Shelters filling up as harsh weather sets in

BENNINGTON, Vt. – As the cold sets in and local shelters fill up, one woman tells NEWS10 she’s grateful for the shelter from the harsh conditions and Vermont’s cold weather exception.

Employees at the Good Shepherd Shelter in Bennington say they have been full for at least two months.

However, with the state’s cold weather exception, which helps the homeless get better access to hotel vouchers, the staff says the low temperatures are a saving grace. That’s because Vermont relaxes its eligibility for shelter when temperatures or wind chill dip below 20 degree, or is it gets under 32 with snow and/or freezing rain.

One woman tells NEWS10 she has been through a lot — ditched by her family, displaced by Hurricane Sandy, and homeless for the last three years.

“You think life’s an adventure and you’re on it and you’re working so hard to even take the hard parts of the adventure. It’s hard,” she said.

She says instead of using assistance programs, she’s qualified to run them, yet she hasn’t been given the chance.

“No matter which poker I put in the fire, none of them is coming to fruition.”

So for the past week and a half she has been staying at the Good Shepherd Shelter.

“Give me a warm bed, give me food supplies. What we have, I’m grateful to have it,” she said.

But she explains that a roof over her head is never guaranteed.

“Thank God at least I’ve got some place to be at night,” he said.



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