Yesterday, former gubernatorial candidate and anti-poverty activist Brenda Siegel and Josh Lisenby, a former motel resident, were joined by about 50 legislators, representatives from Rights and Democracy Vermont and Interfaith Action, Lived Experience Experts, and advocates to call on the Governor to fully reinstate the program to house homeless Vermonters in hotels.
Siegel and Lisenby now have slept on the State House steps for 18 nights. Siegel read a statement from Senate Pro Tem Becca Balint and Speaker Jill Krowinski in support of the program’s extension beyond December 31. The full statement is available in the linked live stream.
“We have to use the tools available to us in the immediate future. We must reduce the gate to being safe this winter and allow anyone who is houseless to access the federal reimbursement for GA Motel Program, followed by state allocated funds,” said Siegel.
Siegel and Lisenby have consistently said that any extension of the GA Motel program must include both the people who are already on the street and those who may become homeless in the future.
High school advocate Addie Lentzner has identified nearly 1,000 open rooms from currently participating motels, as well as hotels that have never been asked by the state if they would like to participate. Many legislative leaders gave a clear message of support for full reinstatement of the program.
“It does not make sense to me that we are not opening this program up. It makes a clear statement about how this administration, this Governor feels about me. He has the tools and he doesn’t care,” reflected Lisenby.
Categories: Press Release