Lamoille Community House (LCH) launched its 365 Fundraising Campaign in recognition of the fact that people in Lamoille County without a permanent home need shelter, a bed, a meal, a shower, and a place to feel welcomed and supported, 365 days a year. That’s every day, 365 days a year.
Lamoille Community House needs to raise $365,000 over two years to fund operations for a year-round shelter-facility for people in our community.
As LCH adapted to the pandemic, we witnessed the truth about homelessness in our community. During the pandemic, the Agency of Human Services loosened its criteria for the hotel voucher program and we saw people who previously could not access the vouchers appear. This gave us a better count of how many people were in need of housing. Before the pandemic, LCH served 30 – 40 guests in one winter. Since the pandemic, we have averaged serving 100-120 individuals across the 4 locations where staff are stationed: our seasonal shelter plus three hotels. Working with and serving those living in hotels year-round has proved to our community that our organization’s services are needed every day of the year, not just in the winter. Our local human service organizations and planning teams have identified a year-round shelter facility as the number one priority for our county in addressing the housing crisis. A year round shelter facility means that people have a landing place where they can breathe and begin to take steps towards their goals, at any time of the year.
Lamoille Community House launched its 365 campaign to support our work 365 days of the year. Our goal is to raise $365,000 over the next two years while we identify and develop a site. Property development grants will come from state agencies that require LCH to show sustainable operational support, which is why it is so important for us to raise these funds. Developing a site is one thing, but sustaining it for years to come is what shows we are here to stay. An important part of our vision for our new facility is a community center that provides day space for our guests, with staff offices, a kitchen, laundry facilities, computer lab/library, recreational spaces, and most importantly – meeting spaces for partner organizations where they can meet with our shared clients. Creating meeting space for partners like Lamoille County Mental Health, North Central Vermont Recovery Center, Lamoille Family Center, and VocRehab is a priority because meeting the client where they are increases engagement and success. Bringing services into our building is a trauma-informed approach that allows for trust-building between the client and service provider. We see LCH’s new facility as the first rung on a ladder of housing safety and security, where LCH and its partners can ensure that no one misses this crucial step.
LCH is working with Development Consultant Liz Curry of Commonland Solutions, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board to identify a suitable site for our year-round facility. Our ideal site would have space to grow in the future to potentially add youth in transition or family shelter. If you or someone you know has property you’re willing to sell, please contact us. It takes an entire community to put this together, and we value your opinion!
How You Can Help
Please support the Lamoille Community House 365 Campaign by making a donation here. With your support, no one in our community will be without a safe place to sleep.