- Boards & Commissions
- Homelessness Task Force
Homelessness Task Force
Seeking Camping Items for Unhoused Vermonters - May 31, 2023
As you may know, a large number of unhoused people who have been living in motel rooms supported by federal and state dollars, are being exited from the motels and hotels beginning tomorrow, June 1, 2023. More will soon exit on July 1, 2023, and again on August 1, 2023. Almost 3000 human beings statewide and an estimated 400 in Washington County alone, will be kicked out to the street, many with no other place to go. These people are families with children, elderly people, people with disabilities and addictions, and people who were evicted from their apartments so the landlord could raise the rent.
Since there is no housing available for these people in our area, many of them will be forced into camping, some of them for the first time. Good Samaritan Haven and Another Way have been raising funds to purchase tents, sleeping bags, and other critical equipment. However, there will be small items that people will need that the funding cannot cover.
Donation Items Needed:
|Flashlights||Cord for tents, hanging food, etc.||Baby wipes (including some hypoallergenic ones)|
|Batteries ||Sleeping pads||Trash bags|
|Emergency ponchos||Tick and bug repellent||Toilet paper|
|Small tarps||Tick removers|| Mess kits|
|Ball bungies ||First aid kits||5-gallon buckets with lids |
|Milk cartons||Folding camp chairs|
Donation boxes will be available at Another Way at 125 Barre St. and in the hallway of City Hall. Please help people to survive this crisis by contributing items to these boxes. The need will be ongoing - it is not a one-time event. This is a humanitarian crisis.
If you prefer to donate money, you can donate to a special City fund - the preferred method is to send a check to the Montpelier Finance Department, with "homelessness fund" in the memo line. The address is 39 Main St., Montpelier VT 05602. Or you can donate to the Homelessness Emergency Support Fund on Good Samaritan Haven's website at https://www.goodsamaritanhaven.org/donate/. Please support this effort in any way you can.
About the HTF
The Montpelier City Council created a Homelessness Task Force in August of 2019 as a response to growing concern for our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
The Montpelier Homelessness Task Force is has been charged with updating the Council on the following:
- Creative, collaboratively developed short-term ideas and/or solutions to improve conditions for people experiencing homelessness
- Policy recommendations and concrete ideas for longer-term structural and systems improvement that the City could implement, along with a preliminary budget and timeline for duration of work and implementation
Ideas and recommendations should be supported by data that includes:
- Information regarding the scope of homelessness in Montpelier and the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Montpelier
- The systems currently in place in our region to address homelessness
- The range of concerns, perceived barriers, and potential solutions identified by the community
- Existing strategies in other cities or states, recognizing that the location of our city requires solutions that are responsive to our changing seasons
Request for Proposals! Project Consultant to Identify the Needs of Unhoused in Central Vermont
For details click here.
City of Montpelier Encampment Response Policy
September 22, 2021, Council Approved Encampment Response Policy is available to read here.
Policy Summary: The City of Montpelier and its staff shall take a general non-involvement approach to any found emergency sleeping campsites, with the particular lens of not criminalizing people creating shelter due to a lack of housing. Staff will intervene and ask encampments to relocate if they are found in “high-sensitivity areas” meeting specific environmental, health, and safety criteria as outlined in this policy. Staff shall offer to connect people sleeping in “high-sensitivity areas” to any available overnight shelters (a public or private shelter, with available overnight space, for an individual experiencing homelessness, at no charge).
The Homelessness Task Force typically meets the first and third Wednesday of the month.
at 11:30 AM in the City Council Chambers of City Hall and on Zoom.
- Staff Rep: City Manager Bill Fraser
- Council Rep: Pelin Kohn
- Council Rep: Sal Alfano
- Ken Russell, Chair
- Tory Rhodin
- Rick DeAngelis
- Carolyn Ridpath
- Zack Hughes
- Ericka Reil
- Dawn Little
- Mary Messier
- Nat Frothingtham
- Will Eberle
- Page Guertin
- Diane Mathews (non voiting rep from MDP)
City of Montpelier Lockers for Those Experiencing Homelessness
The Homelessness Task Force and members of our community experiencing homelessness have been advocating for publicly accessible lockers, and on April 27th, the Montpelier City Council voted to approve installing 12 lockers behind the City’s Recreation Center on a 6-month trial basis. This project was also approved by the City’s Design Review Committee on February 22nd, 2022. The City was able to install the lockers on August 10th, 2022.
- August 10th, 2022 - Lockers have been installed behind the City's Recreation Center at 55 Barre St. Residents who would like to use a locker can come in person to City Hall and fill out the below-linked Terms of Service Application and get their locker code.
The Homelessness Task Force and City Staff worked on the Locker Terms of Service. In general, all lockers will be locked by numbered City-provided padlocks. Residents who would like to use a locker would need to sign-up through the City Manager’s office, they would then receive a code to open their assigned lock and locker.
In general, the Locker Terms of Service cover the following:
- Locker use is currently on a first-come, first-served basis
- Locker use timeline- the lockers can be used for up to 3 months by an individual before requiring renewal
- How the City will deal with any abandoned items
- Outlines that there will be no storing perishables, food, food waste, alcohol, drugs, or illegal items
- The policy outlines that lockers are subject to being searched as necessary