Difficulty accessing affordable transportation, child care and housing are all magnified in a rural place like Vermont. The Unique Challenges Facing Vermont’s Rural Homeless Population is the subject of a Vermont Public Radio feature.
Vermont deploys a range of services provided by organizations throughout the state, but is also committed to a Housing First model for addressing homelessness. Paul Dragon, Director of Vermont’s Office of Economic Opportunity, said, “It’s hard to work on many of the other issues, particularly finding employment or getting someone’s diabetes or hypertension under check, or getting them to counseling for substance or mental health, if they don’t have a home … So that is a big component of Housing First. Let’s get people stabilized, get them in a home, and then we can work on these other issues.”