[Press Release] Upper Valley Haven Recognition of Vermont’s Homelessness Awareness Day on January 18
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Spencer Sanders, (802) 478-1806 or
Upper Valley Haven Will Light and Display 337 Luminaires to Symbolize the Number of People Who Are Homeless
White River Junction, VT –On January 18, Vermont will observe Homelessness Awareness Day to bring attention to all that must be done in the coming year to end homelessness in Vermont. The Upper Valley Haven, located in White River Junction and dedicated to offering shelter to individuals and families while assisting in securing permanent housing, will mark this day by placing 337 luminaires on its campus on Hartford Avenue. This symbolic number represents the number of individuals grappling with homelessness in the area.
The Haven’s event is but one of many that will be featured in various locations statewide, including the statehouse. In Montpelier, representatives from shelters, community service providers, housing advocates, and individuals with lived experience will share testimonies in joint committee meetings of the sometimes tragic implications of homelessness and discuss the necessary actions we must collectively take this year to fight homelessness in VT. A poignant display of flags will be placed on the lawn at the statehouse and other locations around the state, representing the number of children, adults, and elders who are currently homelessness in VT in 2023.
At the Haven’s event the 337 luminaires represent the 337 adults and children on the coordinated entry list in the Hartford service district including Northern Windsor and Orange Counties – the comprehensive roster of people facing homelessness either in shelters or unhoused.
Haven Community Service Coordinator, Gwen Williams explained, “Coordinated Entry (CE) is a process that ensures people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access and are quickly identified, assessed for, referred and connected to housing assistance based on their strengths and needs.” The Haven will help bring visibility to the 337 individuals currently seeking secure housing through lighting luminaires to show they are seen and valued.
The winter season’s chilly embrace is here and it is more imperative than ever to come together as a community to support those in poverty to address the inevitable tragedies inherent in the current economic atmosphere – inclusive of those without a safe, warm place to call home. The Haven is a part of a much broader community of support including other nonprofits and those who call the Upper Valley home. For example, Twin Pines Housing Trust is developing an 18-unit apartment building adjacent to the Haven that will provide secure housing to those experiencing chronic homelessness.
The Haven has also been approved to operate an emergency shelter in WRJ and development will start this year. Many local organizations continue to team up using housing first principles to help move the needle to end homelessness in Vermont and beyond. Haven Executive Director, Michael Redmond, shared, “There are endless considerations as to why anybody might need a hand up and we as a community must offer support and resources to our neighbors in need as we bind together and build towards a better future.”
The Haven invites its neighbors, friends, people who are unhoused and local officials to stop by the Haven campus on the evening of January 18th to take pictures and share them to bring awareness to the lives of those who have experienced homelessness, who are currently experiencing homelessness, and who may experience homelessness in the future.
The luminaires will be lit at 657 Hartford Ave, White River Junction on Thursday, January 18th at sunset.
About the Upper Valley Haven
The Upper Valley Haven is a private, nonprofit organization that celebrated its 40th year anniversary in 2021. With the support of the UV community, the Haven assists those who are experiencing poverty to be free from hunger, securely housed, and to pursue a self-directed life.
The Haven operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and never charges for any services. The Upper Valley Haven serves more than 14,000 people annually.