Community Support

We offer a variety of programs for individuals of all ages who want to become drug or alcohol free. While we provide many services in our offices, we also offer community based and mobile services when appropriate.

If you are new to Howard Center and are looking for services, please call our Access and Intake number at 802.488.6000.


Individuals of any age may contact ACT 1 if they feel they are incapacitated due to alcohol. They may also be referred by the police, friends, family, or a community member. 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.

For more information about ACT I or to make a referral, call 802.488.6425.


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 more information about Bridge or to make a referral, call 802.488.6425.

Street Outreach Program

The Street Outreach Team works with individuals in the downtown Burlington Business District who have mental health, substance use, homelessness, and unmet social service needs. The team helps to coordinate services for those individuals, and the primary goal of the team is to increase access to services for all individuals. The secondary goal is to address concerning behaviors that require immediate intervention but do not rise to the level of an emergency response.

The Team works closely with service providers, police, and merchants to address behaviors that may impact the downtown area, stigmatize vulnerable populations, or put them at risk of losing access to resources or incurring criminal charges.

Community Outreach Program

The Community Outreach Program in the participating communities of Colchester, Essex, Hinesburg, Milton, Richmond, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston, and Winooski was inspired by Burlington’s Street Outreach model. In the participating towns, Outreach Specialists work in partnership with local and regional law enforcement to respond to individuals with unmet social service needs, often due to mental health or substance use issues.

Treatment Courts

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

For more information about the Treatment Courts, call 802.488.6215 or 802-488-6000.

St. Albans Substance Use Crisis Program

The St. Albans Substance Use Crisis Program provides a safe and supervised environment for individuals who are incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs until they can regain sobriety.

St. Albans Substance Use Crisis Program: 802.488.6265.