SHELBURNE — A Shelburne hotel is poised to be converted into a new type of short-term housing that Vermont officials are touting as a way to help potentially homeless clients regain their footing.
The Champlain Housing Trust is buying the Econo Lodge that will cease operating as a motel within days and will become Harbor Place.
“It’s like a motel but very different,” said the trust’s Michael Monte. “This is really something in the middle between having nothing and having something.”
Children and Families Commissioner David Yacavone said the Harbor Place will provide up to 59 rooms for people in need of temporary housing and caseworkers to help them find work, child care or overcome other challenges that led to their homelessness.
The goal is to help people connect with services.
“We have families that many times come back through,” Yacavone said. “We don’t break the cycle.”
The trust is paying $1.85 million for the property that includes almost 4.9 acres, Monte said.
Yacavone said the state has been spending $3 million a year statewide and $800,000 in the Chittenden County area on motel vouchers. Motels in the Burlington area cost the state $62 a night, while Harbor Place is expected to cost $38, a potential one-year savings of $262,000.
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