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Welch: Vermont homeless hotel funding hinges on stimulus deal

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 3:14 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Congressman Peter Welch was in South Burlington Tuesday to advocate for additional federal COVID relief funds.

He met with staff and residents at the Holiday Inn on Williston Road. The hotel has been converted into the state’s largest homeless shelter during the pandemic and is run by the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity.

Welch says without more money from the federal government -- this place, along with other shelters, could be in danger of closing. “But here’s the threat -- if Congress doesn’t increase the aid or give the state more flexibility to use the aid past December 31st, the funds that are necessary for this program to continue will evaporate,” he said.

“The congressman makes a great point. To potentially extend the December 30th deadline and get people through the winter and at least into the warmer weather would be wonderful,” said CVOEO’s Paul Dragon.

The shelter opened up in April and currently is housing 140 people but has hit a high of over 200. Welch is doubtful more relief funds will come before the election.

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