Recently, VEIC (Vermont Energy Investment Corporation) awarded Howard Center with a Founders Grant to help people experiencing homelessness, and others in need, with access to power and light via solar lanterns that they can carry. The lanterns will also have USB ports to allow for charging phones and other small electronic devices.
Howard Center’s Director of Development and Communications, Denise Vignoe says, “Howard Center would like to thank VEIC for their generosity, and continued commitment to the community. It’s a privilege to have support from our business community for the people we serve.”
The grant will support the purchase of 50 solar lanterns, which will be distributed at Burlington’s monthly Here to Help clinics. The Here to Help clinics were started in 2016 by students of the University of Vermont (UVM) Larner College of Medicine. Clinics are held from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month at Burlington’s First United Methodist Church on South Winooski Avenue just a block from Church Street.
Howard Center frequently attends these clinics to provide access to mental health and substance use services and to distribute donated items needed by those in attendance.
And, in recent months has distributed socks, soap, sunscreen, bag balm and at the request of attendees, pet food.