Through a partnership with the State of Vermont’s Economic Services Division, Vermont 2-1-1 administers the After Hours Emergency Housing Program beginning at 4:30pm weekdays, throughout weekends and on state/federal holidays. Housing in Vermont has reached a critical need.
Vermont 2-1-1 Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists responded to 244 calls regarding housing needs. I&R specialists provide needs assessment, problem-solving support, and information and referrals to a wide range of services to each caller. Review Vermont 2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for March here.
March, yet another cold weather month! The March call total of 2,929 shown on this month’s statistical report may, at first glance, appear to show a significant decrease in the number of calls to 2-1-1. However, this “call count” only tells part of the story! In addition to the 2,929 incoming calls – calls answered by a 2-1-1I&R Specialist – 1,045 additional “scripted” calls for information on cold weather exception were handled without the caller needing to speak to one of our information and referral specialists. Therefore, the true call total for the month of March is3,974, a total that reflects the year-to-year March call volume of right around 4,000.
Vermont 2-1-1 continues to respond to all after-hours calls for the Department of Families and Children, Economic Services benefits center. The majority of these calls are requests for the General Assistance/Emergency Assistance (GA/EA) motel voucher program. March calls for assistance with emergency housing-related issues totaled 244. Vermont 2-1-1 Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists provisionally house a caller in a hotel/motel when the caller is eligible according to the rules put forth by the State. In addition to providing provisional housing to eligible callers, our contact specialists also provide, for every caller, a needs assessment, problem-solving support, and information and referrals to a wide range of services, including: homeless shelters, housing organizations, rent and security deposit assistance, food, clothing, transportation, health and mental health services, and domestic violence services.
The 2016 Point-In-Time Count, released by the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness and the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance, showed an overall decrease in homelessness by 28% compared to the 2015 Point-in-Time Count. Of the households counted statewide 156 had children, or 20% of total households counted. That is a decrease of 22% from last year. To view the full 2016 statewide report, click here.
Vermont 2-1-1 is partnering with the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Vermont Department of Health to assist with public information provision for PFOA inquiries and for data collection on water quality issues Bennington, North Bennington and Pownal. A spike in referrals made to the Environmental Protection and Improvement category is due to calls from residents of the area impacted looking for information and referrals regarding Perfluorooctanoic Acid or PFOA.
No Time Like the Present to Take Charge of Your Money
Vermont 2-1-1 Resource Specialists are in the field learning about community resources all the time. Check out this resource corner to learn about the latest updates, timely information and stories from the field.
April is National Financial Literacy Month, the focus of which is to enhance the financial wellness of Americans by improving their financial literacy. This month’s theme not only addresses what isn’t working for many, but also provides resources for what does work to improve personal financial literacy.
According to The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, one in four adults doesn’t pay their bills on time and three out of five don’t use a budget. One in three carries credit card debt from month to month and the same proportion hasn’t put money away for retirement. Not surprisingly, money management experts have found that the majority of consumers face financial challenges that significantly affect daily life. Check out the related Financial Literacy Month website which offers 30 steps to achieve control of personal finances.
Vermonters can turn to Vermont 2-1-1 to find programs that provide money management and credit counseling as well as debt recovery resources. Visit Vermont 2-1-1’s websiteand try these search terms: