Governor asks lawmakers to increase aid for homeless

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas says the Legislature will need to act quickly next month to make sure homeless families have a place to stay.

He’s asking the Legislature to add 300-thousand dollars to the general assistance budget.

The money would go toward an emergency program that pays for motel rooms for homeless families when there’s no room at a shelter.

(Douglas) “The number of homeless in Vermont is about 800 on any given night. And, although there are not as many as we’ve had at some point in the past, the individuals who are homeless are staying longer in shelters, sometimes three times as long as they used to. So, all the shelters are full. And we have to make sure that we have emergency assistance available to help people who don’t have a place to spend the night.”

(Host) Douglas will also ask the Legislature to remove a cap that forces families out of motels after less than a month. Under his plan, they’d get three months.

Douglas says homelessness has become a big problem this year because of the harsh early winter weather.


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