'We don’t leave anyone out of our community' - 462 people homeless in 2023

Read the full article at the samessenger.com. Here is an excerpt:

ST. ALBANS CITY — 462 flags encircled the Taylor Park fountain over the weekend, one for every person in Franklin and Grand Isle counties who was homeless in 2023.

“These are our neighbors, people we know and see every day, who spent some portion of last year not knowing where they were going to sleep that night,” said Ben Kaufmann, program director at Tim’s House emergency shelter.

Last Thursday was Homelessness Awareness Day in Vermont, and the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity — along with its programs Samaritan/Tim’s House and Voices Against Violence — brought attention to the issue Jan. 18.

In 2023, about 8,000 people were homeless in Vermont. In Franklin and Grand Isle counties, 462 people were homeless, including 114 children, 14 veterans and 18 older adults. In 2022, 350 people were homeless in the two counties.