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COTS vigil shines a light on homelessness - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

COTS vigil shines a light on homelessness

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Thousands of Vermonters are facing the holidays homeless.

The Committee on Temporary Shelter was shining a light on the homeless Thursday by holding an annual candlelight vigil outside City Hall in Burlington.

The winter solstice is almost here and it's the longest night of the year, but more than 2,800 people in Vermont have nowhere to sleep. COTS says two homeless people that have used its services have died this year, and the vigil highlights personal stories of homelessness to put a face to the numbers and that there is hope.

Volunteers include formerly homeless who have come full circle to give back at the event.

"Now I have, I work for the federal government. I'm back on my feet. I got my own place. Now I want to volunteer for this because we were homeless at one point," said Laurie Jacques, a volunteer.

"The reality of homelessness in our community is and around the county is that families are the fastest growing population-- it's children. The average age of homelessness in our country is actually age nine," said Becky Holt of COTS.

COTS tells us 140 of those who are homeless in Vermont are school-age children.

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