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Who are the people in our community classified as homeless?

It is the Veteran who bravely fought for our country and dreamed of home every second they were gone only to return and find no home to go to.

It is the single parent who cry themselves to sleep every night dreaming of a better life for their kids and holidays spent under one roof.

It is the senior citizen who finds themselves alone in life, still young at heart but unable to work, unable to make ends meet or care for their family home.

It is the person with mental illness that processes the world around us much differently than you or I and struggles to find their place in society.

It is the person battling the demons of addiction that cannot get the beast off their back whose family just wishes they could come home sober.

It is the person who lost their family member/s to illness or injury and suddenly finds themselves alone and unable to afford to make it on their own.

It is the person running for their life from a dangerous home life because being homeless is better than staying in an abusive household.

In the wrong time and wrong circumstances it could be anyone, your co-workers, your friends, your family, even you or I.

Homelessness affects all of us in some manner and none of us are truly ever safe from being homeless. In 1980 homelessness was identified as a national epidemic here in the United States of America and it is estimated that half a million people are homeless on any given night in our country. That problem has drastically grown over the last 42 years, and in more recent years has only been exacerbated by the affordable housing crisis. In times like theses resources like The Open Door Mission become an invaluable staple in small communities like Rutland, Vermont.

Here at The Open Door Mission we believe in lending a hand up not a hand out. Our emergency homeless shelter is available to anyone experiencing a housing emergency. Our soup kitchen provides nutritious meals 3 times a day 7 days a week to not only clients & residents but to anyone in our community that is in a food insecure situation as well. We put on free community meals for most of the big holidays, pass out holiday meals kits to those in need and even do a toy drive at Christmas complete with a visit from Santa Claus! We are very proud of our Veteran Shelter located on the 3rd floor of our building. Veterans are provided with a private room and are allowed to come and go from our facility as they please. Our Thrift Store provides like new items donated by people in our community just like you at a fraction of what it would cost brand new. The thrift store also provides clients a chance to find clothing because we believe when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good you do good!

The majority of the funding for what we do at The Open Door Mission comes from people in our community just like you. We rely heavily on our donors to ensure that we can continue to do what we do best and your support reminds us we are not alone in the fight against homelessness. Every dollar donated goes towards our soup kitchen, providing essential in house items, repairing our old historic building, and day to day facility running expenses.

The past couple of years has impacted the community of people we serve drastically and the need for your help is greater than any year prior. We hope that you will consider donating to The Open Door Mission, lending a hand up, not a hand out and supporting our fight against homelessness!

Thank You,

Tammy Duclos, Executive Director

David Brownfield, Assistant Director

Sharon Russell, Consultant

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