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DCF Says New Program Cuts Down On Homeless Motel Vouchers

State efforts to reduce the number of people who use motels for emergency housing have been effective, according to a report released this week  by the Department for Children and Families.

Last winter, the state saw a significant increase in the number of people who were forced to use the motel voucher program for emergency housing.

Since then, the state put resources into developing alternative housing options across the state, and alternative shelters were set up in Burlington, St. Johnsbury and Middlebury.

Those efforts, according to the report, led to sharp reductions in traffic and significant savings.

Data for all of this winter are not yet available, but if projections hold, the state will spend about $3.9 million this winter, compared to the $4.3 million it spent last year.

The unusually mild winter also might have contributed to the decrease, the report says.

The state is putting resources into alternative housing programs across the state, and it hopes to broaden the services even further next year.
 

Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public's reporter for Southern Vermont & the Connecticut River Valley. He worked at the Brattleboro Reformer for 11 years, reporting on most towns in the region and specializing on statewide issues including education, agriculture, energy and mental health. Howard received a BA in Journalism from University of Massachusetts. He filed his first story with Vermont Public in September 2015.
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