December 18, 2007
Montpelier, Vt. – Gov. Jim Douglas will designate Dec. 17 - 23 “Homeless Awareness Week” to highlight assistance available to those who become homeless and the state’s coordinated efforts to prevent it.
Gov. Douglas will sign the proclamation during a Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness vigil in front of the Bethany Church, Main St., Montpelier on Dec. 18 at 11:30 a.m.
Gov. Douglas is also proposing to increase this year’s funding for the General Assistance program by $300,000 in the Budget Adjustment for 2007. In addition, his administration through the Agency of Human Services is asking the Legislature to remove the $150,000 cap placed on this emergency funding for homelessness.
“Vermont has strong commitment to assisting the homeless and working to eliminate it,” Gov. Douglas said. “We must work together to provide affordable and safe housing for all of our residents. The State of Vermont needs to leverage resources in our communities, including social service organizations, shelters, and faith-based organizations in a common effort to end homelessness.”
While Vermont has a very small number of homeless individuals when compared to other states, it is an issue that affects every community in Vermont at one point or another, the Governor said.
“The truth about homelessness contradicts the stereotypical characterization,” Gov. Douglas said. “Studies show that between 35-40 percent of people experiencing homelessness are families and children.”
The Douglas Administration is also working on a plan to support individuals while maintaining their housing and encouraging more preventative measures rather than reactionary measures.
Vermonters from all walks of life are encouraged to volunteer or make a donation to one of the local programs working to help solve the problems faced by homeless people, while Vermonters in the private and public sectors continue to work toward a long-term solution, the Governor added.
Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: December 18, 2007 08:52:10