Vermonters struggling with homelessness need access to quality health care to lift themselves into lives of safety and security. To help meet this community need, CHC is a federally-funded Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) site, one of 208 programs in the United States and the only in Vermont. HCH programs are community-based and provide comprehensive primary care, mental health and substance abuse services, oral health care as well as supportive services (education, translation, transportation, etc.) that promote access to health care at no cost. While HCH services are available at all of our sites, two of our health centers offer walk-in care hours. CHC clinicians and case workers are also out on the streets, in the encampments and social service agencies weekly to ensure connection to primary and preventive care services. A CHC clinician provides primary and preventive health care at the family shelters every week. On-site services ensure homeless kids and families have a trusted primary care provider, access to mental health and substance abuse services, and up-to-date immunizations for school readiness.
Tucked between King Street and the VFW on South Winooski Avenue, CHC – Safe Harbor has one of the biggest missions in Burlington: to provide no-cost health and human services to men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. At this center, our staff provides primary and preventive health care, supportive housing programs, mental health and substance abuse counseling, and case management services.
From November 2016 through June 2019, CHC operated Burlington’s only low-barrier shelter, providing a safe space and care management for the local homeless population. The only low-barrier shelter in the greater Burlington area, this model was designed to engage with guests and develop the trusting relationships and connections to long-term services needed to lift them permanently out of homelessness. This shelter is now operated by ANEW Place.
CHC works closely with community partners to bring our expertise in intensive case management and health services to Beacon Apartments, a permanent housing program for Burlington’s most chronically homeless individuals, and the medical respite program for homeless and marginally housed individuals at Bonvouloir (formerly Bel Aire) House. The seven medical respite units at Bonvouloir offer brief recuperative care for individuals experiencing homelessness who need a place to stay during preparation for and recovery from a medical procedure, who are discharging from the hospital, or as a way to avoid hospitalization. Bonvouloir receives referrals from the hospital and community agencies.
If you are a teen or young adult up to age 30, community residents may also seek care at our Pearl Street location. Located next door to Spectrum Youth and Family Services, a CHC medical provider and Licensed Clinical Social Worker provide primary and preventive health care, case management and mental health and substance abuse counseling, connection to dental care and benefits such as health insurance.
You Are Not Alone
If you are staying in an emergency shelter, on the street, camping out, or even staying temporarily with a friend, you may be eligible for services through the Homeless Healthcare Program. Please walk in during our regular hours for care.
Vermont Homeless Management Information System Agency Partnership Agreement
The Vermont Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is an internet-based database that is used by homeless service organizations across Vermont to record and store client-level information about the numbers, characteristics and needs of homeless persons and those at risk of homelessness. Read the complete Agency Partnership Agreement here.