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Spectrum’s Nightly Shelter Open Year-Round

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Spectrum Youth and Family Services’ previously seasonal warming shelter is now open year- round to meet the growing need for safe shelter for youth thanks to generous gifts from KeyBank Foundation, the Pomerleau Family Foundation and other donors.

Through generous funding from KeyBank Foundation, the Pomerleau Family Foundation, the University of Vermont Medical Center, and many individual donors, Spectrum Youth and Family Services has been able to make its Nightly Shelter a year-round resource for homeless youth. 

On May 14, 2024, Spectrum officially expanded its seasonal warming shelter operations from seasonal to year-round programming to fill the critical gap in the local continuum of care, offering a youth-friendly overnight option when other shelter beds are full.

“We are pleased to join forces with the Pomerleau Family Foundation and other donors to help expand the vital resources that Spectrum provides,” said KeyBank Market President, Tony DiSotto. “KeyBank is a long-time supporter of Spectrum and their mission to improve the lives of disadvantaged youth and young adults in our community.” KeyBank Foundation has provided a three-year $225,000 grant to support the Nightly Shelter.

“We are proud to continue supporting Spectrum in this innovative project,” said Ernie Pomerleau on behalf of the Pomerleau Family Foundation, which has contributed $200,000 so far to the warming shelter. “Mark and his team have been on the leading edge of creating a true safety net for young persons faced with the loss of a homelife, dealing with drugs, or just needing mentoring.  Spectrum has evolved in providing housing, food, counseling, and jobs – with compassion, kindness, innovation, and professionalism.  We are lucky to have this amazing organization in our community.”

Spectrum Youth and Family Services opened a winter warming shelter in November of 2017 to provide more beds for youth facing homelessness in the harshest months. The warming shelter was a seasonal shelter, open from November through March 31.

Over the past two years, however, Spectrum’s Basic Needs Director, Christina Brown says she has been handing out more sleeping bags and tents than ever before year-round – in fact, she can’t keep them in stock.

To meet the growing need for safe youth shelter in Burlington, Spectrum’s warming shelter was re-named the Nightly Shelter and is now open year-round.

The Nightly Shelter is a low-barrier, 10-bed emergency shelter that is open every day from 5pm to 9am. Youth can then access our Burlington Drop-In Center during the day for meals, laundry, clothing, and case management.

Many of the youth who access the Nightly Shelter are new to Spectrum, and each year several youths move from the Nightly Shelter into the Landing or Pearl Street Residence, significantly increasing their odds of moving on to permanent housing.

The shelter, located at 179 South Winooski Ave, is accessible to youth ages 18-24 on a first-come first-serve basis.

Special thanks to KeyBank Foundation, the Pomerleau Family Foundation, the University of Vermont Medical Center, and many individual donors who contributed support. If you’d like to donate to Spectrum’s housing programs, please visit:

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