BURLINGTON, Vt. – On Monday, the Burlington City Council voted to use nearly $3 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to address homelessness in the Queen City.
The funding will go toward a wide range of initiatives aimed at preventing and ending homelessness, including the creation of a new emergency shelter.
“We are really working hard on a sustained, ongoing basis to help the most vulnerable members of our community and systematically ending homelessness,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger.
The $2.975 million in funding will also help establish a downtown community resource center.
“We can make an impact where it most matters in terms of addressing homelessness, not just managing it, not just dealing with it but really trying to end homelessness,” said Brian Pine, Director of the Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO). “It’s something as a community I think we should all share as a goal.”
The money would also create a new position in city government called the ‘Special Assistant to End Homelessness.’
City Council President Max Tracy had a few questions about the role at Monday’s Board of Finance meeting.
“I’m just curious as to how you see the position itself interacting with folks who have lived experience, and how those folks will be able to drive the work this position does?”
In response, Pine said the purpose of having the position is to work at the ‘systems level’, but also to ensure the information driving decisions is coming “right from the folks who are living on the streets and outside experiencing homelessness.”