Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless provides safe shelter, food, and support services from homeless families and individuals in Bennington County. Established in 2000, BCCH is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in Bennington, Vermont. In addition to emergency shelter, we also offer long-term housing for homeless families with at least one member of the family in recovery. This program is known as “The Unlocking Recovery Project.” Our shelters provide more than just a bed. We offer financial literacy, budgeting, and credit repair programming along with case management and employment readiness. We believe it is essential to provide the tools necessary to maintain and sustain permanent housing that will ultimately break the cycle of homelessness.
Our Mission Statement
Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless is dedicated to collaborating, coordinating, and implementing services to the homeless population in Bennington County and promoting awareness.
Our Core Values
Treat all with dignity
Offer Support & Opportunity
Practice Responsible Stewardship
Stephannie Peters - Executive Director
Aelish Nealon - Shelter Manager
Sheila Mullineaux - Case Manager/Housing Manager
Mary Allen - Outreach & Marketing Manager
Ray Lucas - Property Manager
Bill Halkias - Maintenance
Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless works hard to meet the needs of our community and we do so with limited resources and within a small group.
Their compassion and dedication to those we serve is admirable.
Our Board of Directors
Each member of our Board of Directors volunteers their time to BCCH and offers a wide range of skills need to govern our agency and ensure our success.
Shelter Policies & Procedures
Rules and regulations are in place to ensure the safety of guests, staff, and communities.
No Open Positions At This Time
Q: How many beds are available are at each shelter?
A: There are a total of 16 beds at the 966 Main Shelter. There are 9 efficiency units at the Thatcher House Family Shelter with a total capacity of 36 individuals.
Q: Is there a waiting list at the shelters?
A: 966 Main Shelter is on a first come, first basis with a rolling admission policy. This means that when you secure a bed, you are able to keep it until you have secured permanent housing, so long as the rules and regulations are followed. Thatcher House maintains a waiting list and families are selected by their level of need. For eligibility questions, please contact, Aelish Nealon for more information. 802-681-3017.
Q: What is your main goal in providing the services that you do?
A: We believe in the principle that safe, affordable housing is a fundamental human right. We strive to offer a stabilizing base and support for homeless men, women, and children so that they can facilitate their own new beginning.
Q: What are the requirements to stay at the shelters?
A: Anyone seeking shelter at BCCH must first meet with staff in person to complete an initial intake. Beds at 966 Main Street are not reserved over the phone; we act on a first come first serve basis. Guests must be homeless as defined by VT State standards, all guest of 966 must be 18 or older, and must be willing to work with a case manager toward permanent housing.
Q: How long can someone stay at the shelter?
A: They goal is to secure permanent housing within a 90-120 period. Each length of stay is different depending on the individual’s situation. As long as someone is following rules and working hard every day on their plan of care, individuals are support on a case by case basis.
Q: What common biases does the public have about the shelter?
A: Common misconceptions are that people who are homeless are “deadbeats” and don’t want to work or just want to live off public assistance. So many people today live and work just a few paychecks away from a housing crisis. Anyone can become homeless if they lose a job or have a medical crisis without friends and/or family to fall back on. Anyone can fall into the grips of substance abuse or mental health issues just as easily and quickly as the next person regardless of background and educations. Homelessness has no face. They are veterans, children, and disabled. They may be escaping toxic or violent situations. The best way to help the homeless is to start with illuminating the stigma.
Q: Can I get food or clothing from the shelter if I am not staying there?
A: YES! The 966 Main Shelter is a place that you can drop in and grab something to eat and/or take a shower. You will also have access to our donation room that is full of season appropriate clothing, bedding, and personal care items, all of which are donated by members of our community.
Q: How can I reach someone staying at the shelter?
A: The names of residents who stay at the shelters are kept confidential. Unless there is a released signed by our guests, messages may not be left and personal phone calls will not be accepted.