COTS Says Shelters Are Full

11/26/10 8:05AM By Lynne McCrea

(Host) Vermont's largest provider of services for the homeless says all of its shelters are full, and all of them have waiting lists.

Becky Holt is with the Committee on Temporary Shelter - or COTS - in Burlington. She says the number of people seeking help so far this year is higher than usual.

(Holt) "The numbers are up. And it's unusual for us to have had a waiting list in the summer and in the early fall - which we did - which is an indication that this may be a very tough winter."

(Host) Holt says COTS works with other agencies serving the homeless to try to make sure people are not left out on the street. They also work with the state to help homeless families get vouchers for hotel rooms.

On the brighter side, Holt says that in January COTS will be opening the Canal Street Veterans Housing Development in Winooski. The new apartment building will provide 16 units of transitional apartments for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(Holt) "If they've come back from serving their country, and their job has moved away or they don't have the right skill set or they need more assistance, this will give them the time and the space to do that."

(Host) The development will also include some affordable, permanent housing. Holt says the project is a partnership formed by COTS and Housing Vermont.

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