Opinion: The right action at the right time

Over the weekend there were heroic rescues of those in distress. One came in the form of breaking a door down for someone having a diabetic seizure. This had potentially fatal results and it ended with life instead. This was accomplished because a CVOEO advocate at the Hotel Homeless Housing Program took the right action at the right time. There were 1,400 meals made every day for people who were homeless in various hotels, trying to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeding Chittenden did this day af … (read more)

Opinion: Creating a COVID-19 recovery space for the homeless

I call it engineered chaos with an essential outcome and a timeline that had to be completed before it begins. The outcome is to “flatten the curve” and provide a space for healing and recovery for the homeless, those who have no home to go to safely and … (read more)

Opinion: Work is more than just a state of mind

Bill Cherry made an appointment to speak with Gillian Franks from CVOEO’s Financial Futures Program over a decade ago. He was out of work and brewing beer in his home. His meetings with Gillian were intensive at first and then intermittent over the years. … (read more)

Opinion: Saying goodbye to Laura at CVOEO

I can hear Laura Mistretta singing as she walks down the hall. Her office is diagonally across from mine. Occasionally, I can hear her on the phone. Her voice is calm. The person on the other end of the line has all her attention. When her door is closed, … (read more)

Opinion: Enough tools in the toolbox

The call came into our Crisis Fuel Office after hours. We could tell it was an elderly gentleman. He stated he “really needed help with emergency fuel.” He left his name and phone number. This was the first time he had called. What he didn’t realize is th … (read more)

Opinion: CVOEO ready to help those in need

I keep two winter coats in my office year round now: a man’s and a woman’s coat. The “why” takes me back to last winter when Jonathan came into the office to ask for help. I’ve known Jonathan for five years. I’ve seen him in the worst of times under the i … (read more)

Opinion: Saving your way to security

She is a single mom with a toddler who was living at the Lund Family Center. Brittany was surrounded by people who were pulling for her to succeed. Making a $50 a week stipend, though an extremely small amount, didn’t stop Brittany from looking for a way … (read more)

Jan Demers: Programs are out there to keep families warm

I remember the cold coming on when I lived in the Northeast Kingdom. Seeing the first of the early morning frost and hearing trucks backing up to homes and dumping loads of cut logs. The logs were split into manageable sizes and tossed down bulkheads into … (read more)

Jan Demers: Pulling against poverty; pushing away hunger

“I hungry, Gamma”, said my two-year-old granddaughter. I would rend heaven and earth to make sure she had something to eat. And it was easily done with good options. Still, my heart stopped when I heard her words. Vermont is in a struggle to feed 4,619 ch … (read more)

Opinion: We beat the odds

On any given Sunday evening volunteers at a local church in Burlington feed between 80 and 130 hungry people. The food is homemade, nutritious and delicious. The crowd is intergenerational. Some are homeless, some are food insecure and some appreciate the … (read more)

Opinion: See something, say something

She is a single mother of two children aged 8 and 10 years. The family became homeless initially due to domestic violence. She coped by staying at a motel while occasionally couch surfing at a family member’s home for nearly four months. The family found … (read more)