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
Lucas, Ray – Property Manager
Halkias, Bill – 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.
Currently Seeking: Housing Navigator
(flexible- 20 hours per week)
The Housing Navigator works with prospective property owners and managers to promote housing opportunities for homeless individuals and families using BCCH services and coordinated entry. Conducts outreach and provides support regarding subsidies, security deposit assistance, budgeting, and advocacy.
Duties & Responsibilities
• In consultation with the Case Manager and shelter guests, determine housing barriers, preferences, needs and goals. May assist guests in completing SSI/SSDI applications.
• Networks and collaborates with local and state partners via Coordinated Entry System protocols.
• Maintains a presence at community meetings and taskforces as directed.
• Assists shelter guests in their search for housing, completing rental or subsidy applications, interpreting leases, and understanding landlord/tenant laws.
• Coordinating individual housing plans with shelter guests and mediate with landlords, obtaining utilities and making various arrangements as needed.
• Maintains accurate documentation of service objectives and outcomes.
• Maintains client related data systems, including case notes and coordinated entry.
• Other duties and projects as assigned
Qualifications, Skills, & Abilities:
• 3 years of non-profit or related experience strongly preferred.
• Associates degree in relevant field and/or comparable combination of education/ work related experience.
• Experience in social services setting with working knowledge of local resources.
• Experience working with vulnerable populations is preferred.
• Flexible and effective team player, able to adapt to changes and a busy workplace environment.
• Experience with MS Office: word, excel, outlook, creating publications, and using the internet.
• Ability to identify key issues in problem solving and implement effective solutions.
• Ability to work under pressure, address multiple priorities, and meet deadlines.
• Excellent written, organizational and communication skills.
• Must have own transportation to conduct job related travel and valid drivers license.
• Ability to work with diverse communities.
• Background check required
To apply send letter of interest and resume to Chris@bcchvt.org. No phone calls or Facebook Messages.
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, Lisa Halkias for more information. 802-445-5677
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.