Rutland City Emergency Housing Transition Plan
Statewide Program Status:
From Chris Winters, Commissioner, Department for Children and Families:
The General Assistance (GA) Emergency Housing Program has been supported by federal funding for the duration of the pandemic. The program was greatly expanded to create non-congregate sheltering opportunities, and since 2020, the Department for Children and Families has served a record number of households experiencing homelessness. As the federal funding comes to an end, the GA Emergency Housing Program will narrow eligibility during warmer months to pre-pandemic criteria, while maintaining expanded eligibility during winter months. Expanded “Adverse Weather Condition” eligibility will end on June 1st, with additional eligibility restrictions ending July 1
There are several efforts underway to provide households with resources and supports to identify alternative safe housing. At the same time, the Department recognizes that there are more than one hundred Vermonters already experiencing unsheltered homelessness, and there is a significant potential to see the unsheltered population expand over the coming months.
Unsheltered homelessness is closely connected to declines in physical health, mental health, substance use and other conditions. Preventing and addressing unsheltered homelessness is a high priority for communities and the Department.
Rutland City Status:
Rutland city is the largest Agency of Human Services district in the state of Vermont
with 479 households currently enrolled in the program.
With the General Assistance program ending its “Adverse Weather
Condition” support on June 1st, the Rutland region is expecting 180-190 households to be exiting the hotel program. On July 1st we are expecting to see an additional 280+ households exiting. These numbers are not exact, as participants in the program continue to change, and some may be eligible for additional support.
Regardless of the number of households departing the system, there is currently no plan from the state for the transition. Therefore communities across Vermont are preparing for this transition with the resources available in their communities. Rutland is no different in this regard; we must do the best we can with our local resources to ensure as smooth a transition possible for people exiting the program. Below is a working version of the plan for Rutland City.
This plan will continue to change as new resources become available, and as we reassess the impact of this transition on our city. As citizens of Rutland City, there are many ways you can help. Please take a look at the plan below and if you see a need that you can fill, or a part you want to assist with, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Rutland City Mayor
Phase 1 (Current): Transition of 190 Households Exiting June 1st
- Assessment and Planning:
- Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the needs and circumstances of each household to determine appropriate interventions.
- Collaborate with local mental health services and homeless prevention services to identify individuals requiring specialized support.
- Housing Search and Placement:
- Allocate a team of case managers and housing specialists to assist individuals in finding suitable housing options.
- Explore partnerships with local landlords, real estate agents, and property owners to secure available housing units.
- Utilize existing funds to provide financial assistance, such as security deposits or rental subsidies, to facilitate housing placements.
- Transportation Support:
- Identify transportation options for individuals who may need assistance in relocating to new housing.
- Coordinate with local transportation providers to secure discounted or subsidized rates for eligible individuals.
- Utilize available funds to provide bus tickets or transportation assistance for those who have a support network or family in another area.
- Community Integration:
- Connect individuals with local support networks, including community organizations, religious institutions, and social service agencies.
- Encourage participation in community programs and activities to foster a sense of belonging and social integration.
- Facilitate access to employment opportunities, vocational training, and educational resources to promote self-sufficiency.
Phase 2: Resource Days – June 14th and 15th
Provide services and access to services for those exiting the hotel program in one unified location
Resources to be present:
- Housing Providers
- Local Landlords
- Food Shelf Resources
- Healthcare Services
- State Agencies
- Benefits Providers
- Mental Health Support
- Department of Children and Families
- Substance Abuse Recovery Groups
(This list will be updated and released prior to 6/14)
Food will be provided
Transportation will be available
Phase 3: Transition of Remaining Households Exiting July 1st
- Replicate Phase 1 Strategies:
- Apply the same strategies outlined in Phase 1 to assist the remaining households with housing search and placement.
- Continue collaboration with local mental health services and homeless prevention services to address individual needs.
- Expand Housing Options:
- Engage with local housing authorities and nonprofits to identify additional housing resources.
- Explore the possibility of establishing temporary shelters or transitional housing facilities to accommodate the remaining households during the transition period.
- Advocacy and Resource Mobilization:
- Advocate for state-level support and funding by highlighting the challenges faced by your city.
- Seek assistance from regional and national organizations focused on homelessness to provide guidance and additional resources.
- Continuity of Support:
- Develop a comprehensive aftercare plan to ensure ongoing support for individuals and families after transitioning to permanent housing.
- Coordinate with local service providers, including mental health services, employment agencies, and community support programs, to provide continued assistance and resources.
State of Vermont – DCF Resources:
Letter of Interest Memo 5.22.23