BCS submitted its Statement to the board by email and in person on paper. The selectboard (health commission) declined to read any part of BCS’ STATEMENT at the hearing. The selectboard decided to uphold the Emergency Order to shut down BCS emergency homeless shelter in RVs. As you might note in the Statement (ask for a copy), the Order is legally defective, as BCS was not notified of our right to a hearing within five days of the Order (and for other reasons). So, the evening’s proceedings may be declared void.
During the meeting one person said that we should not refer to a housing emergency, since it has not been designated an emergency by state government. Brattleboro government designates it as a crisis. Kevin and Stacey, two of the homeless people staying in our shelter, testified. They were told to go through proper channels to find housing. This shows the ignorance of town officials, who don’t know how many months people spend in those channels before learning officially what they already knew — that there is no housing and that the deplorable permitted shelters are full.
But the Brattleboro Selectboard says it’s not an emergency. Think what comfort that will bring to people sleeping in the snow. Thank you, Brattleboro Selectboard !
We tried to help the town with a decent solution to the housing crisis. We publicly informed the board of our project at their meetings four times since January 2021. They did nothing. Now we have this: Of the 20 items (complaints) in the order 17 are inapplicable (they apply to permanent housing, not emergency shelters), 7 are baseless (no law is cited), four are false (having errors of fact), and three show prejudice against the homeless and handicapped living in our shelter. We have cured five of the complaints, even baseless ones. We have tried to help and cooperate, but the board wants to shut its eyes and ears.
Join us. Send legal advice, donations, start a shelter or detached RV bedroom at your place, volunteer with us. Homeless people need your help.