Upcoming Point-In-Time Count Training Events

Four dates have been scheduled for individuals to become trained and ready for this year’s Point-In-Time (PIT) Count.

The next PIT count of Vermont’s homeless population is taking place later this month on January 29-30, 2014. The PIT Count allows local communities and state policy makers to understand current problems of homelessness, target limited funding to appropriate housing and services, and track progress.  It also serves to highlight the need to ensure all Vermonters have safe, adequate, physically accessible, and affordable housing.

There are four dates to choose from to become ready for the count.  Webinars will take place on the 10th, 14th, and 24th.  An in-person training will occur after the next VCEH meeting taking place in Randolph on the 21st.  The training will allow folks to learn about the changes in this year’s PIT form and to become better prepared for implementing a successful and accurate count.

Please respond to this Doodle poll to pick which option works best for you, and help us be better prepared for knowing the numbers in each training session.

Email reminders will be sent prior to each training event and will include phone and log-in information for the webinars.

Update on Homelessness Awareness Day Schedule

An update on the Annual Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil, taking place next week on Thursday, January 9, at the State House:

The day is still starting at 8 AM in the Card Room. The Memorial Vigil will take place on the State House steps at Noon. A new time has been set for the reading of the Resolution commemorating the day, recognizing those experiencing homelessness, and the work being done by homeless service providers and advocates. Please assemble at 1:00 PM (not 9:30 AM) in the gallery at the back of the House Chamber for the reading of the Resolution.

Please print and distribute the updated flyer below.

MemorialPoster (2)

Shumlin Creates Anti-Poverty Council, Budget Will Include Added Funding For Low Income Programs

Governor Peter Shumlin announced yesterday he will propose additional spending for anti-poverty programs in his upcoming budget to make up for some federal cuts. The governor also announced the creation of the Council on Pathways Out of Poverty, which will advise the Governor on programs impacting low income Vermonters. The council comes to being after meetings between the governor and a group of anti-poverty advocates and service providers which took place earlier this year.

VTDigger has more on yesterday’s announcement:

Flanked by administration officials, anti-poverty advocates and service providers, Shumlin stressed the importance of assisting the state’s most vulnerable people at a time when Congress and the federal government are cutting money that has long helped Vermonters pay rent, heat their homes and put food on the table.

“We’re at a time in our nation’s history where Congress is cutting back the resources that are so important to Vermonters who are struggling to make ends meet,” Shumlin said, adding those cuts deepen the hurt of a sluggish economy where wages remain stagnant.

He noted that 100,000 residents saw a reduction in federal food assistance recently and the state’s Section 8 affordable housing voucher program has shrunk by more than 10 percent. In addition there have been cuts in home heating fuel assistance subsidies, caused by sequestration and other budget negotiations in Washington.

Shumlin declined to give details on how these proposals, which cost a combined $2.55 million, would be paid for as part of a balanced budget when the state is facing a $70 million budget shortfall.

“The money’s coming from our budget. To tell you exactly where the money is coming from I’d have to tell you my budget, and I’m going to give you that on Jan. 15,” he told reporters.

Vermont Public Radio has some details on the Governor’s purposed budget:

  • $500,000 for the Vermont Rental Subsidy program (brings the total state funding to $1 million)
  • $300,000 for Emergency Solutions Grants to help operate emergency shelters. This will make up for a loss of $200,000 in federal money and add another $100,000.
  • An increase of $200,000 for case management and aid to families in need of housing.
  • $800,000 for STARS child care providers and subsidies to qualified families based on updated payment calculations.
  • $650,000 for substance abuse and mental health treatment services for the Reach Up program.

WCAX has video of some of yesterday’s press conference:

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

The mission of the Coalition is to end homelessness in Vermont through sharing information, developing resources, providing a forum for decision-making and to promote decent, safe, fair, affordable shelter for all.