Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces the Elmwood Emergency Shelter is Ready for Guests

Burlington, VT – Yesterday, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced that the City’s Elmwood Emergency Shelter Community is ready for occupancy and up to 35 guests will be welcomed into the shelter by the end of the month. CEDO Director, Brian Pine, CEDO Assistant Director for Community Works, Samantha Dunn, and Champlain Housing Trusts (CHT) CEO, Michael Monte were also present for the announcement. Brian, Samantha and Michael joined the Mayor in thanking many key partners for delivering an innovative new approach to building emergency low-barrier shelter, and for supporting the incoming shelter guests with robust services as part of the City’s public health approach to ending homelessness.  

“Elmwood will serve as a temporary, critical resource in our redoubled efforts to bring a functional end to homelessness and to deliver on the promise of housing as human right in Burlington,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “From the use of City land and prefabricated shelter units, to the breadth of services provided, this low-barrier shelter represents an innovative new public health approach to homelessness. The need for housing is incredibly acute right now, and all levels of government and our many housing partners must continue to take urgent, high-impact actions to increase the housing supply and better support needed support services. I am grateful to the countless neighbors, City staff, local organizations, business leaders, contractors, and volunteers who supported the creation of this new shelter and who will be critical to its success moving forward.”   

“I am incredibly proud to be a part of the City’s innovative approach to providing emergency shelter. Every step of this project has taken longer than I wanted it to, because the need for this project to be open is so acute,” said CEDO Assistant Director for Community Works, Samantha Dunn. “Every delay we have faced has felt interminable, tomorrow that will end and guests will spend the night here. I have the deepest gratitude for the scores of individuals, companies and organizations that have been involved in bringing this vision to reality.” 

Construction of the complete facilities at the Elmwood Shelter were underway from July 2022 to February 2023. The total building cost of the Elmwood project was $1.6 million; $1.2 million came from City ARPA funds, and financial support came from the Burlington Electric Department, the Vermont Low Income Trust for Electricity (VLITE), and the Vermont Community Foundation. Local businesses and organizations that donated goods and materials include: Minotair, Inc., American Floor Mats, Sherwin Williams, the Farmhouse Group, Homeport, Northgate Apartments Residents and Staff, and First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington.  

“The drive to end homelessness has, among some, taken on an anti-shelter tone. It should not. Shelters play a vital role in the crisis response system and are an essential part of ending homelessness,” said CEDO Director, Brian Pine. “To play that key role, however, the shelter must have a constant and unyielding housing focus in all that it does. The Elmwood Emergency Shelter is designed around the model of rapid rehousing with all of the services required to move from homelessness to permanent supportive housing. The City and our partners are equally focused on developing new permanent affordable housing to ensure that we’ve built a bridge to housing stability.” 

Champlain Housing Trust CEO, Michael Monte added, "We're thankful for the City's leadership and the State's support for this new shelter, and eager to welcome our guests and provide them with a place to be safe and secure." Champlain Housing Trust is the managing partner of the Shelter. 

With the City supported expansion of ANEW Place and the opening of Elmwood, the number of emergency low-barrier shelter beds in Burlington increased from 50 to 95 over the last year. 

In January 2020, the annual Point in Time (PIT) Count administered by the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance reported 261 people experiencing homelessness, including 10 unsheltered individuals, in Chittenden County. In January 2022, the number of people experiencing homelessness increased nearly threefold to 668. Local outreach teams estimate the number of unsheltered individuals increased to nearly 70 across Chittenden County in the summer of 2022, with the vast majority unsheltered within Burlington.  

Supportive services will be provided on-site: 

  • Meals and basic needs provided by CVOEO and Feeding Chittenden  

  • Housing navigation provided by CHT staff  

  • Substance use recovery meetings facilitated by the Turning Point 

  • Medically assisted treatment provided by Safe Recovery  

  • Contingency management and support for justice involved people by VCJR  

  • Health care and mental health support provided by Community Health Centers of Burlington 

  • Burlington’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront will provide a full-time facilities staff person 

  • Burlington Police Department Community Support Liaisons will regularly visit with guests 

  • Chocolate Thunder will provide overnight security on site 

Many community volunteers and numerous organizations have participated in the design, build, and program development, including: 

2nd Gen Builders 

Goliathtech of Vermont 

Pallet Shelters 

US Ecology 

Able Paint, Glass & Flooring 

Gordon’s Window Décor 

Peeters Consulting 

Vermont Energy Investment Corp. 


Harvestar Power 

Pill-Maharam Architects  

Vermont Security  

BP Wastewater Services of VT 

Howard Street Center 

Red Bird Integrated Consulting 


Bronson Johnson Seamless Gutters 

Intuitive Engineering 

Red Rock Mechanical 


Burlington Telecom 

KBS Builders, Inc. 

Round Hill Fence 


Duncan Wisniewski Architecture 

Lakeside Electric 

Tru Engineering 


Elizabeth Emmett 

Liza Phillip 

Up End This 




  • In December 2021, the Mayor announced a ten-point Action Plan to Fulfill Housing as a Human Right in Burlington, which included the goal for the City to invest in shelter pods and related infrastructure to create a new low-barrier facility for 2022. Mayor Weinberger’s Action Plan seeks to end chronic homelessness in Burlington by the end of 2025. 

  • The City developed the Elmwood Emergency Shelter Community plan after securing City Council approval in March. In June, the Development and Review Board approved the zoning permit. 

  • Public engagement efforts included holding two presentations at Neighborhood Planning Assemblies and four Community Neighbor Conversations at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington. 




Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office