Vermont’s Annual Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil
Take Place at the State House on Thursday, January 5, 2017
Every year in January concerned citizens and homeless service providers from across Vermont gather at the State House in Montpelier for a day to engage with their elected representatives and to renew their commitment to end homelessness in our state.
This year’s Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil will occur on Thursday, January 5.
A modest decline in the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in 2015 was followed by a dramatic reduction this year: Vermont’s latest Point in Time (PIT) homelessness count, conducted on a single night in January of 2016, recorded a 28% reduction in the number of homeless individuals statewide—the second largest one-year decrease in a statewide PIT count in the nation in 2016. Yet on that night last January more than 1,100 persons were counted as homeless across the state, a reminder that more work must be done if homelessness is to cease in Vermont (see the recently released “Vermont Roadmap to End Homelessness Final Report”).
The day will begin at 7:30am in the Card Room where service providers and advocates will be present all day to connect with policy makers, share the work being done around the state, and be a part of the conversation on which strategies are working in reducing homelessness and which ones still need work. The coalitions are also sponsoring coffee and muffins in the cafeteria from 7:30 – 9:00.
At 9:30am, individuals will assemble in the House Gallery to hear the reading of a resolution calling attention to the crisis of homelessness in our state, and recognizing the hard work being done by housing and homeless service providers and advocates.
From 10:30 – 11:50am, representatives of the organizations present will provide testimony before a joint meeting of the House General, Housing and Military Affairs and House Human Services Committees in Room 11 about their work and what they see is needed to keep making progress on reducing homelessness in Vermont.
At Noon community members, elected officials, administration representatives, and advocates will take to the State House steps for a Vigil to emphasize the urgency of the problems facing Vermonters who are homeless, to remember our friends and neighbors who have died without homes, and to bring awareness of the struggles of those still searching for safe and secure housing.
The Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH), acts as the primary decision-making body of the Vermont Balance of State Continuum of Care, with the mission to end homelessness in Vermont through sharing information, developing resources, and providing a forum for decision making and to promote decent, safe, fair, affordable housing for all. For more information on the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness, visit www.helpingtohousevt.org.
The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition is a statewide membership organization dedicated to ensuring that all Vermonters have decent, safe and affordable housing, particularly the state’s low and moderate-income residents, elders, people living with homelessness, and people with disabilities. For more information on the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, visit www.vtaffordablehousing.org.