The pace of news continues at breakneck speed on our developing and self-inflicted dehousing crisis. This installment’s title is courtesy of Barre Mayor John Hemmerick, whose city is desperately trying to plan for the first installment of The Great Dehousing, which is now only a couple of days away.
In central Vermont, two charities have combined to raise over $15,000 (the goal is $20K; chip in here if you can) for tents and sleeping bags and such to distribute to the soon-to-be-unsheltered. The city of Montpelier is looking into a possible winter shelter at the city’s Recreation Center, and Barre is hoping to offer shelter at the Barre Auditorium. The problem there is not so much setting it up, as staffing it. The city doesn’t have the means, and local shelter operators are already doing everything they can.
Both cities are discussing the seemingly inevitable encampments that will follow Our Great Leaders’ decision to end the motel voucher program that provides shelter to 80% of Vermont’s unhoused. Mayor Hemmerick offered this comment to The Bridge:
It is a sad day in America and Vermont when tiny municipal governments must look to … informal settlement and slum management policies to do the unthinkable in the wealthiest nation on earth: sanction substandard encampments and living conditions.
Slum management, folks. That’s where we’re at in good old caring old Vermont.Continue reading