Champlain Place Renovations Soon Complete

Construction has picked up at Champlain Place, formerly known as the Champlain Inn, a low-barrier shelter on Shelburne Street in Burlington for people experiencing homelessness.

Last October, Champlain Housing Trust took over ownership and maintenance of the property, and Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) assumed day to day operations and staffing from ANEW Place who formerly owned and operated the shelter. Both CHT and CVOEO wanted to ensure this important resource remain available to the community.

The renovations include installation of a sprinkler system, upgrades to electrical service and plumbing, installation of heat pumps for heating and cooling, bathroom upgrades, new flooring and the creation of a private courtyard at the front of the building.

The partnership between CHT and CVOEO is not new. Since 1994, the organizations have partnered on the ownership and operation of Feeding Chittenden and in 2022 worked together to keep Tim’s House, emergency shelter in St. Albans, operational. In Burlington, the two organizations currently work together at Elmwood Community Shelter , another low-barrier shelter, meaning guests do not have to be sober to stay there.

One significant change for Champlain Place is that it is open to guests all day instead of only being open overnight. Formerly, the Champlain Inn shelter operated on a drop-in basis and assigned nightly rooms to 50-70 guests who shared rooms. The new model will accommodate 36 guests who will not have to leave during the day; guests are assigned their own room for extended stays.

The housing stability for guests will lead to more opportunities to access resources from health and social service providers who are available onsite. These wraparound social services connect guests to agencies and community resources and is a proven model for helping people more successfully move from temporary shelter to permanent housing. The intention is to break the cycle of chronic homelessness, long-term instability, ongoing substance use, and disconnection from community resources.

CHT’s construction timeline is on track to be completed by the end of September.