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The Commons
Town and Village

Groundworks Collaborative to hold seventh annual Hike for the Homeless

Those who wish to participate in Hike for the Homeless by fundraising, hiking, or contributing to a participant, may visit www.GroundworksVT.org and click on the “Events” tab for links to register, donate, and fundraise. Refreshments will be available for all registered participants. Questions may be directed to Libby Bennett at lbennett@GroundworksVT.org, or 802-257-0066, ext. 1101.

Originally published in The Commons issue #428 (Wednesday, October 4, 2017). This story appeared on page A6.



BRATTLEBORO—Groundworks Collaborative will hold the seventh annual Hike for the Homeless fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 14, on Mount Wantastiquet in Hinsdale, N.H.

There will be two start times, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., each beginning at the Mountain Road trailhead in Hinsdale (an immediate left after the second bridge on Route 119 when coming from downtown Brattleboro). Registration begins at 9:30 for the 10 a.m. start, and at noon for the 12:30 p.m. start.

Whether hiking to the summit or walking the River Trail at the mountain’s base, participants can expect spectacular fall-foliage views of the town of Brattleboro. Hikers may raise funds individually (a minimum of $50 is suggested) or as a team (suggested minimum $250). All proceeds from the Hike benefit Groundworks’ programs to house and support families and individuals experiencing homelessness in Brattleboro and surrounding communities.

Groundworks Collaborative is the organization that was created in June 2015 from the merger of Morningside Shelter and the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center. Groundworks offers food, shelter, and supportive services to those in need.

Groundworks Shelter provides 30 beds for families and individuals — serving about 125 people per year, while the Seasonal Overflow Shelter (opening in November at a new location on the Winston Prouty campus) provided a warm place to sleep and a nightly meal for 154 individuals last winter.

Additionally, Groundworks operates the region’s most heavily utilized food shelf, provides housing case management for more than 100 area households, and is a financial intermediary for more than 50 people receiving Social Security disability benefits who have trouble balancing a fixed monthly budget.

Groundworks Drop-In Center on South Main Street is a day shelter — offering a place of belonging where those with nowhere else to go can take a shower, do a load of laundry, check mail and email, use a phone, prepare a meal, and get a hot cup of coffee.

“Our work is always an uphill battle, and we continue to create new and unprecedented partnerships in the community to enrich our programming and improve services for our neighbors in need,” Executive Director Josh Davis said in a news release.

Groundworks is launching new collaborations with Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, the Brattleboro Retreat, and HCRS, as well as with the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust’s Great River Terrace project that is repurposing the former Lamplighter Motel to become micro-apartments to house chronically homeless individuals.

According to Libby Bennett, Groundworks’ Development Director, Hike for the Homeless is one of the organization’s largest annual fundraisers.

“We rely on the amazing generosity of supporters in the community — those participating as hikers, sponsors, or contributors to the efforts of our hikers — to help us raise a significant portion of our Annual Fund.” Bennett said, adding that in years past as many as 150 participants have raised over $20,000 to help house those experiencing homelessness in the community.

The fundraising goal for this year’s Hike is $22,000.

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