A peek inside the Burlington Community Resource Center

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – As temperatures drop, Burlington’s new community resource center is back for its second season.

“I mean it’s freezing. It’s like we’re going to resources, ”said Alex Olson of Burlington, using the Community Resource Center.

Olson stopped by Sunday to warm up and grab the essentials. “I’m very happy it’s opening up again because it’s just amazing – I mean, amazing food, and they give you stuff,” Olson said.

The community resource center is funded by donations, CARES law money and approximately $ 250,000 in funding from the US City of Burlington Rescue Plan.

“We have hot dishes, hot drinks, coffee, tea, food, Feeding Chittenden meals, clothes, hygiene products, snacks, computer access, telephone access,” said Anna Thomson, CVOEO Housing Advocate.

The resource center also serves as a bridge to connect people to resources such as emergency housing and information on safe recovery.

Thomson says the shelter returned to intense need before the cold winter months.

“Honestly, it’s essential for people to stay alive during the winter,” said Thomson.

The center opened around the same time that Vermont announced the 2021 General Housing Assistance Program for Adverse Weather Conditions, which says people can access emergency shelter in motels funded by the. State during the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. if temperatures are below 20 degrees OR temperatures are below 32 degrees with a high probability of precipitation.

Thomson says the shelter closes at 4 p.m. daily and that they often hear from Vermonters who are always looking for a place to spend the night.

“A lot of people come in and say, ‘I have no place to go tonight, I have no place to sleep.’ So we usually call Economics to see if there’s a hotel or motel room they can fit them in, ”Thomson.

Thomson also notes that they will try to connect people to the Champlain Inn’s low-barrier walk-in motel, but open rooms are hard to find.

And the last resort is to hand out sleeping bags and tents.

Olson says he has a place in a motel, but enjoys socializing in the center.

“I’m not going because it’s pretty lonely because you can’t have nobody in your room or whatever, and it’s far down Shelburne Road, so I’m sleeping with friends here,” a Olson said.

The Community Resource Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Burlington. Organizers say it will last until at least April, but they are working to find a one-year solution in a different location.

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