All posts by Renee Sarao

REMINDER: Homelessness Awareness Day & Memorial Vigil – Tomorrow, State House


Every year in January concerned citizens and housing and homeless service providers from across Vermont gather at the State House in Montpelier for a day to engage their representatives and senators and to renew the commitment to end homelessness in our state. This year, the annual Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil will take place on Thursday, January 5th, 2017. Please join us!


  • **NEW**Coffee & muffins, Cafeteria: 7:30 – 9:00 AM
  • Legislative Awareness Day, Card Room: 7:30 AM-2 PM
  • Reading of Legislative Resolution and Recognition of Homeless Service Providers and Advocates, House Gallery: 9:30 AM
  • Memorial Vigil, State House Steps: Noon

The day will kick off early at 7:30am with coffee and muffins in the Cafeteria. This will be a great time to meet with your representatives and senators to discuss the good work you and your organization are doing.  To make your time at the state house most effective, please be sure to reach out to lawmakers prior to the event to ask them to meet with you.

People will be present in the Card Room all morning and into the afternoon to educate lawmakers about the work being done around the state, about which strategies are working, and what still needs to be done to help end homelessness in Vermont.

At 9:30am, please be in the House Gallery to hear the reading of a resolution recognizing those experiencing homelessness and the work being done by homeless service providers and advocates.

At Noon community members, elected officials, and advocates will take to the State House steps for the annual Memorial Vigil to remember our friends and neighbors who have died without homes, and to bring awareness of the struggles of those still searching for safe, affordable and secure housing.

Please note that it is also Governor-elect Scott’s inauguration day, and so it would be best to arrive in Montpelier as early as possible to account for the special security measures at the State House that day.

For more information, contact MaryEllen Mendl at, or Erhard Mahnke at erhardm@vtaffordablehousing.  Click here for the event flyer.

We hope to see you tomorrow!

HOP 2017 Summary of Awards Released

The summary of Housing Opportunity Program 2017 awards is now available on the Office of Economic Opportunity’s website:

The detailed summary includes a listing of all grantees & award amounts, a description of services provided, a chart showing how funds were allocated across the different strategies, and performance measurement standards. The Office of Economic Opportunity awarded over $5.9 million to 39 different agencies for State Fiscal Year 2017. This is an increase of more than $1.2 million over last year, due to investments of General Assistance (GA) funds from the Economic Services Division to create new community-based alternatives that decrease reliance on GA motels.

The Housing Opportunity Grant Program provides funding to operate emergency overnight and day shelter; provide essential services to shelter guests; provide transitional housing where appropriate; rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; prevent individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis from becoming homeless; implement coordinated entry to streamline client access to resources; and administer the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).  The Housing Opportunity Grant Program operates within the Opening Doors, Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness and the Vermont Plan to End Homelessness.  The primary goals of the Housing Opportunity Grant Program are to

  • Decrease the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness;
  • Shorten the length of time people experience homelessness;
  • Reduce the number of individuals and families returning to homelessness; and
  • Prevent people from becoming homeless.

Congratulations to each of these organizations on the amazing work they do each day to prevent and end homelessness!

VT BoS CoC System Performance Measures

VT BOS COC PROJECT APPLICATIONS:  as posted 6/30/16 on the VT Coalition to End Homelessness website and emailed to all local CoCs and stakeholders, a complete “Letter of Intent Form” is due to VT State Housing Authority (VSHA) no later than 10AM – 7/29/16 from any eligible entity who wishes to apply for a current CoC project renewal or a new CoC project (Permanent Housing Bonus or Reallocated funds from existing projects).  On 8/9/16 the VT BoS CoC Ranking Team will review and prioritize all CoC project proposals.  For more info see:

HUD COC APPLICATION, due to HUD on 9/14/16, is a competitive process documents progress & planning of the VT BoS CoC over the past year; CoC project funding is based upon our HUD CoC Application score.  It will be completed by VSHA (Collaborative Applicant) on behalf of the VCEH, with support of the VT Balance of State Continuum of Care NOFA Committee (Liz Genge/Downstreet, Elizabeth Eddy/BROC and Daniel/VSHA) and TAC.  A final draft will be posted 9/7/16 on the VCEH website; final comments must be sent to no later than 10AM -9/12/1.

The VT BOS COC SYSTEM PERFORMANCE MEASURES REPORT, due to HUD on 8/1/16, was compiled by the Institute for Community Alliances (ICA) on behalf of the VCEH and is derived from data of all VT HMIS [ServicePoint] participating agencies.  The SPM Report creates a baseline for which all U.S. CoCs will be evaluated & scored for progress in future HUD CoC applications:
HUD CoC System Performance Measures Introductory Guide
HUD CoC System Performance Measures Videos (Overview, Length of Time, Return to Homelessness, Number of Persons, Employment & Income Growth, First Time Homeless, Prevention, Outreach & Retention of Permanent Housing)