BURLINGTON, Vt. – Burlington officials are working to help former residents of the Sears Lane encampment, which was shut down last month after reports of criminal activity.

Economic Development Director Brian Pine and Director of Economic Recovery Kara Alnasrawi told the Burlington City Council that feedback is currently being collected through a community survey, which has received over 3,000 responses.

Sears Lane residents meet city’s deadline to vacate encampment

This comes two weeks after the council called on Mayor Miro Weinberger and his administration to collaborate with the residents of Sears Lane, using federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to meet their basic needs of food, water, warmth and rest.

City officials are planning to hold a town hall forum on the issue in January, and recently made a request to the State of Vermont to continue its emergency motel voucher program into 2022.

Burlington closing homeless encampment after drug raid, threats

The plan to decide how ARPA funds should be spent involve visiting and meeting with those experiencing homelessness and residents of motels and other shelters.

There has also been a focus group created, comprised of both those experiencing homelessness and those who work with the homeless population.