Posts Tagged ‘shelter’

By Becky Holt From The Burlington Free Press, Dec. 20, 2015 Sometimes a question sticks with you long after it’s been asked. The seemingly most innocent ones often have the deepest meanings and stay with us the longest. Virginia O’Hanlon’s question — “Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?” — to a newspaper editor more than a century ago is one we ask ourselves today. Do we…

Categories: Homelessness
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Please join us! WHAT: The Coolest Lunch, a benefit for the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) WHEN: Noon-2 p.m. WEDNESDAY (Dec. 16) WEATHER FORECAST: 40 degrees, with partly sunny skies WHY: You can’t beat outdoor dining at the “coolest lunch in town.” COTS supporters, in an effort to raise awareness about being homeless in the cold winter months, will eat lunch outdoors in downtown Burlington and new this year: Winooski,…

Categories: Events
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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 hosted its Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on Oct. 23 at the First Congregational Church of Burlington. The event is an opportunity to honor the extraordinary contributions by volunteers, community partners and local businesses that support COTS work to end homelessness. The recipients were chosen for their outstanding service and commitment to assist and advocate for our neighbors struggling with homelessness or those who are marginally housed. The honorees for…

Categories: Volunteers
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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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We are consistently amazed by the efforts of our community partners to create a healthier, more equitable Vermont. One of which, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation(VEIC), is developing and implementing a 4-phase employeeengagement program called LEAD.  As an organization with a love of acronyms, LEAD stands for “Learn, Engage, Act and Discuss”.  Each of the 4 phases is defined below: Learn – TED Talks, Speakers, Videos, Books, Articles Engage – Facilitated…

Categories: Homelessness, Housing, Staff and Board
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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
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Today is moving day! COTS has moved its Daystation program to a second interim home. COTS and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington reached a lease agreement for the facility at 113 Elmwood Avenue, Burlington. The facility is currently shared with Joseph’s House. The COTS Daystation, was destroyed by a July 4, 2012, flood. The First United Methodist Church of Burlington generously donated the use of their parsonage for the…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Homelessness
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Seven Days: What the Rates Tell Us About Vermont’s Motel Spending: Shelters and motels aside, (COTS Executive Director) Rita Markley ultimately believes state funding is best used preventing a family or individual from losing housing in the first place — a refrain that’s become common in the motel spending debate. She points to a program that COTS ran last year that stopped 233 evictions. “That was 233 households who could have…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness
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Every year in January, homeless service providers from across Vermont gather at the Statehouse to report to their representatives which strategies are working and which ones need work. Together they make a case to the state’s Housing Committee to advocate for the strongest and most effective homeless state policy.  Take a look at the Homeless Awareness Day Album. COTS Executive Director, Rita Markley, opened the Housing Committee meeting with testimony about…

Categories: COTS Shelters, Events, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness, Veterans
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