Housing advocates urge state to extend hotel vouchers for homeless people

0

In three days, a program that has helped homeless people in Vermont for over a year is about to expire. Many are asking the state to extend benefits until the end of the year. Community providers urge the Ministry of Children and Families to do more to protect those who use housing vouchers. Right now, these Vermonters face a very uncertain future. “I feel lost and scared, terrified to be out in the cold,” said Cathleen Marsha of Plainfield. Marsha does not know where she will go when she has to leave the hotel she lives in as part of the General Assistance emergency housing program. . “I was told we can sleep under bridges and sleep on the tracks. I’m very scared of it, ”Marsha said. The hotel and motel voucher program is scheduled to expire on Thursday. Vermont Legal Aid says nearly two-thirds of the 881 people currently using the program will have to leave their rooms and likely become homeless. April Metcalf is one of those people. “It means to me that I’m going to be on the street. Literally on the street with nothing,” Metcalf said. jail. But she says she worries about her safety. “He could go out anytime and I’m scared to death. I would be extremely vulnerable on the streets, ”said Metcalf. Housing advocates are asking for an extension until the end of this year, especially since FEMA will fund the program until then. “This impending crisis and the suffering and trauma it will bring to hundreds of our people is preventable. We don’t have the usual financial constraints that prevent us from taking this type of action, ”said Mairead O’Reilly of Vermont Legal Aid. With the increase in Covid-19 cases, Vermont Legal Aid and other community providers hope the state “Now is not the time to have our most vulnerable residents living outside or crammed into collective housing, ”said Martin Hahn of the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness. Marsha and Metcalf cling to that hope. “Help us. Stand up for yourself. We are not bad people. We have just been through a difficult time,” Marsha said. Gov. Phil Scott’s office responded to calls to extend the program in a statement, saying in part: “We believe it is important to continue moving forward on the plan that the legislature and partners have agreed to, and the state will continue to work to help those making this transition. The state has previously said each household will receive $ 2,500 to support the transition, which homeless advocates say is not enough to rent a spot for the next few months.

In three days, a program that has helped homeless people in Vermont for over a year is about to expire. Many are asking the state to extend benefits until the end of the year.

Community providers urge the Ministry of Children and Families to do more to protect those who use housing vouchers. Right now, these Vermonters face a very uncertain future.

“I feel lost and scared, terrified to be out in the cold,” said Cathleen Marsha of Plainfield.

Marsha does not know where she will go when she has to leave the hotel she was living in as part of the General Assistance emergency accommodation program.

“I was told we can sleep under bridges and sleep on the tracks. I’m scared to death, ”Marsha said.

The good hotel-motel program expires Thursday. Vermont Legal Aid says nearly two-thirds of the 881 people currently using the program will have to leave their rooms and likely become homeless. April Metcalf is one of those people.

“It means to me that I’m going to be on the street. Literally on the street with nothing, ”Metcalf said.

Metcalf is a domestic violence survivor and her abuser is in jail. But she says she worries about her safety.

“He could go out anytime and I’m scared to death. I would be extremely vulnerable on the street, ”Metcalf said.

Housing advocates are asking for an extension until the end of this year, especially since FEMA will fund the program until then.

“This impending crisis and the suffering and trauma it will bring to hundreds of people is preventable. We do not have the usual financial constraints that prevent us from taking this type of action,” said Mairead O’Reilly of Vermont. Legal Aid.

With the increase in Covid-19 cases, Vermont Legal Aid and other community providers are hoping the state will reconsider ending the program.

“Now is not the time to have our most vulnerable residents living outside or crammed into collective housing,” said Martin Hahn of the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness.

Marsha and Metcalf cling to that hope.

“Help us. Stand up for yourself. We are not bad people. We have just been through a difficult time,” Marsha said.

Gov. Phil Scott’s office responded to calls to extend the program in a statement, saying in part:

“We believe it is important to continue to advance the plan that the legislature and partners agreed to, and the state will continue to work to help those making this transition.”

The state has previously said each household will receive $ 2,500 to support the transition, which homeless advocates say is not enough to rent a spot for the next few months.


Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.