COTS' Mission Statement

COTS advocates for long-term solutions to end homelessness and provides emergency shelter, services, and long-term housing for Vermonters who are experiencing homelessness or are marginally housed.

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Our Services

Support for those experiencing homelessness from financial assistance and emergency shelter to housing navigation and long-term housing solutions.

Our Impact

COTS is the largest provider of housing & homelessness prevention services in Vermont. Last year we helped 1,366 people, including 317 children.

including 252 adults and 159 children, received housing and services through the COTS Housing Resource Center.
stayed at the Waystation, COTS' year-round overnight shelter, and received housing and supportive services.
and 64 children experiencing homelessness in area hotels received re-housing and support services.
including 57 children, received prevention assistance and services to avert homelessness.
including 65 children, received re-housing assistance and services.
including 55 children, stayed in a COTS family shelter and received housing and supportive services. Specialized programs were also offered for children.
visited the Daystation, COTS' daytime drop-in center for lunch, showers, laundry, and services.
Who is COTS?

Our leadership team and Board of Directors bring a wealth of varied experience to best serve our community.

Get to Know Us

Get Help

Receive personalized help for your immediate shelter, resources and support needs.

I Need Help

Give Help

Make a difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness.

I Can Help

Where are we?

Our Locations

We operate 95 units of transitional housing and affordable permanent housing in the Burlington and Winooski areas to provide vital support to individuals experiencing homelessness in the area.

Take the Tour

Want to get involved?

Ways to Give

Take action against homelessness in Vermont. We offer multiple ways for you to help support our mission.

Donate - Give online or by phone, mail, or EFT.

Wish List - Help fulfill the COTS wish list by donating hygiene items in person or on our Amazon Wishlist.

Alternative Giving - Hold a facebook fundraiser or purchase Cookies for Good to benefit COTS.

Give Help

Give the gift of time...


You can volunteer for COTS in many ways, and we appreciate all types of skills and areas of expertise. COTS volunteer needs are constantly changing, so if you’d like to stay up to date on our volunteer opportunities, we encourage you to fill out our brief volunteer application!

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We were not in the position to give a substantial amount of money, but we could give time, even if it was just a little. I love that COTS does not simply put a Band-Aid on the issue of homelessness. They help by providing specific tools.
— Jill Diemer, volunteer
To assist COTS in a small way in providing absolutely vital services to people, in a compassionate, empowering and effective manner, is a privilege that brings additional meaning and purpose to my life. In my career as a public librarian, and now as a volunteer at COTS, I focus on understanding the needs of our clients, matching them with appropriate resources and services at COTS, and doing so in a way that is welcoming and encouraging.
— Bill Talentino, volunteer

Read the Latest on Our Blog

Stay up to date on recent happenings, events, news, and more.

October Boot Drive

Our coldest temperature last winter was -14°F. People experiencing homelessness walk an average of 10 miles per day, no matter the weather. Increased risks of physical injury, poor hygiene, and inadequate footwear have been cited as contributing factors to the development of foot problems. For the winter months, we partner with Gadue’s Dry Cleaning to provide people with warm coats, and this October we are tackling the next need – winter boots.

COTS Back to School Bonanza

This year, the second year running, with your help we were able to provide 355 students with new backpacks and school supplies in a fun environment. Each student received a great abundance of supplies and a backpack to feel set for the school year. Similarly, to last year we had a bouncy house, face painting, lunch, hygiene items, outfits, and haircutters. This year we added ice cream, homemade cookies and lemonade provided by Emily Eden, a Storytime with 2 free books per child through CLiF, and other community partners tabling with information.

Thank you for Walking with us

Thank you to our registrants, donors, sponsors, volunteers, and staff for making this possible. We had an amazing turnout for this year's event including 473 COTS Walk registrants, 97 volunteers, and over 1,500 Walkers. With your support, we raised an incredible $240,829.75. COTS Walk donations are a main source of funding for our shelters, programs, and services.

Upcoming Events

2023 COTS Walk

The 34th Annual COTS Walk on Sunday, May 7, 2023 is a 3.6-mile trek (a shorter 1-mile route is available) around downtown Burlington that starts from Battery Park and follows the path a person experiencing homelessness might travel to connect with COTS shelter and services.

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