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Unitarian Church of Montpelier Shelters Homeless Youth through Donation to Washington County Youth Service Bureau



MONTPELIER — The Washington County Youth Service Bureau, a non-profit organization that provides a wide range of programs to empower and enrich the lives of youth and families, is pleased to announce a $21,000 donation from the Unitarian Church of Montpelier. This generous, one-time gift will allow the agency to collaborate with Downstreet Housing to secure an apartment for homeless youth, including the cost of setting up the apartment (lease, furnishings, security deposit and insurance), as well as the staff time required to implement and manage the project.

According to Amy Willis, President of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, the gift to Washington County Youth Service Bureau was made possible through a bequest from the estate of Bob and Christina Jackman, longtime friends of the church and the community as a whole.  “The bequest came out of the blue – nobody was expecting it. We felt that to celebrate the generosity of the Jackmans, as well as the Unitarian Church of Montpelier’s 150th anniversary, it was only right to share some of the money with the community,” said Willis. “This project serves human need, which is part of the church’s stated mission.”

According to Kreig Pinkham, Executive Director of the bureau, the money will expand housing for homeless youth through the organization’s Transitional Living Program . The program is the only one in Central Vermont providing direct housing supports and transitional skills development to homeless youth aged 16-21 outside of specialized mental health residential placement.  “Both the housing and job market in many Vermont communities pose real challenges to youth and young adults.  This award comes at a time when we are experiencing significantly higher demand for housing assistance for homeless youth throughout Central Vermont.  We are so grateful that this gift will enable us to support more youth into sustainable, stable housing and help them find that place that they can call home.”

About The Washington County Youth Service Bureau/Boys & Girls Club: WCYSB is a private, non-profit organization that has assisted young people and families since 1974. Our work is supported by private, local, state, and federal grants, Medicaid and other insurance, donations, and fundraising. Most of our services are free. For those requiring payment, we accept some private insurances and Medicaid, and offer a sliding fee scale. No one is turned away because they cannot pay.

The Washington County Youth Service Bureau’s mission is to provide a wide range of innovative and effective programs that empower and enrich the lives of youth and families in Washington County, and to provide leadership and support to other youth programs throughout Vermont.

About the Unitarian Church of Montpelier:

Established in 1864, the Unitarian Church of Montpelier is a liberal religious community that is open to all. Unitarian Universalists recognize and celebrate that different beliefs and religious traditions are inspired by common hopes, share many common values and goals, and can, separately and together, guide our way to the common good.  The Reverend Joan Javier-Duval was called to the Unitarian Church of Montpelier pulpit in 2015.

About Downstreet Housing and Community Development (formerly Central Vermont Community Land Trust):

Based in Barre, Downstreet strives to help Vermonters find everything they need for a safe, decent and permanently affordable home.  Among its services are rental properties, financial counseling and real estate development.