How Can We End Homelessness?

With Housing

We work to rapidly re-house people so they can quickly get back on their feet. We own and manage five buildings in Vergennes, Middlebury, and Bristol. We are able to house 60 people at a time.

With Services & Support

With six service coordinators, a street outreach coordinator, and two licensed clinicians, we tailor our services to the unique, self-described needs of each family. Our cross-system partnerships connect families to essential mainstream services like food, housing, benefits, healthcare, employment and education.

With Prevention & Intervention

Our licensed mental health and substance abuse counselors provide assessment, evaluation, prevention, crisis intervention and community-based services to homeless families right where they live. They work to prevent exposure to violence, abuse or trauma, and to mitigate the negative impacts when it does occur.


How We Serve

“Our top priority here is to sit with people and listen, without judgement. We help people articulate their own goals, but before somebody can do that, they have to feel that they are going to be heard.”
— Elizabeth Ready

The Shelter takes a client-centered approach to success. We listen to our clients in order to foster their own personal agency and self-sufficiency. Families and individuals living at the Shelter, in transitional housing, or locally have a chance to spell out their own goals and work with a case manager to fulfill those aspirations. 


Capacity

Last year we helped more than 200 people with housing and services.

The Main Street Emergency Shelter has been open since 1980 and can house up to 25 homeless residents at any time. We allow residents to stick around during the daytime, but most work full-time, and we offer help in finding employment. We also offer transitional housing at four Shelter-owned apartment buildings and provide outreach support to clients in private apartments across Addison County, run by both private and public landlords. We typically serve up to 75 clients at a time.

Learn about our expanding capacity in Our Locations.


Our Services

We believe that people succeed when they have housing first.

Homelessness is a state of uncertainty. Without a roof, bed, door, lock, and key to call one’s own, the other building blocks of sustainable living—employment, education, family, emotional well-being, healthy living—are often swept aside as lesser priorities. In our service-rich environment, the families and individuals we shelter find within themselves the ability to thrive again. Once they become fiscally stable enough to afford living on their own, we remain connected as they transition back into stable housing. 

We believe that people thrive when they define their own needs and goals and have choice and power in deciding how to accomplish them;

We work for and with clients, rather than dictating what we think will make them successful.

We believe that people who have sustained, home-based support are more likely to stabilize their lives.

As part of our intensive case management style, we offer other services including mental health and substance abuse counseling and help in applying for employment and benefits. If the client needs a service we cannot offer, we connect them with the various local resources and partner organizations at their disposal.


Who We Serve

Homelessness affects every demographic.

We serve homeless individuals and families including seniors, pregnant women, infants and small children, veterans, asylum-seekers, refugees, those in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, those living with mental or physical illness or disability, and those with chronic health problems.