News

KeyBank Makes Major Grant to Help End Chronic Homelessness

Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, by Chris Donnelly

CHT announced today a three-year $240,000 commitment from KeyBank Foundation to support our goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in Chittenden County. The grant will be used to hire a social worker to help homeless individuals and families attain access to permanent housing, as well as provide ongoing support and services to help them retain housing.

“KeyBank’s recognition that this bold goal is achievable demonstrates what a committed community partner they are,” said Brenda Torpy, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust. “In collaboration with many partners, we’ve made tremendous progress over the past few years. With this infusion of funds we will eliminate chronic homelessness in Chittenden County.”

A point-in-time survey done in January 2015 identified 101 individuals as “chronically homeless” in the county. Collaboration and coordination among various agencies reduced that number to 35 individuals by January 2018.  Currently, there are approximately 330 formerly homeless residents in CHT apartments – including 76 new residents in the past year. “Support for people after they’ve moved into their new apartment has been as critical as housing them in the first place,” commented Torpy.

“We are thrilled to provide needed funding to Champlain Housing Trust at a critical juncture in their efforts to end chronic homelessness,” said KeyBank Market President Donald Baker. “They have proven to be an effective leader in this campaign, and we are happy to partner with them as they continue to improve the lives of so many in our community.”

The $240,000 grant is the largest investment KeyBank Foundation has made to the Burlington community in recent years. It will be paid out over three years beginning in the summer of 2018. The Champlain Housing Trust intends to advertise for and hire the new staff shortly, and will continue to work with the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance to achieve this goal.

KeyBank representatives commit to $240,000 in funding to Champlain Housing Trust.  From left: Brigitte Ritchie, KeyBank Corporate Responsibility Officer, New England Region; Donald Baker, KeyBank Vermont Market President; Margaret Bozik, Champlain Housing Trust Director of Asset Management and Special Initiatives and co-chair, Chittenden County Homeless Alliance; Brenda Torpy, Champlain Housing Trust CEO.


Update on South Meadow Fire

Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, by Chris Donnelly

Saturday’s fire was frightening. A few people suffered serious injuries, but thankfully there were no casualties. We owe a debt of gratitude to the fire fighters who responded.

Here is an update with the most up-to-date information that we have:

  • The Burlington Fire Department has determined that the fire started outside in the stairwell. The investigation continues.
  • We have found new housing for all four of the households who had lived on the left-hand side of the building, which is a total loss. Paperwork is being processed now.
  • We are assessing whether and when the four households on the right side can move back in. In the meantime, they will continue to be put up in a local motel.
  • After helping tenants with their housing, CHT’s next steps will be working with our insurance company and contractors to evaluate how to reconstruct the building.
  • Next week there’ll be a number of community activities underway at South Meadow, including a summer school lunch program starting up, outreach around a new composting program, and support of a brand new community garden. We hope residents will participate in these activities.
  • The victims of the fire suffered a great deal and a few lost some or virtually all of their belongings. Efforts are underway to support them and we are compiling those options. If anyone is interested in helping out, please contact Anna Herman at CHT at 862-6244 to learn how.