Burlington mayor wants homelessness ‘rare and brief’

Regional Administrator for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Juana Matias visits the 35-bed Elmwood Avenue, Burlington temporary housing project. She applauded the city’s efforts, saying, “House America began with a call to our local leaders to address the nation’s homelessness crisis with the historic ARP investments and other federal, state, and local resources…and Burlington answered that call.”

by Guy Page

In a newsletter published today, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said the city plans to make homelessness ‘rare and brief.’ He also provides a stark assessment of homelessness and drug abuse in the Queen City.

Homelessness: The number of ‘chronically homeless’ people in Burlington has risen from 35 in 2018 to 245 at present – thanks in large part to the pandemic, Weinberger said.

Burlington must continue to create more housing and provide more services to keep potentially homeless people housed, Weinberger said.

Drug abuse: Opioid deaths, down 50% in 2018, are at record high levels now – thanks again to the pandemic, Weinberger said. Withdrawal symptoms for fentanyl are worse than other drugs. There is no science-based treatment for meth addiction.

The loss of 18 officers has severely limited the Burlington Police Department’s ability to fight drug crime.

Vermont’s highly-acclaimed hub and spoke substance abuse treatment system isn’t working. “It is clear to me that the problem with drug misuse in Vermont is evolving for the worse.”

Weinberger’s newsletter proposes solutions, some of which are already in the works. He also addresses mental illness and gun-related violence. To read the entire newsletter, click here.

Categories: Burlington

17 replies »

  1. That’s: CRIMINAL-related violence, Weinburger & city of Burlington.

    There was virtually NO “gun” violence in Vermont before your irrational & radical philosophies of not prosecuting violent criminals & gang members, feeling imprisoning criminals was somehow “unjust”, encouraging a drug culture, unconstitutionally opening borders, & radically altering VT culture! YOU created this – NOT native Vermonters & NOT retirees, & NOT the tourists, & NOT the second home owners….YOU have created THIS!!!!!!

    Criminals don’t give a DAMN about your “gun laws”!!!

    YOU and YOURS are responsible for the violence, danger, and the chaos you are subjecting all Vermonters to and YOU & YOURS will ultimately pay a price for the hedonism and the amorality and the godlessness you aid and abet. This, whether you personally “believe” in God or not.

  2. I wonder how much of Weinburger’s income and wealth he is giving to the homeless. They all talk about it, so tell us what his fair share that others should be getting is..

  3. “The number of ‘chronically homeless’ people in Burlington has risen from 35 in 2018 to 245 at present – thanks in large part to the pandemic”, Weinberger said.
    It has little to do with the plandemic and everything to do with the mayor and state officials rolling out the red carpet for vagrants and “free spirits” from out of state. If you build it, they will come. If you continue to expand the hotel program, you will continue to attract deadbeats from afar, and many of them seem to have issues with settling disputes in a peaceful manner…hence the rise in violent crime. It’s not complicated…and a majority of us voted for this.

    • No, the sad thing is they didn’t have the foresight to build units like this on vacant/trashed parking lots near places with resources homeless folks need. So the millions spent on the hotel program is money that will have to be raised again for a solution instead of a very pricey bandaid. Go go Community Supported Shelters https://communitysupportedshelters.org/ and learn how Portland has had a 8+ year success story of having encampments – 3 kinds – 1 for Vets, one for mentally challenged and another for rehab folks. They bring services into these settings and work on plans to be moving out within a year with a sustainable future plan.

      Compassionate Vermonters can do this, too. It can be setting to stir new hopes and futures. (Someone who has built similar units for Vermonters.)

  4. Someone should look into the cost of those shelters. Each pod costs about $11,500. 35 of them is $402,500 (assuming Btown paid full price). What is the other million dollars for?

  5. More, more, & then? Some more of the same! The same with low-income housing. If you BUILD it, they will come.

    A never-ending cycle because the CAUSES of homelessness are NEVER addressed, as the reality isn’t “P.C.”: DRUG ADDICTION and/or Mental health illnesses.

    The solution to dems/progs? Build ever more “pods” breaking the back of taxpayers and destroying the peace, safety, beauty, & REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS of the hard-working middle-class citizens.

    This party will never change. They create problems and then create more problems as they invent more & more BIZARRE solutions to fix the original problems they created. I know another they’re “working on” Our drug addiction problem. Solution? Legalize yet MORE drugs! And they shall………Have no doubt.

    • You basically just described a circular firing squad, and a never ending chain of the same events. They create an open invitation from these sanctuary cities and the governor who wants to bring in some of Joe’s 3rd world refuges from around the world. They are all so compassionate with everyone else’s money. The way they stay in power is by making chaos. Then they gaslighting the voters with their solutions to the problems they created and convince them to re-elect them to fix the problem. It’s been going on for decades, but nothing really gets fixed. At least after the results of a real circular firing squad, you would have to give new people a try. I blame an uninformed, indoctrinated voting public too lazy, uninformed and can’t be bothered to care about truth.

  6. The readers of this article and Weinberger’s newsletter hopefully see the correlation between current federal policies regarding illegal immigration (That’s the US southern border) and current economic policy, right? If not, add in the federal, state and local responses to Covid. See it now? This is about increasing government control by increasing social problems to increase spending to ‘solve’ a problem brought about by government policy to begin with. Circular indeed, but the people caught in the circle are the taxpayer, the homeless and the drug user. The politician and the elite merely crow about their ‘good works’, while demanding more.

    • Frank, that’s why my last sentence blames the voters. They aren’t motivated to read or research anything beyond a click bait headline and the VT media picks those headlines and censor the truth. Social media has dumbed down the population. And the government keeps everyone busy with two jobs to survive. The layabouts could care less as long as the gravy train continues.

  7. the State of Vt has been famous for handouts for a very long time; especially for those with mental health issues; come to vt no charge for care……and so it evolves from there to housing, legal and illegal immigration ect ect ect……and expectation that the tax dollars of the worker bees are going to continue on-continue on……..until leadership changes are made and some with a fair share of common sense…….take over the role of leadership. Till then…….its still an open border in Vt

  8. Quite the contrary. Truth is, democrats and democrat run urban areas have been incentivizing homelessness for years. If government creates a big enough problem, only government can fix it. These selfish, heartless, unGodly acts ensure the preservation of their power.

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