Vermont’s 2024 Homelessness Awareness Day January 18

Thursday, January 18, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Statehouse in Montpelier & many other locations across the state

Vermont Business Magazine On Thursday, January 18, in recognition of the 2024 Homelessness Awareness Day, unhoused and formerly unhoused Vermonters, service providers, advocates, and concerned residents from across Vermont will gather in-person to engage with our communities and elected representatives in a call to end homelessness in our state.

What: 2024 Homelessness Awareness Day

Who: Housing and Homeless Alliance of Vermont (HHAV), Vermont Interfaith Action (VIA), Chittenden County Homeless Alliance (CCHA), Washington County Housing Coalition, & local organizations

When: Thursday, January 18, 2024 8 AM – 5 PM  

Where: Events hosted by HHAV, VIA, & CCHA. Live testimony will be streamed to Vermont legislative committee channels. For a full schedule, visit our event page

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Regional housing coalitions across the entire state of Vermont are also hosting local homelessness awareness events. Visit our local event page for more information

 

The Housing and Homelessness Alliance of Vermont (HHAV), a merger of the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness and the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, unites the voices from the housing and homelessness fields and leverages the expertise of its over 60 member organizations to work toward a future in which all people living in Vermont have safe, stable, affordable homes and if homelessness occurs, it is brief, rare, and non-recurring. This includes the full spectrum of the affordable housing landscape, from rentals to homeownership, from shelter to subsidies and services, from new development to sustaining existing housing, and so much more. For more information on HHAV, visit www.hhav.org

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The Vermont Interfaith Action is a faith-based, grassroots coalition of congregations that strives to transforms people and communities. Our goal is compassion and social justice as a reality for all Vermonters. For more information, visit www.viavt.org

 

The Chittenden County Homeless Alliance (CCHA) is a coalition of individuals, organizations, and government who support our vision of a safe, decent, affordable, stable home for every person and family in Chittenden County. Its mission is to end homelessness in Chittenden County by being a forum for gathering information, building consensus, coordinating efforts, and advocating the end of homelessness through prevention, early intervention, and remediation. For more information on CCHA, visit: http://www.cchavt.org/

Background information for 2023 Homelessness Awareness Day

Every year in January, homeless and formerly homeless Vermonters, housing and service providers, advocates, and concerned citizens from across Vermont gather at the State House, virtually, and in their local communities to engage with their community and elected representatives and to renew their commitment to end homelessness in our state. This year's Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil/Speak-out take place in-person on Thursday, January 18th at the State House in Montpelier. The Housing & Homelessness Coalition of Vermont, Vermont Interfaith Action, Washington County Housing Coalition, and Chittenden County Homeless Alliance are sponsoring the activities related to Homelessness Awareness Day.

In 2023, over 8,000 Vermonters experienced homelessness including over 2,000 children. These numbers also include over 6,000 adults and over 400 people over the age of 65. Today, on the State House lawn, we have set up flags representing these numbers. Each of these flags also represents ten people who have experienced homelessness this past year. This flag display will be mirrored in a number of regions across Vermont which also will be displaying flags representing the number of persons who experienced homelessness in their region over the past year.

These numbers represent the number of persons who experienced homelessness between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023, and are pulled from our Homelessness Management Information System and Coordinated Entry. The numbers are a baseline and are always an undercount as they do not include many individuals including those served and supported through domestic & sexual violence programs, many who are unsheltered and unable to seek help through service providers in their region, and those who are at risk of homelessness.

“In the last year across Vermont, almost 2,000 households were able to exit homelessness and move into permanent stable housing including 1,000 who were able to access subsidies that supported rental costs,” Jess Graff of CVOEO says, “This is no small feat, and there are many people that work every day with passion and dedication to support the truly lifesaving programs that offer shelter and food and administer financial assistance to move people into stable housing. Our work is not done. There are so many people that need us to come together now with strong support and solutions.”

During testimony to House & Senate Committees and at the Memorial Vigil/Speak-out, advocates will remember our friends and neighbors who have died without homes and raise awareness of the struggles of those still searching for safe and secure housing.  

8 AM – 5 PM Statehouse Cardroom, Montpelier

HHAV, VIA, CCHA members and other advocates will be stationed in the card room at the State House in Montpelier. Representatives from the sponsoring organizations will also be available to speak with legislatures and other interested parties. 

We will have a large state map of Vermont with regional data on the state of homelessness in Vermont over the past year. The data on this map will reflect the flag displays both at the state house and around the state. 

9:15 AM – 12 PM Housing Committee Testimony

Watch via VT House Committee on Housing, General & Military Affairs’ YouTube Channel

10:15 – 10:45 AM Senate Committee Testimony

Watch via VT Senate Economic Development, Housing, & General Affairs YouTube Channel

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A number of advocates, service providers, and people with lived experience will provide joint testimony to the following committees:

·      House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee 

·      House Human Services Committee      

·      Senate Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs Committee       

12 PM Memorial Vigil/Speak-Out on Statehouse Steps

Community members, elected officials, and advocates will be welcome to join a gathering on the statehouse steps at noon.

This gathering will feature a non-denominational remembrance from Julie Bond, Ordained Minister and Co-Executive Director at Good Samaritan Haven, to remember our friends and neighbors who have died without homes or died while serving unhoused populations this past year and to bring awareness of the struggles of those still searching for safe, affordable and secure housing. We will also hear from persons from around the state who have been affected by homelessness, either personally, as a family member, or as a service provider.

4 – 5 PM Refreshments in the Cafeteria

Join us in the statehouse cafeteria for refreshments (including hot drinks and desserts) and a chance to speak with service providers, housing providers, advocates, and other persons working to end homelessness in Vermont.

Source: 1.16.2024. Housing & Homelessness Alliance of Vermont (A Merger of Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness and Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition). Montpelier

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