The emergency shelter pod community in Burlington’s Old North End was originally planned to open last July. The opening on Elmwood Avenue has been delayed several times, with the most recent delay coming during Thanksgiving week. At that time, the opening was pushed back to January.
Mayor Miro Weinberger briefly said last week that the community “is about to open”. Although it did appear on Wednesday to be close to operational, it isn’t open yet, with no word on the possibility of an additional delay.
The Burlington Community and Economic Development Office said in November that the final pieces of the puzzle were two communal buildings that were being manufactured in Maine. The buildings were to contain bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities for the 40 people expected to stay in the pods.
The communal buildings are now on site, and they appear to be assembled. However, they’re not quite ready for use yet. Stickers were still attached to their windows Wednesday afternoon, and some associated construction work surrounding them still appeared to be needed. The communal buildings will also have kitchen space, areas for community services and work spaces for people from the Champlain Housing Trust to supervise the community.
ABC 22 and Fox 44 reached out Wednesday afternoon to CEDO director Brian Pine and Champlain Housing Trust CEO Michael Monte. As of the airing and publication of this story, neither had replied to a request for an interview.