Emergency Shelter

If You Are Currently Without a Home

Our emergency shelter programs provide opportunities for individuals without housing to have a safe, secure place to stay and have their basic needs met. This includes access to showers, laundry facilities, computer access for job searches, applications, and lunch service. We have emergency shelters for both families and individuals that are open 365 days a year.

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Shelter for Single Adults

The following emergency shelters are open to unhoused individuals 18 or older.


The Daystation is our daytime center for unhoused adults. It is a safe and warm refuge from the streets, connecting people with services, resources, and housing. Hot lunch is served daily, and community partners come here to meet with guests and provide services.

Visitors can attend workshops on job readiness, receive mail and messages, do laundry, shower, use the computers, chat on the couches, grow the garden, and sit on the patio, among many other daily-living things. Community partners from Burlington Health Clinic, Turning Point, Burlington Arts, and others help to provide additional services during the day.

Guests are also connected with housing navigators to identify their needs, set goals, and access additional services with COTS and community partners. The Daystation is open 365 days a year and typically serves 50+ people a day.

Daystation Location

Physical Address: 95 North Ave, Burlington, VT
9:00am - 5:00pm

COTS Daystation Lobby

Services include:

Hot Lunch Served Daily
Daytime Beds
Phone Access
Send & Receive Mail
Connection to Recovery Coaching
Job Readiness Workshops
Coordinated Entry


The Waystation is COTS’ emergency overnight shelter for single adults. It has 36 beds in a dorm-style congregate setting, with 28 beds in the men’s dorm and 8 beds in the women’s dorm. We make every effort to welcome and provide a safe space for trans and non-binary guests by offering them the choice of the dorm that fits best for them. There are also bathrooms, laundry facilities, and lounge space.

Guests in the Waystation are connected with case workers who help them achieve goals for housing, saving, and employment.

Waystation Location

Physical Address: 187 Church St, Burlington, VT
Hours: 6:00pm - 8:00am

Lounge space in one of the COTS homeless shelters.

Services include:

36 Beds in A Dorm-Style Congregate Setting
Laundry Facilities
Lounge Space

Shelter for Families

COTS Family Shelter & Children’s Program serves homeless families with children under age 18. Our two family shelter facilities are open around the clock and can together accommodate up to 15 families. Guests can stay for up to six months while they get stabilized. 

Through this program, COTS provides emergency shelter, housing navigation services and customized support for children to ensure their healthy, social, emotional, and intellectual development. This includes on-site support from our Children’s Education Advocate and our Children’s Mental Health Liaison.

Children’s education programming includes school readiness, IEP support, after-school activities, summer camp scholarships, and assistance with connecting to a child’s school. Children’s mental health programming includes therapeutic playgroups, parenting support groups, child-friendly yoga, and creative arts.

The program is designed to help homeless families achieve self-sufficiency and stable, permanent housing. It also helps them to avoid repeated episodes of homelessness.

Open floor layout in COTS shelter with orange chairs, brown couch, and full kitchen in the background.

Blue locker room lockers behind white half wall, next to a poster of the ocean and pile of driftwood.

Services include:

Emergency Shelter
Housing Navigation Services
IEP Support
After School Activities
Summer Camp Scholarships
Assistance with Connecting to a Child's School
Therapeutic Playgroups
Parenting Support Groups
Child-friendly Yoga
Creative Arts Programming

Main Street Family Shelter

COTS Main Street Family Shelter is open 24/7, providing emergency shelter for up to ten families at a time, housing support services, and specialized programming for children. In addition to the ten private rooms for each family, the facility offers a shared double kitchen, dining room, living area, playroom, and six bathrooms.

Main Street Family Shelter

Physical Address: 278 Main St., Burlington, VT

Lounge in COTS' Main Street Family Shelter

Firehouse Family Shelter

Firehouse Family Shelter is open 24/7, providing emergency shelter for up to five families at a time, housing support services, and specialized programming for children. In addition to the five private rooms for each family, the facility offers a shared kitchen, dining room, living area, playroom, and four bathrooms. This was COTS’ first family shelter facility.

Firehouse Family Shelter

Physical Address: 120 N Champlain St., Burlington, VT

Playroom inside the COTS Firehouse Family Shelter.