The Governor was flanked by Administration officials and service providers who will now be taking a more holistic approach to providing housing and other services to help move people out of poverty.
"Several months ago -- early summer -- I called together a number of the people who are here standing with me today to ask a simple question: As governor, how can I work together with my team, with the legislature and with all of you, to make investments that are going to make a difference -- take the money we are spending and spend it even more wisely," Gov. Shumlin said.
The Governor signed an executive order that creates the Council on Pathways Out of Poverty. The council will be made up of a minimum of 10 up to 30 members. Co-chair Linda Ryan is Executive Director of Samaritan House in St Albans. "It's about homelessness but it's not just about homelessness, and people in poverty -- there are a lot of working poor people with two or three jobs that can't even afford to live in an apartment on their own. That is why the rental subsidy is so important, because of the loss of section 8 vouchers in the State of Vermont," Ryan said.
The Governor's plan calls for doubling the Vermont Rental Subsidy Program; giving $300,000 to help homeless shelters deal with federal cuts; boosting funding by $200,000 to help homeless families; increasing help to STARS rated child care providers by $800,000; and providing an extra $650,000 for mental health and substance abuse counseling for Reach Up recipients. For a total of $2.5 million.
Where is that money going to come from? "It's coming from our budget. To tell you exactly where the money is coming from I would have to tell you my budget and I'm going to give you that on January 15th," Shumlin said.
The Governor did not give specifics but said he's willing to work with lawmakers to win support for these and other budget items aimed at moving people out of poverty. He also admitted that current budget constraints and a $70 million deficit, the initiative will be a tough sell.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>