Covid 19

About the RRC

On March 23, 2020, Mayor Miro Weinberger launched the Burlington COVID-19 Resource and Recovery Center (RRC) to offer quick frontline assistance and support on a wide range of issues to all Burlingtonians in need of help during the COVID-19 pandemic. The RRC has focused on ensuring Burlingtonians access to critical resources like health guidance, food, and shelter. Additionally, the RRC has been helping Burlingtonians with recovery efforts like connecting people experiencing homelessness with temporary shelter that meets social distancing safety measures, assisting laid-off workers with unemployment insurance applications, working with local small businesses to help them navigate insurance claims for federal and state resources, coordinating the dissemination of health and other resource guidance in multiple languages to reach as many members of our community as possible, and many others. You can view a pie chart of all of the requests that the RRC has responded to by visiting the City’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

The RRC offers its resources through the following communications channels:

The RRC’s phone line and email account are staffed by City employees from 8:00am to 4:30pm with the goal of replying to all community inquiries within 24 hours of phone call or email.

The RRC is managed by Luke McGowan, Director of the Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO), with assistance from Rachel Jolly, Assistant Director for CEDO’s Community Justice Center (CJC). Darren Springer, General Manager of Burlington Electric Department (BED) provides additional oversight and support to the RRC, particularly as the City’s key contact to the State of Vermont team. The RRC is staffed by 38 employees from eight City departments, including CEDO, BED, Burlington City Arts (BCA), Church Street Marketplace (CSM), Permitting and Inspections, and others.

The RRC has been funded through an emergency City budget authorization, whereby the City Council approved the allocation of $1 million from the Burlington Telecom proceeds to create a COVID-19 Emergency Account to fund the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the RRC. , The emergency funds have been used to purchase thermometers, cleaning supplies, masks, hospital and isolation site transportation for individuals experiencing homelessness, and emergency purchases of items like diapers and food for Burlingtonians in need, as well as for expenses incurred by the EOC and partial funding of RRC staff resources. The funds also are being used to ensure that the RRC is accessible to some of our most vulnerable community members – those who do not have access to a computer or who have language access challenges – by promoting the existence and purpose of the RRC through printed (in multiple languages) communications channels, including large banners hanging in each of the City’s eight wards, thousands of postcards being included with food deliveries, and weekly ads in local news publications. Every week, the RRC is evaluating our community’s needs and applying resources, including financial, to address those needs.

The City is seeking reimbursement for spending related to COVID-19 recovery efforts from federal FEMA Public Assistance and from other funding sources for municipalities, to the extent such funding is or becomes available. The Mayor’s memorandum to the City Council, dated March 23, 2020, offers more detail on the creation and purpose of the RRC.  

The RRC welcomes input and feedback about its website and overall community support and continues to evolve every day to serve the greatest needs in our community wherever we find them. Thank you to our incredible Burlington community for recognizing that we’re all in this together!