New Management for Housing Resource

Starting in October, Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) will take over ownership and property maintenance at the former Champlain Inn, a low-barrier shelter on Shelburne Road for people experiencing homelessness. Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) will assume day to day operations and staffing. Both organizations wanted to ensure this important resource is available in the community.

Earlier this summer, ANEW Place, the current owner and manager, announced they were looking for a replacement due to staffing and maintenance challenges and will discontinue ownership and services at the shelter at the end of September.

The partnership between CHT and CVOEO is not new. The two organizations currently work together to manage and operate transitional housing at Elmwood Community Shelter in Burlington which is also a low-barrier shelter, meaning guests do not have to be sober to stay there.

The Elmwood Shelter “pods” are staffed everyday around the clock and provide temporary housing for up to 35 guests. CVOEO and other partner agencies offer a variety of supportive services onsite to help guests navigate next steps in securing permanent housing. The intention is to break the cycle of chronic homelessness, long-term instability, ongoing substance use, and disconnection from community resources. Intervention with a high tolerance and supportive environment helps rebuild trust between guests and the systems in-place to serve them.

One significant change for the shelter on Shelburne Road is that starting in October it will be open for guests all day instead of only being open overnight. Currently, the Champlain Inn shelter operates on a drop-in basis and assigns nightly rooms to 50-70 guests who share rooms. The new model will accommodate 35 guests who won’t have to leave during the day; guests will be assigned their own room for up to six months at a time. This stability for guests will lead to more opportunities to connect to services.

Starting in October guests will also have onsite access to resources from health care and social service providers. These wraparound social services connect guests to agencies and community resources and is proven to be more successful at helping people move from temporary shelter to permanent housing.

As part of this transition, CHT will make renovations to the Shelburne Road property including a new sprinkler system, installation of heat pumps, bathroom upgrades and new flooring.  A fence out front will be added to provide a private greenspace for guests. Stay tuned!