter!  We sent our AmeriCorps VISTA Lori Goldman to interview Macy back in March about the beginning of the project, the process of building the garden, and the effect that it has on the kids staying with us in…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Education, Families

Our #172vt campaign is an effort to bring attention to the urgent and growing needs of homeless children. The number of homeless children nationally has surged in recent years to all-time record highs. Vermont has echoed these disturbing trends. Today, one in every 30 children in the United States is homeless. Every year, we examine the issue in our own community. We conduct a count of homeless students and toddlers…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Donations, Fundraisers, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness, Social Media

We want share with you exciting news! COTS is moving forward with our plans to rebuild a permanent new home for the Daystation, our daytime center for single adults, and create 14 new units of supportive housing. As you might recall, the Daystation was destroyed by a catastrophic flood in July 2012. Since that time, COTS has continued to operate the program from temporary, interim locations — initially at the First…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Homeless Prevention, Housing, Staff and Board
Tags:, , , , ,

With the support of trained staff, our Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), and AmeriCorps Family Programming Specialist, COTS works with children and parents in the shelter to ensure success in school, promote children’s healthy social, emotional and physical development, and strengthen family relationships.  Volunteers provide evening respite care in our playroom, planning activities, help with homework and read stories with kids. The COTS Children’s Education Advocate works with schools…

Categories: COTS Shelters
Tags:, , , , , , , ,

The Power of Giving: Thank you to Citizens Bank

Posted On September 4, 2014 By | Comments Off on The Power of Giving: Thank you to Citizens Bank

We are always so thankful when we receive donations, and it is especially touching when we hear about the effect they have had on our clients.  Sharon Snow, one of COTS’ Family Services Case Managers, had the privilege of watching families take the school supplies donated by Citizens Bank through the Gear For Grades Initiative.  She has some powerful reflections that we would love to share: “Every year in August the…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Donations, Staff and Board
Tags:, , ,

Eating well can be a challenge regardless of income bracket. Anyone who has ever been on a budget knows that finding affordable produce can be an especially difficult task. Thanks to the Intervale Gleaning and Food Rescue, the Daystation has been able to serve fresh vegetables every day to our clients.  We serve lunch at the Daystation, 365 days a year, as a part of the services we provide for…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Donations
Tags:, , , , ,

The following blog post is an edited contribution submitted by Kathrine Mansfield. I am a member of the Vermont Youth Development Corps (VYDC) branch of AmeriCorps, serving as the Children’s Programming Specialist at COTS Family Shelters. VYDC members provide opportunities for youth to learn how to live healthy lifestyles. As part of my VYDC service, I incorporated dance classes into the children’s programming at COTS family shelters. I created the…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Homelessness, Volunteers
Tags:, , , , , , ,