Transitional housing is for people who are committed to regaining independence but need a little support to completely transition from emergency shelter to housing.  Residents can live in transitional housing and work with an on-site case manager up to 24 months after leaving shelter.  This enables residents to build good credit records while receiving support and services to live more independently. 33 units of transitional housing are provided by COTS at the Smith House and Canal Street Veterans Housing.

The Smith House:

Smith House Exterior


Opened in the spring of 2002, the Smith House provides low-cost housing for up to 7 COTS clients who are transitioning from shelter and working with staff to overcome complex financial, health and/or substance-abuse issues.

The Smith House includes two permanent apartments for families, made affordable with Burlington Housing Authority Section 8 vouchers. On average, 70 percent of the individuals living here move into permanent housing each year.

Canal Street Veteran Housing:

Canal Street Veterans Housing


In February 2011, COTS began welcoming residents to the Canal Street Veterans Veterans Housing, a new facility in Winooski that provides housing, to shelter, to homeless veterans. There are 16 units of transitional housing and 12 units of permanent housing. The program was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in response to the growing number of homeless veterans in Vermont and nationwide.

(See below for more details, as well as links to more information.)



72 units of permanent housing are offered by COTS at 94 North Avenue, The Wilson, St. John’s Hall, and Canal Street Veterans Housing.

95 North Avenue:

Purchased by COTS in 2010, this historic location (dating back to 1893) was renovated in 2016. Upon reopening in April 2017, COTS was able to offer 12 studios, and two one-bedroom apartments. Each includes their own kitchen and bathroom. Laundry facilities, storage, and shared community space is also available. Seven of the apartments are full-furnished, service-enriched units that receive private rental assistance through a COTS internal subsidy.




The Wilson:

The Wilson


Purchased by COTS in 1984, this former hotel provides 22 single-room occupancy (SRO) units for people who are living independently and share a common kitchen. A longtime COTS employee serves as resident manager.



St. John’s Hall:

St. John's Hall


Opened in 1991, St. John’s Hall provides 18 single-room-occupancy (SRO) units and three apartments, subsidized by the Vermont Housing Authority.

Like the Wilson, St. John’s provides permanent, low-cost housing, with an on-site manager, for residents who are living independently.



Canal Street Veteran Housing:

This six-story building in Winooski opened in February 2011, and provides up to two-years of transitional housing for homeless veterans. The bottom four floors include 16 units (12 studios and 4 two-bedroom apartments); these units serve as transitional housing for homeless veterans.

The top two floors of the building include an additional 12 units (10 studios and 2 two-bedroom apartments) of affordable, permanent housing, where veterans receive preference in placement.

COTS provides programming and staff for those in transitional housing, including a full-time, live-in residential manager. COTS also connects veterans with other service providers in the community.