Vergennes Gets $300,000 For Homeless Shelter

By Melody Bodette, Vermont Public Radio

(Host) The city of Vergennes will get a $327,000 grant for upgrades to the John Graham Homeless Shelter.

Executive Director Elizabeth Ready says the money will be part of a $627,000 renovation of the 30-year old shelter.

(Ready) What we’re going to be able to do with this is to put in a good heating system, a hot water system, and renovate the shelter. You know we have rooms at the shelter that we can’t put families with children in in the winter because it’s so cold.

(Host) Ready says renovation should help create safer, more livable space for residents.

The John Graham Shelter will try to raise an additional $300,000 for the project. Ready says that’s on top of the fundraising that keeps the shelter running. And times are tight:

(Ready) More pressing right now is are funds for the operations of the shelter. We are really trying to keep our outreach services in place, we’re trying very hard to support the many families that have gone on to permanent housing.

(Host) In addition to the main shelter, the group operates two transitional housing sites, and supports homeless families at other sites with outreach and financial assistance.

The grant comes from the Vermont Community Development Program.

Grants were also awarded to a housing project in Bethel, a business development effort in Randolph and for improvements to Rochester’s library.