News Release — Spectrum Youth & Family Services
Oct. 30, 2018
SPECTRUM REOPENS YOUTH WARMING SHELTER
Buffett Family Donates Funds
BURLINGTON, VT (Oct 30, 2018) – This Thursday marks the re-opening of Spectrum’s youth warming shelter, a 10-bed, temporary shelter for youth ages 18-24 during the winter months. The shelter will again operate in the parish hall of St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral at 29 Allen St. in Burlington. Staffed by Spectrum employees, the program will provide critical overnight housing services to teens and young adults, addressing a gap in Chittenden County’s scope of services for youth experiencing homelessness.
“A youth-specific warming shelter is vital in order to better serve our youth,” says Spectrum’s Supported Housing Manager Will Towne. “We operated it last winter and it was the first one in several years in which Spectrum always had a bed for a young person in need. We never had to turn anyone away.”
Last year the warming shelter was funded by private donations from a number of foundations and donors. This year Spectrum applied for State funding but was declined due to the number of other applications throughout the state.
“With this in mind, we made an appeal to the Sunshine Lady Foundation, which was founded by and funded by Doris Buffett, the sister of Warren Buffett,” says Mark Redmond, Spectrum’s executive director. “Doris came through for Spectrum back in 2011 when she gave us a $200,000 matching gift to create another transitional residence for homeless youth. Doris is no longer personally making grants, but the Foundation came through for us and is donating $220,000, enough to fund the warming shelter for this year and next. And this is a welcome gift as our other housing programs are facing a precipitous drop in federal and state funding.”
The University of Vermont Medical Center will be providing linen services for free for the shelter.