Finding a Home, an Apprenticeship, and a Job

Resident Rocky in front of his apartment at Great River TerraceIn July 2018, Rocky moved into Great River Terrace, a permanent supportive housing development in Brattleboro, Vermont developed by the Windsor & Windsor Housing Trust. 

A few months later he enrolled in The Strolling of the Heifers Farm to Table Apprenticeship program, a 12-week program preparing people with addiction and other barriers to train to become kitchen cooks or workers in the food processing industry. After graduating from the program, Rocky was offered a job at Against the Grain, a production facility for gluten-free products owned by Tom and Nancy Cairn that is within walking distance to his apartment. Working full-time means that Rocky can pay his rent every month on time.

Strolling’s Executive Director and Founder Orly Munzig is “delighted that our program graduates are able to maintain good-paying jobs that afford them their own housing with a steady income.”

Having struggled for years with addiction, Rocky sought help while living at Great River Terrace in order to live a sober lifestyle. Knowing that he has a place to come home to every night helps him maintain his sobriety and his full-time job at Against the Grain.

“I can afford my rent and do other things too,” Rocky said. “This year I can buy Christmas presents for my family instead of just giving them cards.”

The Windham & Windsor Housing Trust (WWHT) works with Groundworks Collaborative and Health Care and Rehabilitation Services to provide support and services to the residents of Great River Terrace to help them stabilize their lives. Residency is given to the most vulnerable in the community via a locally coordinated entry system of care, which is meant to streamline the process to find housing for families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Groundworks provides support services that focus on some of the day-to-day needs of each resident through the work of a full-time on site case manager. HCRS provides mental health services through a part-time on site case manager, and WWHT provides a part-time housing support coordinator to organize group resident activities and programs. 

Great River Terrace is a permanent supportive housing project located in a rehabilitated motel in Brattleboro. Great River was developed by the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, adding a new community room and creating 22 homes, half designated for formerly homeless individuals. 

VHCB committed $450,000 in proceeds from the Housing Revenue Bond to the development. The Board also awarded $458,000 in federal HOME Program funds and $642,460 in federal National Housing Trust funds.