e-News | August 2019

A note from Groundworks' Executive Director Josh Davis:  

It feels like we're ticking so many things off our list this summer!   

I'm pleased that many of our staff are taking well-deserved time out of the office in these warm months, because Groundworks is as busy as ever this summer!  We're happy to share these updates with you and we thank you for the part you play as donors, volunteers, and partners in this important work!  

We're pleased to be a partner in the Work Today low barrier jobs program now being organized by Youth Services.  Having piloted an in-house low barrier jobs program several years ago with a rotation of clients hired to do cleaning and maintenance at Groundworks Drop-In Center, we are aware of just how many barriers there are to implementing such a program even on a very small scale.  With leadership from Emilie Kornheiser, Workforce Development Director at Youth Services, all of the critical details have been addressed and Work Today is scheduled to roll out a pilot in the coming months with $65,000 in support from the Town of Brattleboro.  The project will offer up to 10 participants three days of work each week on a per-diem basis.  Workers will be paid $15 per hour (gross) for up to 6 hours of work each day with lunch provided, as well as opportunities for supportive services provided by Groundworks.  

In an effort to increase public bathrooms, the Town of Brattleboro recently placed three porta-potties throughout downtown Brattleboro.  This is a temporary stop gap measure in response to the call for more public bathrooms especially for people who are experiencing homelessness.  To support this effort, Groundworks has committed to making sure the porta potties are cleaned, stocked, and generally well maintained.  We're using this opportunity to 'employ' clients, and we'll keep this effort up until the Work Today jobs program is up and running and can take over.  Many thanks and kudos to our Outreach Team (Outreach Case Manager Brandie Starr, Seasonal Overflow Shelter Coordinator Laura Chapman, and Day Shelter Coordinator Karli Schrade) for your support with this program. 

Our Outreach Team have also been making daily visits to camp sites of our neighbors living without housing this summer—distributing sunscreen, bug repellant, and roughly 45 bottles of water each day. 
One major item we've ticked off the list is having secured a space for the Seasonal Overflow Shelter for the coming winter! 
We are grateful to Chloe Leary and the Board of the Winston Prouty Center for Child Development for agreeing to host the shelter for one more winter while we work out our plans to give the SOS a permanent home.  This is a huge relief and will save us many hours of searching as the fall grows nearer.  Many thanks Winston Prouty!  
Perhaps our biggest news this week . . . 

We opened our food shelf program to our patrons this week at 141 Canal Street—relaunching our program as Foodworks!  Foodworks "shoppers" will have an experience much more like visiting a neighborhood grocery store, with increased parking, some evening and weekend hours, and added space intended to build community.  Kudos to Christine, Ava, Jon, Rhianna, and the scores of volunteers—including the Facilities Team from C&S Wholesale Grocers and employees of Brattleboro Savings & Loan—who made this transition quickly with very little interruption in food shelf hours.

Groundworks continues to fundraise to help defray the start up costs for the new location as we are approaching, but have not yet met our $15,000 goal.  Please consider making a contribution here.
Help us stock the shelves of Foodworks next week by participating in the 2019 Load the Latchis Food Drive! 

Thursday, August 22nd, 6am—6pm

Help us fill every seat in Brattleboro’s Latchis Theatre with a bag of groceries for our neighbors in need.   If you're not available to bring by a bag or more of groceries, you can make a secure online donation here.  Every $20 raised fills a seat!
Brought to you by the team at 92.7 Bratt FM.

Our greatest needs at Foodworks this month:  
  • Large Bottles/Cans/Containers of Juice
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Canned Proteins (chicken, tuna, ready-meals, etc.)
  • Protein Drinks
  • Cereals
  • Low Sodium Items
  • AND Cookbooks for our new library!
Contact Foodworks to arrange donations: 
802-490-2412  or

for 10 years of service to Morningside Shelter and Groundworks Collaborative! 

Michele is a Housing Support Case Manager at Groundworks and has provided supportive services to help hundreds of families and scores of individuals to find and maintain permanent housing after one or more periods of homelessness.  Huge thanks for all you do Michele!    
Registration is now open for Hike for the Homeless 2019!  

Join us on Saturday, September 21st at the Mountain Road trailhead to Mount Wantastiquet.  We'll be hiking to the summit and/or walking the River Trail at the base of the mountain to raise funds for Groundworks' shelter and housing programs.  
Tickets to the 2019 Empty Bowls Dinner are now available online!  
Join us Saturday, October 12th at Landmark College for our 16th annual Empty Bowls Dinner to support Foodworks!  

Two Seatings:  5pm and 6:30pm at Landmark College in Putney, VT.  
Adult tickets are $25 when purchased in advance and will be $30 at the door.  Youth tickets are available for $15 for children ages 7-15 and children 6 and under are free.  Enjoy a simple meal of homemade soup (plus bread, cheese, apples and more) in a handmade bowl that you keep!  
If you can't make it to the dinner, but want to support the effort, you can purchase a bowl and/or make a donation to support Foodworks!  
Volunteers will be selling tickets and bowls throughout the month of September at the Brattleboro Food Co-Op and at Brattleboro's September & October Gallery Walk nights (September 6th and October 4th).  

Each of our programs keeps a wish list of items we need or wish we could provide to our clients.  Below is a list for each program and a contact person if you have items to donate:  

(contact Vince: or text/call 802.870.0282):
  • Diapers in size 1 and size 4
  • Children's Books
  • Towels
  • Shaving Cream & Razors
  • Brand-New Pillows (still in the packaging)
  • Curtains
  • Medium-sized Duffel Bags
(contact Laura: or text/call 802.490.3935): 
  • A twin size platform bed frame or twin size bed frame with box spring

  • Twin or full size blankets (no comforters please, they break our washing machine!)

  • A Large Dish Drying Rack

  • A Silverware Caddy - the vented kind silverware can dry in. Ideally with a carry handle.

  • Fans (box or stand)

  • A Carpet Sweeper

  • Bath Towels & Washcloths 

(contact the Resource Coordinator on duty at 802.257.5415 or drop off Monday—Friday between 7am and 5pm at 60 South Main Street, Brattleboro):
  • Cases of Bottled Water
  • Reusable Water Bottles
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Razors & Toiletries
  • Ground Coffee & Coffee Mugs
(contact Alexis: or call/text 802.490.6777):
  • Toilet Paper
  • Dish Soap, Paper Towels, Sponges, Spray Cleaners
  • HE Laundry Detergent
  • Small Furniture Items (i.e. bedside tables, coffee tables, etc.)
  • Decorative Housewares (area rugs, artwork, curtains)
  • Diapers in sizes 3 - 6
  • Baby Wipes
  • Gas Cards & Laundromat Cards  
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