A statement by CVOEO and the Board of Directors (10/28/2021)
CVOEO believes that housing is a human right and that every individual should have the opportunity for safe and affordable housing. A lack of affordable housing and support services has led to homelessness in Vermont and around the country. This is why CVOEO opposes the forced removal of encampments where individuals and families experiencing homelessness live. CVOEO believes that our communities should provide opportunities, including supportive engagement and services, to people who do not have access to safe and affordable housing, as well as to those who may want to continue living in nontraditional settings. We also understand and empathize with the neighbors and city officials who are concerned about the encampment and find it untenable. CVOEO has been providing daily outreach and referral services as well as food delivery to the Sears encampment since early July. We are currently working with residents to provide safe exits from the encampment if they choose to leave. We try to support the city, the community and especially the most vulnerable through our outreach and other anti-poverty programs.