According to the Vermont Agency of Human Services, on any given night, more than 1,100 Vermonters find themselves without housing. The Point-In-Time count conducted last January showed that 134 of those people were unsheltered. What do they do during winter’s freezing temperatures?
Upper Valley Haven
in White River Junction offers a seasonal shelter so those without someplace to go can have a warm place to sleep. This shelter goes into operation when their regular shelters are full.
Located in the Byrne House community building, the shelter is set up in the café space, which is where daytime visitors spend the day in a safe place or wait to meet with case managers. Those needing the seasonal shelter for the night are admitted between 5:30 and 9:30 pm. A shelter employee will help guests settle in for the night. Separate spaces are allocated to men and women, including private showers and restrooms.
If an overnight visitor is hungry, suppers from the LISTEN Community Dinners or the Haven Hixon House adult shelter are provided. Snacks and beverages are also available. Guests depart the next morning at 7 am. They can return at 8:30 am to join others from the community for coffee and breakfast.
Both Haven staff and volunteers are awake throughout the night to monitor the shelter.
If you’d like to volunteer for the seasonal shelter or for one of the many programs Upper Valley Haven offers, go to https://uppervalleyhaven.org/volunteer/
and click the tab for the online volunteer application.