Howard Center’s Response to Governor Scott’s ‘Stay home, Stay safe’ Order

Howard Center is uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. As one of the largest health care organizations in Vermont, serving over 16,000 children, adults, and families each year, our priorities remain ensuring the health and wellbeing of our clients, staff, providers, and community; continuing our essential services; and reducing the risk of transmission in our Howard Center community and beyond.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has requested that as of 5:00 pm on 3/25 all residents should stay home and all businesses and non-profits not specifically exempted must suspend all in-person business. Howard Center is expressly exempted from this order and staff who are providing critical clinical supports and services are exempted.

Howard Center’ programs, including all crisis services, remain open and available to meet the needs of the community. Some services are being provided by telephone and video telehealth. Our main number is 802-488-6000. The First Call for Chittenden County crisis line is providing support at 802-488-7777. Callers who are asked to leave a message should call again if they do not receive a call back within 15 minutes.

The Chittenden Clinic in South Burlington has implemented measures to limit the number of people who need to visit each day. Essential Medical clinic staff members remain on-site while support services such as counseling, case management, and care coordination are being provided through telehealth.

The Street Outreach team is offering support by telephone and focusing efforts on clients who are homeless. The team has reduced in-person support and its presence on the Church Street Marketplace and has suspended home visits. The Community Outreach teams are also offering support by telephone and have suspended home visits. They continue to coordinate with first responders.  The Safe Recovery program continues to offer syringe exchange services. The ACT1, Bridge, and St. Albans Substance Use Crisis Program are operating and providing in-person support.

While most of our programs have made the transition to telephone or video telehealth, all Howard Center sites remain open, including our 22 residential homes. Wherever possible, employees are working remotely with only essential staff on site.

Many community members are experiencing heightened anxiety and stress during this time. To find helpful information and support, visit for additional resources including Community Resources, Tips for Caregivers & Parents, Managing Stress & Anxiety, talking to children about COVID-19, COVID-19 information in a variety of languages, online AA meetings, tips for those in recovery, and tips on social distancing and those in quarantine. Translated materials in multiple languages are also available. Our Access and Intake and First Call for Chittenden County (phone numbers below) are readily available if you are in crisis.

Important Phone Numbers: Our Access and Intake Main Number 802-488-6000 is available M-F 8 am – 6 pm and Sat. 8 am – 1 pm. Our staff will offer support and connect you with services. Our First Call for Chittenden County crisis hotline 802-488-7777 is available 24/7/365.