Excerpted from VPR News—March 8, 2021—Howard Weiss-Tisman
For the past year, the state of Vermont has used federal COVID relief money to give everyone who was experiencing homelessness a private room, in motels and hotels across the state. So what will happen to those 2,000 or so people when the pandemic ends?
Providing shelter for all is “a no-brainer when it’s a public health crisis,” said Josh Davis, executive director of Groundworks Collaborative. “But then once the public health crisis recedes, and the motel program closes, we’re saying that we’re okay with people sleeping outside. But we should not be okay with people sleeping outside.”
“If I were to get kicked out and there’s no transition plan from the state for us to get housing, or transition into moving back outside, then I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” Luoma said. “I mean, I don’t really get a whole lot of say. I mean, I just have to keep trying to do the best I can with what I have.”