[Hpn] Fwd:A year after homelessness, the dream is reality;+ related URL's

Morgan W. Brown morganbrown@hotmail.com
Mon, 27 Nov 2000 09:52:00 -0500


Below is a forwarded article which may be of interest to you and others whom 
you know. Following that are related Web site URL's and other information as 

Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont


A year after homelessness, the dream is reality:
[Found at]:


~~~Hosted at:


-------Forwarded article -- FYI-------

Sunday, November 26, 2000
Burlington Free Press
(Front page)

A year after homelessness, the dream is reality

By Erica Jacobson
Free Press Staff Writer

Jasmine Townsend posted a hand-written sign on her bedroom door last week; 
"No Entering," it proclaimed.

Jasmine, 7, long on energy and short on permanent teeth, is quite honest 
when asked why her bedroom is off-limits.

"It's so messy," she says, eyes wide and face drawing serious before 
dissolving into giggles. "It's covering up every space."

A year ago, Jasmine's mother, Kimberly Townsend, could only dream of 
providing her daughter with a room of her own -- messy or not. They lived at 
the Committee on Temporary Shelter's Firehouse Family
Shelter in Burlington and each day searched for a home in the region's tight 
rental market.

The Townsends were among 223 families helped by COTS in 1999. They also were 
subjects of last year's Burlington Free Press Giving Season effort. Money 
raised for COTS through the program helped pay for
heat and utility bills at the organization's shelters.

The money helped keep a roof over the family's heads at the shelter, and an 
anonymous donor gave Townsend enough money to buy a car. But their move from 
the family shelter into a nearby overflow
COTS-run apartment ended when they were asked to leave in mid-January.

It was a tumultuous winter for the two.

They spent the next six weeks at Barre's Good Samaritan Haven shelter. While 
there, COTS' Rental Opportunity Center helped Townsend find the two-bedroom 
Williston apartment where they've lived the past eight months. Two tire 
swings dangle from a tree in the front yard. A bus from Williston's Central 
School picks up Jasmine for the trip to her second-grade classroom.

"It still feels funny," said Townsend, 47. "Even now it's hard to realize 
that we can stay here for as long as
we want to."

It hasn't taken long for Townsend to develop a sense of ownership for her 
new home. She's planted flower beds in the yard and raked leaves. She often 
shares her homemade banana bread and cookies with her
landlords, who live downstairs.

Tendinitis and arthritis slow Townsend and make holding a job almost 
impossible, but she has begun physical therapy sessions near her home. A 
small craft business she began is off to a slow start, but she
hopes to expand next year.

While some would rather put the homeless experience behind them, Townsend 
doesn't want to belittle the help she and Jasmine received. She volunteered 
for a night at the Barre shelter and helps COTS
coordinate its Christmas sponsorship program.

"I wouldn't feel right if I didn't give something back," Townsend said. "The 
problem hasn't stopped just because I'm not homeless.

"As easy as it is for me to forget, I'm trying not to."

---End of forwarded article---

Letters to the editor:
E-mail: letters@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com

~~~Related Article URL:

Sunday, November 26, 2000
Burlington Free Press
Living section
The Giving Season campaign to help the needy:


~~~Related Web site URL's:

Committee On Temporary Shelter (COTS):
Burlington Vermont:


COTS November 27th - December 7th phonathon:


Volunteer online form for COTS November 27th - December 7th phonathon:


Good News Garage:
Burlington Vermont:




-- Good News Garage Job Access Project


Good News Garage
1 Main Street Suite 214
Burlington Vermont 05401

Phone: 802-864-3667
Toll Free: 877-GIVE-AUTO (877-448-3288)

E-mail: info@goodnewsgarage.org

~~~Related Web site URL's:

Good News Garage TV commercial:


~~~Hosted at:

Good Samaritans:


February 1999
Smithsonian Magazine
Good News Garage:
At last, a repair shop where drivers get working wheels and
the keys to their future:


Working Wheels:


~~~Hosted at:

Central Vermont Community Action Council, Inc.:


Vermont Development Credit Union (VDCU):



**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
material is distributed without charge or profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
this type of information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only.**

-------End of forward-------

Morgan <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA

PS  If you have not been there either before or recently,
make sure to visit Sundog Stories: http://www.sundogstories.net

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