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Phoenix House to close transitional housing in Burlington and Brattleboro

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 5:19 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Residents at three sober living homes in Burlington and Brattleboro are being told they need to leave by the end of the month after the Phoenix House program lost a majority of its funding.

“Right now there’s no hope,” said David Miner, a resident at Phoenix House in Burlington. “There’s nothing out there. There’s no vacancy anywhere. All the programs are full or overcrowded. It’s no place, so basically they’re on the streets.”

The organization operates transitional housing through the RISE program, which provides services for those struggling with addiction. Phoenix has 58 beds spread between their facilities -- one in Burlington and two in Brattleboro. But due to a loss of funding, residents like Miner were told they need to leave.

Officials at Phoenix House declined a request for an interview Thursday. The Department of Corrections has provided over $677,000 for the transitional housing but did not renew due to what officials say was a number of program violations. The Department of Health provided over $300,000.

“On the 30th it’s definitely closing down -- there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” Miner said.

Phoenix also provides medication treatment and outpatient services in Vermont. The organization on Thursday announced they’d be partnering with the Howard Center to keep those services open for roughly 400 Vermonters.

“Most of the clients that are being served by Phoenix House right now are being served by telehealth, so we’ll continue that as their staff transition and become Howard Center employees. Some of those clients, perhaps, over time, will need more face-to-face services,” said Howard’s Bob Bick. He says they are not actively planning to take over the RISE program.

Phoenix House says they are working to find another entity to take on the transitional housing services but have told residents to prepare for the worst.

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