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Together we can make a difference.

 

We want to thank all of our supporters for their generosity during the holiday season. Your gifts allow us to take on new projects, attract and retain the talented professionals on our team, and create new programs and services to build a bright future for Central Vermont.

So a BIG thank you and wishes for a happy new year from our staff to you!


 

Didn't give in 2020? It's never too late to join the Downstreet family!

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IN THIS ISSUE:
A Message from Our Executive Director
A Farewell and a Welcome
Check Out Our Podcast!
Two BIG Projects Completed
Getting the Job Done: Nicola Anderson
Community Partnerships
Announcing MyRide by GMT
Spotlight on Racial Justice
Join Our Team! We're Hiring!

Project Updates
Housing News Feed
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."
~ Coretta Scott King

A Few Words from Our Executive Director

A "Farewell" and a "Welcome"
It is always bittersweet when one of our staff leave for another opportunity. We are sad to say goodbye to our Director of Advancement, Mike Rama, but we wish him all the best as he moves away from Vermont to be closer to family. Mike, you will be missed!

On the flip-side, we are excited to introduce and welcome our new Donor Relations Manager, Michelle Kersey. Michelle comes to us from Twin Pines Housing, where she served as Director of Development and Communications. We are looking forward to having Michelle on our team and can't wait to see what the future holds!

Have you listened to
Community Pulse with Eileen Peltier?



It’s a new year, and we will be dropping a new podcast episode soon, but in the meantime, don’t forget to check out the rest of our episodes, with special guests like District Director of the Vermont Department of Health Joan Marie Misek; U32 Principal Steven Dellinger-Pate; and Dr. Mark Depman, Emergency Medicine Doctor and Project Director of the Rural Communities Opiod Response.
Two BIG Projects Completed
In late December we gathered for a small, socially-distanced celebration of the completion and placement of our second tiny house in Barre City.
Our extensive renovations of the historic Stimson & Graves building in the village of Waterbury is complete! Have a look at our "ribbon cutting" video celebrating the completion of this important project.
Getting the Job Done
Intern for Bernie Sanders. Swim club coach. Immigrant.
Meet our Associate Director of Real Estate Development, Nicola Anderson.

Driving past any of our new construction or renovated buildings, it’s easy to picture architects drawing plans, construction workers with hard hats and tools, scaffolding, and other telltale signs of
real estate development. But many people aren’t aware of the hours spent writing proformas, filling out funding and permit applications, drawing up project management plans, and managing endless paperwork. Yet it is these understated duties that make a project like French Block or Taylor Street Apartments grow from a mere concept to an occupied residential building.

So how does it all happen? At Downstreet, it happens through the hard work of our Associate Director of Real Estate Development, Nicola Anderson.

Nicola was born in Germany to parents who . . . (read more)
Community Partnerships
Making Spirits Bright, and Keeping Bellies Full

For the past several years, Downstreet’s SASH Coordinator Jen LaPan has coordinated with a local partner to provide meals for about 150 local individuals and families in need during the fall and winter holidays. In 2020, however, just when this good-hearted tradition was needed most, COVID restrictions prevented our long-time partner from being able to commit volunteers to providing the meals, and with time running out to find a new way to get the job done, it was looking as though  . . . (read more)
Neighbors Feeding Neighbors

As we all know, the holiday season in 2020 looked a little different than usual. With Vermonters refraining from large gatherings and celebrating at home, the question of what to do about the Thanksgiving feast was a common issue. The traditional Thanksgiving turkey would be too much for a family of three or four, not to mention for those who live alone, or as a couple. So, Three Penny Taproom decided to offer Thanksgiving meals to its customers. The meals were pre-ordered for curbside pickup and were made according to the number of people in a household.

The program was such a success, the restaurant decided to offer it again during the week of the Christmas holiday. But given the hard times COVID has thrust upon us all, they wanted to make sure to help those who were especially hard-hit during the pandemic. So this time, when customers ordered their meals online . . . (read more)
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Forward Forward
SPOTLIGHT ON RACIAL JUSTICE

Home-ownership is widely understood to be crucial for building personal wealth in the U.S. But to this day, the segregation promoted by our own government, banks and the real estate industry makes it incredible difficult and in come cases impossible for non-white citizens, especially BIPOC, to pursue home-ownership.

See the Axios Hard Truths Deep Dive about racism in the housing industry.
Recommended Reading

Systemic Inequality: Displacement, Exclusion, and Segregation
How America's Housing System Undermines Wealth Building in Communities of Color
From americanprogress.org

 
Segregation still exists. Here's how Baltimore is trying to solve it.
Baltimore is allowing black families to take rental subsidies into mostly white neighborhoods.
From vice.com

 
A Look At Housing Inequality And Racism In The U.S.
From forbes.com
 

JOIN OUR TEAM! WE'RE HIRING!!

Project Updates

TINY "MIGHTY" HOUSE PROJECT

The second of our two Tiny “Mighty” Homes, designed and constructed by Norwich University students, has been completed and placed on Brook Street in Barre. We put together a video recap of the project for you to enjoy. .

Downstreet’s Tiny “Mighty” Homes project was a collaboration with Washington County Mental Health Services and Norwich University's School of Architecture and Art.
STIMSON AND GRAVES RENOVATIONS
 
Our Stimson & Graves renovation is complete! Check out our “Ribbon Cutting” video to celebrate the result of this important project.

The team for this project includes S2 Architecture as the architect and Naylor and Breen as the construction manager.
Housing Newsfeed
A look at housing and social justice across the country.
Healthcare Institutions Must Acknowledge Their Role in Neighborhood Change
If those in health care seek to develop new ways to help patients stay in their homes, they must also find ways to temper how they affect communities in which they reside.
'Opportunity Areas' should Just Be Places With A Lot of White People
Activists in Minneapolis and St. Paul shifted the narrative around racially concentrated areas of poverty by asking a simple question: why do we think moving to white neighborhoods will solve our problems?
Homeless Mothers in California Show How Radical Housing Activism Becomes Lasting Change
Moms 4 Housing and LA Reclaimers have proven that successful grassroots organizing can turn headline-grabbing occupations into long-term affordable housing.
Every donation to Downstreet gives more families the opportunity to create a safe, healthy, stable home. Give a gift to Downstreet today.
 
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