DCF/AHS Emergency Housing Proposal

Dear Colleauges,

The Agency of Human Services and Department for Children and Families have just announced a proposal to restructure their emergency housing program.  Please read more below and click here for the attachment referenced.


Hello Fellow Housing Partners –

We are writing to let you know that DCF is proposing to restructure its emergency housing program.   Attached to this email is an outline of a proposal to repurpose the money used for hotel vouchers in the GA program to fund community grants to homeless providers across the state.  It sets forth a path to transition from providing emergency housing using motels to using community based services such as low barrier and warming shelters, transitional housing and other services to meet the needs of all homeless individuals and families effective October 1, 2015.

While DCF leadership recognizes this is an ambitious plan and timeframe, we believe it is achievable.  We have heard many concerns from community partners, ESD staff and homeless individuals and families that the current system is not adequately addressing the ever increasing rate of homelessness, nor providing a pathway to stable, permanent housing.  We ask you, our community partners, to help us address the problem of homelessness in our state in a way that matches the needs and capacity in your community while addressing the needs of people regardless of their age, disability or sobriety who require emergency shelter due to homelessness, domestic violence or other factors.

Over the coming weeks DCF will engage our community partners across the state to seek input on the proposal.  An important element to the proposal is seeking legislation to  have the authority should we move forward with this change.

Please feel free to forward this email to your housing partners and to review the attached document and respond with comments, questions and suggestions by May 8th via email (see addresses and instructions below).  Or, if you prefer, please bring your questions to your next Continuum of Care or Housing meeting as we will be visiting local meetings in the upcoming weeks.

Thank you,
AHS Secretary Hal Cohen and DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz

Should you decide to email your questions or input, please feel free to direct it to with “Emergency Housing Initiative” in the subject line:

Sean Brown, Deputy Commissioner Economic Services Division – Sean.brown@state.vt.us
Paul Dragon, Director of DCF’s Office of Economic Opportunity – paul.dragon@state.vt.us
Karen Vastine, Principal Assistant to Commissioner Schatz – Karen.vastine@state.vt.us