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Advocates urge governor to reinstate Vt. homeless hotel program

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 4:33 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Students and advocates for Vermonters experiencing homelessness are urging Gov. Phil Scott to reboot the homeless motel voucher program.

Earlier this month, about 700 Vermonters were no longer eligible for rooms as the state changed eligibility.

Now, more than 150 students have signed a petition urging the governor to reinstate the general assistance program until the state can build more housing.

They’re calling on the governor to restore the general assistance program, continue the eviction moratorium and continue all food resource programs.

“People who had never had a stable roof over their head got it at this time, plus food and other services. This program was not perfect and it had its flaws but it kept people stably housed and it ended homelessness in Vermont,” said Addie Lentzner of Bennington.

The governor and his team say the program isn’t financially sustainable and that they’re investing millions in housing and expanded shelter capacity.

But some worry that housing won’t come online in time.

So far, 536 Vermonters have received $2,500 checks to transition them out of hotels.

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