COTS announces interim location for the Daystation
The Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) announced today that First United Methodist Church of Burlington has generously offered their parsonage to COTS for an interim Daystation site this winter.
The COTS Daystation, formerly located on the lower level of 179 S. Winooski Ave., was destroyed by a July 4 flood. COTS has continued to operate the program from two temporary relocation sites.
“First United Methodist Church in Burlington is blessed with the facilities we have, and we are grateful when we can partner with organizations like COTS to serve our neighbors,” said the Rev. Mark Demers of First United Methodist.
COTS will operate the Daystation program at the parsonage (located at 25 Buell St., Burlington) through the end of March. This will give COTS sufficient time to secure a long-term location for the Daystation. The parsonage provides greater flexibility and more space to meet program needs and daytime shelter in the interim. COTS also will be able to serve hot lunches.
“COTS is grateful to Rev. Demers and the First United Methodist Church for their extreme generosity,” said Rita Markley, COTS executive director. “Their gift will ensure that vulnerable adults will have a safe, decent place to find daytime shelter and connect with COTS services this coming winter.”
The Daystation, COTS daytime shelter for single adults for nearly 20 years, is designed to be a low-threshold support system and central space for clients to connect with COTS services and community resources.
Every day, 365 days a year, a nutritious noontime meal – the only free option in downtown Burlington – is served daily in the Daystation.Through the generous support of the community and volunteers, COTS has continued to serve lunch since the flood.
COTS staff regularly assists Daystation guests with employment and housing through support groups as well as in navigating the paperwork. They coordinate educational presentations, health screenings and veterans outreach with the VA. Volunteers provide haircuts. Guests receive mail, email and phone messages.
Last year, the Daystation served 926 individuals. Many guests are veterans, elderly and disabled. Overall, about 95% of clients in this program are extremely low income (30% of median), while 5% are low income (50% of median).
Founded in 1982, COTS provides emergency shelter and homelessness prevention outreach to families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. COTS also offers case-management and referral services, transitional and permanent housing to low-income families and individuals.