ST. ALBANS, Vt., Aug. 9 - Speaking today at the Samaritan House homeless shelter here, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced $237,500 in federal help for seven shelters throughout Vermont.
The senator was joined by Linda Ryan, executive director for development at the Samaritan House, to announce the $30,000 renovation project funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The six other shelters sharing funds that Sanders helped secure are:
- Upper Valley Haven in White River Junction; $39,000
- Committee on Temporary Shelter in Burlington;$38,500
- Open Door Mission in Rutland; $35,000
- Morningside Shelter in Brattleboro; $35,000
- Dodge House in Rutland; $30,000
- John Graham Shelter in Vergennes; $30,000
"The expansion and improvement of these seven shelters will provide some comfort and stability to those Vermonters who have lost their homes," Sanders said. "In fact, these shelters provide homeless Vermonters with not just a place to sleep, but an opportunity to start rebuilding their lives."
Vermont's homeless population varies, but on a single day last January there were more than 2,500 people without homes. The largest growth in Vermont's homeless population is families with children. Fully 32 percent of those sleeping in Vermont shelters are children. Four percent of Vermont's homeless are veterans, far fewer than in the rest of the country.
Nationwide, there are more than 650,000 homeless Americans on any given night and one in six is a veteran.
"Clearly, we must build more housing that is affordable and we must create more good-paying jobs in the United States," Sanders said. "Meanwhile, we also must tend to the emergency needs of those who find themselves without any housing at all," he added.