Let’s Talk about Homelessness

You Are Never Alone Foundation and the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless partnered to bring awareness to homelessness through discussion in schools, churches, businesses and through social media.

The response was heartwarming. We have found that people do care and do want to make a difference. Most of us are not aware of the extent of homelessness in our community because for the most part it is hidden. Our goal was to spread awareness about homelessness.

YANAF initiated our Caring Blankets for the Homeless Program as an opportunity to do something that does impact someone without a home and perhaps not even a blanket to call their own, We The I MATTER, YOU MATTER message reminded someone that they do matter. We invited schools, churches, organizations, businesses and individuals to join us in sponsoring 500 woolen blankets for the homeless with the I Matter, You Matter logo on it. Each blanket had a Caring Coin and the card with the name of the person who sponsored the blanket to remind the person receiving the blanket that someone really did care about them as seen in the words of one recipient. “Someone cares about me, I must matter…”

Joseph Wooten, Keyboardist and Vocalist for the Steve Miller Band came to Vermont to join us in our effort and to speak with youths and veterans about the I Matter, You Matter message. Joseph, a close friend of Salley Gibney’s and her husband Bob soon became a good friend to many Vermonters including 2200 Youths with whom he shared the I Matter, You Matter message.

I MATTER, YOU MATTER Caring Blankets were shared with:

Bennington Coalition for the Homeless

Bennington Coalition for the Homeless received over 200 caring blankets from the You Are Never Alone Foundation. They are currently being distributed to homeless families and individuals throughout Bennington County.

(Project Against Violent Encounters) in Bennington, VT

PAVE assists victims of domestic violence providing nights of shelter, transition from emergency to stable housing and many other services for assisted families. “Many of these families do not bring with them a blanket to call their own. The Caring Blanket with the I Matter, You Matter message, Caring Coin and Card reminds them that someone cares about them. Thank you to everyone who sponsored these blankets.”
—Linda Campbell, Executive Director

Veterans Outreach and Family Resource Center, Bennington, VT

“This is a place where veterans and their families can come for support, help, and conversation, whatever they need. Some of these guys are living under the bridges. Now we have Caring Blankets to keep them warm and remind them that they matter.”
—John Miner, President, Founder and Vietnam Vet

100 Caring Blankets delivered to Groundworks Collaborative in Brattleboro, VT

On Wednesday, November 11th we delivered 100 Caring Blankets to Groundworks Collaborative’s Seasonal Shelter in Brattleboro, VT. Groundworks Director, Joshua Davis writes: “We are very grateful for the Caring Blankets and much appreciate the support! The Seasonal Overflow Shelter, which provides a warm place to sleep and a hot meal each night for those experiencing homelessness in our community, opens in November and closes at the end of April. Last year the shelter served over 200 unique individuals with an average of 25 individuals per night – with 41 being the most served on any given night. This is a low barrier shelter, meaning sobriety is not a prerequisite for services.”
—Barre, Vermont

On Wednesday November 4

60 Caring Blankets were delivered to Barre, Vermont to Carl Hilton VanOsdall, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church; Rev. Kim E. Kie, Pastor, Hedding UMC; Nancy Fowler, Barre Congregational Church; Judi Joy, Director of Good Samaritan Haven; Brenda Waterhouse, Principal of Spaulding High School and three Students from Spaulding High School. Spaulding High School Students and the area Churches sponsored the Caring Blankets.

Judi Joy wrote: “All you lovely people, What a wonderful event!! Many thanks to everyone, especially Salley, for making this happen. The shelter Guests who were here couldn’t get enough of talking about how great it was for people to care so much about the homeless. Many blessings!” Carl Hilton VanOsdall writes: “Thank you Everyone, for making this come together to keep people warm as things (soon) get colder.”

Caring Blankets delivered to Bennington, Vermont

We have started distributing our Caring Blankets yesterday with 135 going to the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless; 40 going to PAVE, a program for families affected by Family violence and 40 to the Bennington Veterans Outreach Program. Next week 60 are going to Good Shephard Shelter in Barre and the following week 100 are going to Groundworks Drop-in Shelter in Brattleboro. We are expecting delivery of 200 more blankets on 11/15 to be shared in Bennington. All will be shared before Thanksgiving. We’ll keep you all updated.

Mettawee Students present us with their $800.00 check!

A wonderful afternoon yesterday Ms. Dawn Robertson’s Fourth Grade class at Mettowee Community School presented YANAF with an $800.00 check toward Caring Coins and Caring Blankets for the Homeless in our Community. Each student at Mettowee signed a card to be attached to a Caring Blanket.