COTS' Mission Statement

COTS advocates for long-term solutions to end homelessness and provides emergency shelter, services, and long-term housing for people 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.

The Longest Night

5000 years ago, before the pyramids of Egypt were constructed, one thousand years before Stonehenge was built, neolithic peoples in what is today known as Ireland were very in tune with the yearly cycle of the sun. The rhythm of the sky played so significant a role that they constructed massive chambers to align with the Winter Solstice. The 97 largest kerbstones at Newgrange are beautifully and mysteriously carved, weigh up to one ton each and were quarried 12 miles away from the site. It is estimated that the structure contains 200,000 tons of stone, and it is 279 feet in diameter, 42 feet high, and covers an acre of land. Most remarkably, it was built by regular people in a farming community. On the Winter Solstice, a beam of light shines 20 yards straight down an underground passageway and fully illuminates an intricately carved inner chamber.

Holiday Gift Giving at COTS!

Thank you for making the holidays special for children and families experiencing homelessness. Your generosity makes a huge difference for people in shelters.

What does COTS stand for?

According to Executive Director Jonathan Farrell, “the world has changed drastically since COTS was founded 40 years ago, and we have evolved as an organization to meet growing needs in our community. We have grown from a committee tasked with creating a temporary shelter to keep people from freezing at night to an award-winning non-profit organization aimed at addressing systems contributing to homelessness. To better reflect who we are today, COTS has undergone a year-long process to explore our identity and brand.”

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