Howard Center: When you need us, where you need us, Help is here

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Crises don’t just happen when you’re at home. And they don’t always happen on weekdays between 9 and 5. We know people may need our help anytime, anywhere, and we’re ready for the call. 

First Call for Chittenden County One team. One number. 802-488-7777.

Our commitment to help people when they are most in need is the foundation of our enhanced crisis program, First Call for Chittenden County.  

First Call for Chittenden County is available 24/7/365 for anyone who needs help during a crisis or needs information about community services. Callers define the crisis, and our clinicians provide phone support, intervention, in-person assessment, and referrals. Last year, First Call responded to 17,967 calls. 

First Call works with children, adults, and families and partners with schools, police, and medical and mental health providers, among others. First Call for Chittenden County also responds when there is a community tragedy and provides suicide prevention training. 

On the Streets: Street Outreach Team


When someone in Burlington’s downtown neighborhoods needs help on the street or in a store, restaurant, library, or other public place, the Street Outreach Team responds. 

The trained staff of the Street Outreach Team provide daily, front-line, mobile mental health services, as well as medical and social service referral and follow-up. Working out of a downtown office, the team responds in minutes to help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis, last year logging nearly 12,000 calls. Merchants, police, and the people we serve know and trust the team and look to Street Outreach for help when mental health issues occur.

Many of the individuals helped by the team are not receiving any support services. Rather than addressing a crisis and moving on, the team continues to work with people to offer help with emotional, medical, financial, legal, and behavioral issues. Team members help clients access the mental health counseling, medical services, and social services they need to reach and sustain their highest level of health and functioning. The effect of this on-site intervention is far reaching. It saves the already stretched resources of area health providers and non-profits, emergency rooms, and the police for more critical situations. 

Founded in 2000, Street Outreach is a collaboration between community and municipal organizations, created to respond to and address social service issues city-wide. The program’s effectiveness would not be possible without the support and commitment of our partners: the State of Vermont; the University of Vermont Medical Center; United Way of Northwest Vermont; City of Burlington and the Burlington Police Department; Church Street Marketplace and local businesses; Green Mountain Transportation; and the many area non-profit organizations we work with to make sure people get the help they need. 

The broad-based support our programs receive from the community is just one indication of the need for services for people when they need help, wherever they are. It is gratifying to be a part of a community that recognizes this need and that helps us fulfill our mission so that all members of our community know that Help is here. 

8400+ clients each year, 

plus 8,000 community members

24/7/365 service

150 years of helping people

60+ locations

1500+ employees


Check our website in the new year for information about our Spring Community Education Series.

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