We recognize the importance of community. That’s why many of our programs are designed to support individuals as they develop positive community connections as part of their recovery process.
In addition, we provide support within the community to ensure that everyone has access to the mental health services they need. We often collaborate with numerous partners to create and deliver initiatives that help all members of our community.
Community Support Program
The Community Support Program serves Chittenden County adults 18 and older with severe and/or persistent mental health challenges who meet specific eligibility requirements set by the state.
The program helps people to recover and lead fulfilling lives. Professional clinical staff provide assessment, case management, supportive counseling, employment services through Career Connections, housing assistance, residential services, social and recreational opportunities, medical evaluation, and psychiatric consultation.
Clients participate in establishing an individualized treatment plan and goals. Services are provided at Howard Center sites, community locations, and in client homes.
- ACT 1/Bridge
- Eldercare Program
- Howard Center Arts Collective
- Living Skills Support
- Treatment Courts
- Reach Up
- Street Outreach Program/Community Outreach Program
- Westview House
Once at ACT 1, individuals have a clean and supportive setting where they can stay while they regain their sobriety.
Following an initial screening, individuals may stay at ACT 1, be referred to the hospital for medical attention, released to a family member, or referred to protective custody.
ACT 1 follows a goal-directed approach toward intervention and treatment while recognizing that many clients are in the midst of a life crisis. ACT 1 helps the person and family through the crisis, promotes stability, and recommends an appropriate follow-up level of care and assists with referrals.
*ACT 1 is currently offering screening only in collaboration with law enforcement.
The Bridge Program provides short-term stabilization, detoxification, and withdrawal management in a non-medical setting for individuals who are experiencing problematic alcohol or other drug use.
The Bridge program is staffed 24 hours a day. Related services may be coordinated with the University of Vermont Medical Center Emergency Department and through referrals to other Howard Center services, depending on each individual’s specific needs.
Bridge offers medical oversight, coordination of services for injection drug users, clinical assessments, and referrals for individuals needing more intensive treatment. Continuing care plans are developed with each client, and ongoing support after discharge is available through free, daily community support groups.
Clients are referred by the court system, primary care providers, friends, family, clergy, or a concerned community member, and by self-referral.
*For screening, please call 802-488-6425 between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Eldercare program at Howard Center is part of a statewide collaboration between Vermont’s designated agencies, such as Howard Center, and area agencies on aging to provide mental health treatment to elders in their homes.
The goal of the program is to make sure vulnerable and homebound elders ages 60 and older who are experiencing psychological or emotional distress have access to the help they need. The Eldercare program is able to work with individuals in their homes and eliminates barriers to treatment, such as transportation.
Howard Center Arts Collective
The Howard Center Arts Collective is a group of Burlington based Howard Center artists. Throughout the year, they gather to create and discuss art, plan exhibitions, and take field trips to nearby museums and exhibitions.
Usually, the group sponsors about four exhibitions a year, including a spot in SEABA’s annual Art Hop.
For more information about the Collective and upcoming events, contact Kara Greenblott at 802-598-7420.
View samples of artwork and learn more about the artists at the Howard Center Arts Collective.
Living Skills Support
Many Howard Center programs help people gain life skills so that they can live more independently. For individuals with mental health challenges, life skills such as budgeting, cooking, shopping, getting around town, and making friends are skills that encourage individuals to be more independent. Many of these skills are practiced in Howard Center residential settings.
Our Treatment Courts, on both State and Federal levels are part of a national effort that recognizes that criminal behavior is often the result of mental health and/or substance use issues. Treatment Courts bring together judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, and Howard Center to provide treatment for non-violent offenders whose crimes were a result of substance use and mental health-related issues. Unlike other courts, Treatment Courts focus on helping non-violent offenders with substance use or mental health-related issues to find restoration in recovery and become productive citizens. Our goal is to provide treatment, avoid incarceration, and help individuals develop a healthy lifestyle.
We offer assessments, including psychiatric assessments when needed, individual and group counseling, intensive outpatient treatment, and an aftercare group for graduates. Our case managers meet with each participant on an ongoing basis to help them connect to other resources for supports, such as medical needs, employment, disability determinations, housing, food, transportation, vouchers, and counseling.
To graduate from the program, individuals need to be:
- 100% free from all non-prescribed substances and/or enrolled in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program (MAT)
- Have stable housing
- Employed, in school, or receiving SSI/DI
- Have a primary care physician
- Connected to sober community supports
- Engaged in counseling
- Free of all criminal charges
Howard Center works in partnership with the state Reach Up program to help eligible parents gain job skills and find work, so they are able to support their children. Howard Center clinicians and wellness coaches work with clients on Reach Up who are struggling to meet their goals due to substance use and/or mental health challenges. The specific services include Howard Center assessment, individual and group therapy, service-coordination, and community support. Through this close working relationship with Reach Up, we are able to provide immediate access, engagement services, and a community-based service approach that helps overcome barriers like transportation and childcare. This program is offered in Chittenden and Addison Counties.
For information about Howard Center’s collaboration with Reach Up, call 802-488-6000.
START (STABILIZATION, TREATMENT AND RECOVERY TEAM) – A Community Peer Support Team
Through outreach, engagement, and connection, START peer community recovery specialists offer mental health recovery support that is strengths based and hope driven. Our stories, though diverse and unique, emphasize resiliency and recovery.
Our team is available six days a week, and peer community recovery specialists work from 11 am – 7 pm. The team provides community-based peer support services and support in the field and in the office, as well as via telephone/telehealth. To make a referral call 802-488-6000 or 802-488-6464
Street Outreach and Community Outreach Programs
Street Outreach Program
The Street Outreach Team provides a range of services for adults, young adults, and families in the city of Burlington, while also holding a consistent presence in the downtown Burlington Business District. Outreach specialists work with police and service providers to coordinate support for individuals who have mental health, substance use, housing, or other social service needs. The team is also a resource for downtown businesses and service providers who make referrals when they are aware of an individual in need of social service supports. Outreach workers also make efforts to prevent and address the sometimes disruptive behaviors of individuals who demonstrate acute and chronic mental illness or substance use disorders.
Clients can self-refer to Street Outreach or they are engaged by a team member on downtown streets or in city neighborhoods. The team also receives referrals from service providers, police, family members or friends, merchants, and concerned community members.
Street Outreach Hours
Mon/Tues: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wed/Thurs: 8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.
Fri: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sat/Sun: 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
To contact Street Outreach, please call 802-488-7013.
Community Outreach Program
The Community Outreach Program provides a range of services for adults, young adults, and families in Colchester, Essex, Hinesburg, Milton, Richmond, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston, and Winooski. Outreach specialists work with police and service providers to coordinate support for individuals who have mental health, substance use, housing, or other social service needs. The team is also a resource for downtown businesses and service providers who make referrals when they are aware of an individual in need of social service supports. Outreach workers also make efforts to prevent and address the sometimes disruptive behaviors of individuals who demonstrate acute and chronic mental illness or substance use disorders.
Clients can self-refer to Community Outreach or they are engaged by a team member in participating communities. The team also receives referrals from service providers, police, family members or friends, merchants, and concerned community members.
Community Outreach Hours
Mon – Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Community Outreach is closed on weekends and agency holidays.
For more information about the Community Outreach Program, please call 802-488-7778.
Westview House is a day program for Chittenden County adults who have been diagnosed with a major mental illness. Clients live in a variety of residential settings, including Howard Center supported homes, and they visit Westview during the day. Lunch is served every weekday so that clients can get a nutritious meal while socializing with others. Individuals are encouraged to volunteer or seek part-time work, often through Career Connections, a Howard Center supported employment program for individuals with chronic mental health challenges.
For more information about Westview and other Community Support Programs, call 802-488-6000.
Photo: Members of the Street Outreach Team.