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Springfield Supported Housing Program August Newsletter

Our Agency Updates

We added 4 new units including 2 units with the Department of Corrections, 1 unit in collaboration with the Homeless Opportunity Grant Program, and 1 unit with the medical care system. With specific unit designations, we are able to commit apartments to subgroups of our Coordinated Entry list and reserve housing for some of the most vulnerable. We are excited to have a greater capacity to serve in the Springfield area community. We are in the process of furnishing these apartments, if you have furniture donations please reach out to adminassistant@sshpvt.org and we will collaborate on a pickup.

The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program has funds to assist households with past rent payments. Our case managers are meeting with households and landlords to apply for rental assistance. Please call our agency if you have questions and we can help with your application if you qualify.

We are also excited to announce a new addition to our team. Our next AmeriCorps VISTA, Brandy, will be starting August 16th. Our former VISTA, Bob is moving to Maryland to work in outdoor education. Brandy is excited to bring experience in video editing, acting, and a passion for housing issues and advocacy. Welcome Brandy to the SSHP team!

Brandy shared a bit about her interest in housing and hobbies.

What made you interested in housing assistance?

My own dealings with housing. I’ve had my own needs with it. I know how important it is to have a safe, reliable, and comfortable home and I also know that it can be really difficult to find that. The appeal is helping other people to find that, after I found the apartment I’m in now. I feel pretty lucky to have it. I think just being able to share something like that with other people is exciting.

What do you enjoy to do in your free time?

I’ve been enjoying coming to a beach that’s up the road from where I live. I drop my son off at summer camp, and go to the pond. I’ll come out and I’ll read or journal. I like getting outside walking or hiking. I like painting, art is a big one for me. I study herbalism in my free time, and I like working with plants. That’s been a fun thing I’ve been doing for a number of years now. A lot of it has to do with being outside in nature.

SSHP Jubilee: 15 Year Anniversary Celebration

Our agency is celebrating 15 years of service to the community. We will be holding the SSHP Jubilee on October 22nd, 2021. The Jubilee will be held at Du Jour VT in Ludlow with a dinner, live music from the Krishna Guthrie Band, and a silent auction. The dinner comes with a free drink and meal. Our silent auction will raise funds for clients to support them in finding safe, affordable, and sustainable housing. Some of the auction items include a two night stay at the Kendall Tavern Inn in Freeport, ME (photo below), a senior picture session with Tegan Coley Photography, a round of golf for 4 at the Crown Point County Club, and many other items. We are excited to honor our staff’s efforts through COVID-19 pandemic and SSHP’s work in the past 15 years. For more information and tickets to the event, please reach out to Tara Chase at tchase@sshpvt.org or (802) 885 -3035 ext. 103. We hope you can join us! Try the QR code below to sign up for the event. If you cannot attend, but would like to support the event, you can make a donation here: Donate to SSHP.

A Bit of Our History

SSHP was founded in 2006 by the Richs, Rich Moore and Richard McInerney. The Rich’s had a long history of collaboration and housing assistance. They began at Morningside Shelter where they saw the importance of transitional housing. We talked with Rich Moore about his early work with the Morningside Shelter and his transition to Springfield. He said “in the first year we learned that people did well in a shelter with rules and expectations and guidance, but when they left they would have to come back to the shelter again. Over the course of two or three years we learned that there are some deep rooted, life long issues, and they need more help than just a short stay in a shelter.” The Richs met with the Brattleboro Area Community Land Trust to ask if they could rent apartments for clients in need of transitional housing. With case management and long term support they saw that clients could transition into apartments and sustain housing.

In Springfield they kept this model they developed in Brattleboro. They approached landlords and property managers around Springfield and asked for them to set aside apartments for housing insecure families in need of transitional housing. The partnership between the program and landlords was key to ensure that the client had a successful transition. SSHP clarified with the landlords that they were the key contact with any issues, and met as often as necessary with the client to keep them on track and focused on their goals. These core principles remain a key part of SSHP’s work as the agency expands. The program received the Agency of Human Services Community Award in 2008. Richard McInerney said “The program’s success is based on an accurate assessment of the issues and circumstances that lead to homelessness, the supports and services necessary to address these issues, and an honest and positive relationship with landlords.” SSHP was created in collaboration with the Department of Children and Families and the Springfield Family Center. As the program grew, it gained its own status as a 501 (c)(3) and moved offices. Our agency now has a staff of 9 people and continues to grow to meet the housing needs of our community. Stay tuned for more history and upcoming information about our agency!

Thank you Donors!

At SSHP we would like to thank all of our donors and supporters. Over the past few months we have sent out our annual appeal to people around Springfield. We have also reached out to foundations and applied for funding and grants. Our agency works to meet the needs of our community. Donations and support allow us to meet those needs. We would like to thank the Holt Fund and Byrne Foundation for their support to help fund our goals of acquiring new units and hiring staff. With the upcoming Jubilee, we would like to thank Berkshire Bank, Mascoma Bank, King Arthur Baking Company, and Claremont Savings Bank for their sponsorship of the event!

Thank you for reading the SSHP August Newsletter. Click on the button below to fill out a short survey to help us improve our newsletter and outreach.

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Categories: Updates

Springfield Supported Housing Program