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Overflow shelter opens for season

Groundworks Collaborative is the agency created by the merger of the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center and Morningside Shelter. The organization continues to operate the region’s largest and busiest food shelf, a 30-bed shelter for families and individuals, the Seasonal Overflow Shelter and Day Shelter, while providing housing case management, and a representative payee service. To learn more about Groundworks, visit GroundworksVT.org.

BRATTLEBORO—Brattleboro’s Seasonal Overflow Shelter opened for the season on Nov. 12.

After a successful first season located at the upper dormitory on the Winston Prouty campus (formerly the Austine School for the Deaf) last year, Groundworks’ staff and board say they are grateful for the opportunity to return to the space.

According to a news release, the shelter will operate as it did last season: anyone seeking shelter will have to register for a bed through Groundworks Drop-In Center (at 60 South Main St.) between 9 a.m. and noon.

Access to the shelter will be permitted only through transportation provided by Groundworks. The shuttle will leave by 5:40 p.m. from the Drop-In Center, and all guests of the shelter will be transported back to the Drop-In Center by 7 a.m.

There will be no access to the shelter during the day, and walking up to the shelter won’t be permitted.

The Seasonal Overflow Shelter continues to be a community-wide effort, operated by Groundworks Collaborative, with support from the Brattleboro Retreat, Winston Prouty, local faith communities, scores of volunteer meal teams, and generous funders.

“This program is the area’s last safety net for the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Josh Davis, Groundworks Collaborative’s executive director.

The primary goal of the shelter, which serves adults only, is to provide easily accessible shelter to prevent the possibility that someone could freeze to death. Capacity will remain at 33 beds.

Groundworks will continue to staff the shelter throughout the season, with two staff on each shift, and two shifts per evening. This year the shelter welcomes Laura Chapman as the coordinator, and Eben Hilpert as the team leader. Three staff members from the prior year will be returning.

Those interested in organizing a meal team to serve a prepared meal at the shelter this winter should email meals@GroundworksVT.org for more information and to sign up.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #485 (Wednesday, November 14, 2018). This story appeared on page C3.

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