Posted April 21, 2010

Homeless Shelter to expand facilities and increase energy efficiency
Brattleboro, VT, April 16, 2010 —  Morningside House, Inc., the only homeless shelter in Southern Vermont, was recently selected for a $43,750 USDA Rural Development grant. The funds will be used to expand the number of beds available in the shelter by 32%, move laundry and food pantry facilities and increase the energy efficiency of the building.
           "We're thrilled to be working in partnership with USDA Rural Development to expand our shelter. Right now the need for homeless services is critical, and the grant award allows us to increase our capacity to meet that need. The Rural Development program has a direct impact on our project by providing about one-third of the funding, as well as demonstrating our broad base of support to the community as we proceed with our fund raising campaign," said Sara Anderson, Development Director at Morningside.
            The funding is provided through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities program, which helps finance essential community facilities for public use in rural areas.  These facilities include child care centers, hospitals, assisted-living facilities, community centers and public safety facilities.  Through this program, USDA ensures that such facilities are available to all rural residents.
            Morningside currently has 24 beds in the shelter and also operates housing placement within the community with life skills development and ongoing case management.  Morningside is at full capacity year-round and has seen a growth in the need for family rooms.  In a two month period, 58 requests for shelter were received, with only 5 beds available. The waitlist for community outreach programs to prevent homelessness averages ten families at a time.
            “Nothing is more important than access to safe shelter,” said Molly Lambert, State Director for USDA Rural Development. “Our Community Facilities Program grant will make a difference for those very vulnerable community members in southern VT. We are very proud to partner with Morningside in this effort.”
President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009.  It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.
For more information about USDA Rural Development’s Community Programs in Vermont, please contact Jon Muise, Brattleboro Area Office Director, at 802-257-7878 or visit, and for information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts visit  More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at
USDA Rural Development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facilities programs. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. To learn more about USDA Rural Development programs visit the web site at