Archive - Oct 23, 2006 - Page
By MEGAN JAMES
VERGENNES — When Elizabeth Ready, executive director of the John Graham Emergency Shelter in Vergennes, asked Middlebury College student Alex Hall what surprised him the most about homelessness in Vermont, he answered, “That there was any.”
Since last spring, Hall and about 20 Middlebury students, in groups of three or four at a time, have visited the Vergennes shelter once a week where they cook dinner and socialize. The residents, in turn, have begun to shatter the students’ stereotypes of homelessness.
“You think it only exists in urban areas. You think they’ve chosen not to work, that they’re lazy,” said student volunteer Andrew Haile. “But really they’re great people who’ve just had some bad breaks.”
By JOHN FLOWERS
ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County human services providers are putting the finishing touches on a new DVD, brochure and other material aimed at helping local homeless people find — and keep — affordable housing.
The providers, working under the banner of the Addison County Housing Coalition, have also enlisted the help of Northlands Job Corps students in making a series of wooden human silhouettes that will soon be placed throughout the county to increase public awareness of the plight of the homeless.
Cheryl Mitchell, director of People of Addison County Together (PACT), is spearheading creation of the new brochure titled, “Almost Home: Finding an Affordable Place to Live in Addison County.” The 11-page brochure, in its final draft, will let homeless people know how their incomes play into qualifying for affordable housing; how to overcome bad credit; how to apply for rental housing; and what their rights are as tenants.
By MEGAN JAMES
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College hopes to stimulate the local forest products economy when it begins buying woodchips instead of oil for a new $11 million, biomass-fueled power plant. In addition, the plant, which college trustees signed off on at a meeting late last month, will cut the college’s greenhouse gas emissions by 12,500 metric tons a year — a step that will be welcomed by a student-led effort to zero-out Middlebury College’s impact on global warming.
By relying on woodchips, a by-product of the lumbering business already established in Addison County, the college will support local industry while weaning itself off the global oil supply, officials said.
“The biomass plant exemplifies the college’s longstanding commitment to the environment not only as an academic subject, but also as an integral part of the institution’s operations,” said Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz. “It reflects the significance we place on the local economy as well.”