Temporary housing available for Vermonters at risk of homelessness during weekend's extreme cold

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

Vermonters at risk of homelessness should  call 2-1-1 to arrange for temporary housing during the extreme cold this weekend, Governor Peter Shumlin advised Friday.

The Vermont Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security is issuing wind chill warnings for most of the state from 4 a.m. Saturday through 7 p.m. Sunday, with wind chill temperatures expected to plunge to between 25 and 40 below zero.

According to the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition (VAHC), Vermont's Department for Children and Families is making sure that no one who needs shelter over the next few days will be denied. "A temporary suspension of the existing policy that prevents people who have been sanctioned from receiving Emergency Motel Assistance will be in effect," explained Erhard Mahnke, VAHC's coordinator. "Vermont 2-1-1 protocols will be updated to ensure that anyone qualifying as homeless over the long weekend can access a motel or other temporary shelter to get in out of the cold," he continued.

“Vermonters are used to cold Februaries, but the forecast for this weekend is for frigid temperatures that can be potentially dangerous,” the Governor said.