Homeless shelter manager: “I’ve never seen anything like this before”

Montpelier homeless encampment off State Street. Bielawski photo

by Michael Bielawski

Republished from www.keepvermontsafe.com, a news website dedicated to public safety in Vermont.

The City of Montpelier does not plan to take initial action regarding a homeless camp between State Street and the Winooski River not far from the high school. Also, the executive director of Good Samaritan Haven, which is a homeless shelter located in Barre, says he’s never seen so many homeless.

“Oh it’s definitely worse,” said their director Rick DeAngelis in a phone interview on Wednesday evening. “I don’t know what’s happened in recent years, it’s just the worst it’s ever been. I’ve been working in housing my whole career and it’s a long career and I’ve never really seen anything like this before.”

The Montpelier camp seen above is on the western side of Vermont’s capital city (and should not be confused with the homeless encampment near the Rte. 2 railroad tracks near the Montpelier/East Montpelier line, part of the investigation into a school bus window shooting), and could be seen last week off to the left near the river bank while driving away from the city center. It is mostly blocked from view by a large tarp facing towards the road…… Read more at Keepvermontsafe.com

Categories: Housing

12 replies »

    • Drugs are the reason for 90% of the homelessness !! I hear , I see it and I walk around it day in and day out !! No one wants to work when you can party all day and nite ! Even the methadone clinic is a joke… they use it to get the fix , go home and power it up. I know cause I have relatives who do this .

  1. While this issue may be getting worse, it is not new, There was, and may still be a “resident” homeless woman on the State Office Complex. I’ve been retired for almost five years now, and she was availing her self of the resources in, and around the complex for a couple of years before then. She generally spent her day time hours at either the State House in the cafeteria, or in the library at the Pavilion. Legislators walked by her at the State House almost every day. She’d do her laundry, and bath in the sinks of state office buildings, then return to her campsite just over the city limits linebetween route 2 and I89. When her presense became a problem, someone from Washington County Mental Health would be called, and would come, and talk to her. I’m sure they would explain, and offer her options. Before this woman there was an older gentleman, a Korean War Veteran, (God bless him) that would “camp out” on, under, and around the Pavilion porch. He knew very well what options were available to him as a veteran, but if you cared enough to engage him about it, he would tell you he knew about that and, to mind your own business. My point here being that as with so many problems, if left to their own devises, they do not tend to go away, as word gets around, they usually grow .

  2. They need to make it easier for people to get landlords to rent to them. Currently, large property management firms make it nearly impossible for the people of their communities to rent, instead favoring greater profits from renting to out-of-staters at higher prices. Jobs don’t pay NYC wages, so how can one expect to pay NYC prices?

    On top of that, past mistakes and distant criminal histories are used as a bludgeon to keep people from being able to find housing and turn their lives around. At the same time we cram the hotels (including the one I’ve been paying $1300 a month for since Jan. 2022) with criminals from other states without even really finding out if they actually need the help. This depresses tourism, Vermont’s greatest claim to fame (that we want to claim) and further drains the State’s coffers by them paying nightly rates for all rooms.

  3. “I don’t know what’s happened in recent years, it’s just the worst it’s ever been. I’ve been working in housing my whole career and it’s a long career and I’ve never really seen anything like this before.” Eyes wide shut? Make no mistake, as the laundering services prevailed creating wars overseas for the past three decades, creating weapons of mass destruction right under our noses (looking at you medical universities and colleges across the USA), and copious amounts profiteering off the backs of working Americans with corrupted banking practices for decades, those who sit in the seats of fake authority have brought this upon our communities. Who is responsible? Those who got the ballots dumped, washed, and counted in their favor.

  4. Find out what state these homeless are from. Vermont needs to stop giving them welfare on day one. Most collect SS or SSDI. They make much money panhandling. Bring back boarding houses and rent them rooms. Not unaffordable rent.

  5. Like the homeless woman who spent her time in the state house and did her laundry in the sinks, if all of the homeless in Montpelier did the same thing maybe our legislators would pay more attention to this issue. I wish I lived closer. I’d take them there everyday our legislature is in session. Making sure they got food in the newly renovated cafeteria and helping them to find comfortable warm spots in which to spend their day.

  6. In Oregon Conastoga Hut units, which could be built for around 2K provided a very modest space, but had room for a bed some belongings and a lockable door. There were 3 clusters in larger communities one for mentally challenged, one for veterans, and another for rehab clients. Each had about 20 units. Some small clusters of 3ish units were allowed in some civic groups parking lots with access to bathrooms and electricity was provided.

    One of these Conestoga units was built for a homeless person in Vermont where it has very successfully come through 4 winters. Heating it costs about 50/month. It was comfortable even in a minus 20 degree spell.

    For more about microdwellings in Vermont visit vthope.net/microd.html

  7. What’s missing from most of the replies here is that these people are human beings: somebody’s child, brother, sister, mother, father . . . They are not vermin. We have failed miserably to do what was promised back in the 1970s with the deinstitutionalization of our mental hospitals and state training schools: the community supports that were supposed to take the place of those institutions have not materialized and/or have been underfunded, understaffed, and unsupported. The mental health agencies that do exist are also understaffed and are simply unable to cope with the growing need. The housing crisis has exacerbated the issue. But above all else, we need to remember that these are human beings and members of society. They may be ill, addicted, poor, etc., but they are part of the whole, not distinct from it. The “problem,” therefore, belongs to everyone and we all must work together to solve it—unless we prefer simply to throw these folks on the trash heap while blaming them for their situation. That seems to be the tenor of most responses here and in other publications, alas.

    • You are preaching to the choir: Nobody wants to see homelessness increase. There are definitely some homeless that prefer that lifestyle. But I believe this sort of increase in homelessness is a symptom. It is a symptom of a bad economy and poor choices by our leadership.

      Forty or 50 years ago, we were talking about 30 hour work weeks. Today, after thirty years of progressive tax and spend policies, a typical household needs to work 80 hours just to keep their heads above water. They have continued to add new taxes and increase existing taxes to fund their bureaucratic programs that do nothing tangible except to line the pockets of the new bureaucrats they hire to oversee the programs. The progressive promises you speak of from the 1970’s have failed. To add insult to injury, thanks to open borders, this State has seen a large influx of undocumented people who the State and Federal governments often pay to support, displacing more native Vermonters.

      The solution is NOT to create more bureaucratic programs. The solution is to vote out the socialists and return to a truly liberal and free market economy.