Our Impact in 2017

1. How much did we do? 

In 2017, John Graham provided shelter, housing and services to 254 people at our five houses and scattered sites. An additional 89 people received support and services such as food, help with housing search or transportation. 

Our philosophy and priorities emphasize the Housing First model that espouses the view that all people deserve to receive housing as quickly as is feasible and possible. With the help of a number generous foundations and donors we are able to offer housing, apartments and services, including counseling and aftercare until people are permanently housed and truly back on their feet.

2. How well did we do it?

Of the 343 people served, 77.2% received housing and/or employment, enrolled in an educational program, or qualified for a benefit like SSI or a VA benefit. 166 people received stable housing.

3. Is anybody better off?

Of the 166 people that we helped stabilize in permanent housing, 160 of them or 96.4% retained that housing for 90 days or longer.

This is the number we are proudest of: 160 formerly homeless households retained their housing! Each family that remains safely housed enjoys greater safety, is better able to remain employed, and can see their children thrive in terms of health, education and well-being.

4. Data from our Homeless Management Information System shows that of those that received free shelter, 30% were fleeing violence and 32% struggled with addictions and mental health issues.  John Graham provided services and counseling to many people struggling with trauma, mental illness, addictions, violence health care crisis and DCF involvement in their lives.

Increasingly in Vermont, throughout the US, and around the world more people are living with stagnant wages and incomes, rising costs and a growing sense of hopelessness. They feel disenfranchised, left out, and left behind. In spite of how hard they work, they don’t see a better standard of living on the horizon for themselves or their children. Some mothers are reeling from trauma: rape, torture, violence or abuse. Others are struggling with mental and physical health issues. Many parents self- medicate and become unable to fully function or care for their children. We have offered a diverse suite of services to each person to help them lead safer and happier lives. We hope that their stay at John Graham helps them endure less stress and fear and live with greater hope, resiliency and independence.

5. In 2017 John Graham continued to serve New Americans including asylees and refugees. 

This year we served families and individuals from Angola, Congo, Kenya, Thailand, Iran, Syria, Haiti, and Jamaica. Each brought their cultural richness into our lives and each needed a range of services in order to succeed with work, school and housing. We were able to link them with services to help with language skills, budgeting, job and housing search. We linked people to others from their cultures and religions. We helped people get benefits, deal with immigration and the legal system, and endure the trauma that had caused them to be uprooted from their native lands. Mostly we helped people make a new home in a community that though welcoming, was unfamiliar and posed certain challenges.

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. 


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.