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

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Each year, more than 16,000 individuals and their loved ones receive support from Howard Center. Chances are you or someone you know has turned to Howard Center for mental health, substance use, or developmental disabilities support.

However, often when people receive support, they become familiar with only one—or maybe just a few—of the many services we provide. They may be unaware of our 150-year history of helping people in the Burlington area. Or that we provide professional crisis support to anyone who calls First Call for Chittenden County, our 24/7/365 hotline. Or that we help people of all ages. It may be an adult with a developmental disability starting a job, a child discovering new opportunities they never realized were possible, or a person struggling with depression meeting with a counselor for the first time. These are just a few of the steps toward greater well-being people take every day at Howard Center.



Our roots stretch back to the 1865 founding of the Home for Destitute Children to help widows and orphans of the Civil War. Today, we are 1,500 counselors, social workers, teachers, nurses, therapists and other committed professionals and support staff who provide services at more than 60 locations in six counties. Last year we helped 16,000 people—about one in every ten in Chittenden County.



The heart of Howard Center is the people we serve and our caring staff who help 24/7/365. “Help is Here” is our commitment to supporting people with mental health needs, substance use disorders, and developmental disabilities, always with the same mission: to improve the well-being of our clients and community.



“Help is here” is our commitment to the community. We strive every day to help our neighbors no matter what crisis they face, and we stay on top of local conditions so we can put resources where they’re needed. Recently, our resources have gone to address ongoing and emerging community needs, such as the opioid epidemic, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention.

To address the current opiate epidemic, we teamed up with our community partners to eliminate the wait list for medication assisted treatment at the Chittenden Clinic. Now, individuals struggling with opiate use can begin treatment nearly immediately. Services are provided within a “hub and spoke” care delivery model, which integrates care with medical and social service providers. The impact has been life changing for many, and as one client says, “I used to be more worried about getting high and how to get high. I always put that first before anything. Now I am an LNA working where I’ve always wanted to be.”


8,400+ clients each year, plus 8,000 community members

24/7/365 service

150 years of helping people

60+ locations

1,500+ employees| 802.488.6000

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



Part of our mission is to be a resource for community members who are seeking information about a variety of mental health related topics. Our Marna and Stephen Wise Tulin Community Education Series offers presentations and films—often followed by a panel discussion—on a variety of topics, ranging from back-to-school tips for parents to substance use. VCAM records all Community Education Series sessions which are then posted on our website.  All sessions are free and open to the public. For more information, or to view videos of previous sessions, visit


Curling Challenge

This year’s event on March 8-10 will be the final year for our Curling Challenge. Throughout the past nine years, we have made many new friends who gave their time, talents, and resources to support the annual fundraiser. Because of their generosity, the event has raised $300,000 since it began. We hope to stay connected to our many friends and invite them to participate in other upcoming events.


Zoe’s Race

August 26, 2018, will mark the 10th anniversary of Zoe’s Race. The event began in 2009 when the parent of a child served by Howard Center Developmental Services recognized the need for funds to pay for home accessibility modifications for families caring for children with disabilities. She started Zoe’s Race, named after her daughter, to raise funds and awareness. To date, Zoe’s Race has helped 18 local families to make their homes accessible.