Community Pitches In


The VT state police brought Jeanne to the Haven after finding her in her broken-down car on the side of I-91. It was 10 below zero. Snow on the ground. She had a two-wheel trailer attached to her old vehicle, which looked like it was on its last legs. Jeanne wore a sleeveless dress and sneakers.

Haven staff members learned that Jeanne had been traveling across the country by herself. She had left her elderly parents’ home six weeks before, having decided to move to New England. Jeanne appeared to suffer from a form of mental illness.

Jeanne’s Haven case manager helped her get her car and trailer towed to White River Junction to be repaired, services that were generously donated for free by local businesses. Meanwhile, since the Haven shelters were full, staff helped Jeanne find a local motel where she could stay for a couple of nights. Her case manager was in touch with Jeanne’s parents by phone and they made a plan to get Jeanne some money and get her home.

Soon, her car was back in working order and there was a window of good weather for traveling. Armed with a gas card, maps, and a track phone bought with funds from her parents, Jeanne set out. Her case manager followed her progress and made some additional calls to authorities in other states to ensure Jeanne made it home safely.

It took many different people to get Jeanne on the road home: the VT state police, staff members at the Haven, a local car repair shop, a towing company, a motel, Jeanne’s parents, Haven donors, even authorities in other states.

This kind of collaboration—major, subtle and everything in between—takes place daily at the Haven. Our work and those we serve depend on it.

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