Great River grand opening set for Friday

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BRATTLEBORO — The Windham Windsor Housing Trust is hosting a grand opening of Great River Terrace on Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. During the event, there will be food and music; the public is invited to help assemble welcome baskets for the new tenants. All the materials will be supplied.

The new "neighborhood" in north Brattleboro, as the developers are characterizing it, is the former Lamplighter Hotel.

Great River Terrace will have apartments for 22 individuals in the community who have experienced persistent homelessness or may be struggling with addiction or mental health issues.

In July 2017, the WWHT received final approval to transform the dilapidated Lamplighter Hotel on North Putney Road into an apartment complex. WWHT is partnering with Health Care & Rehabilitation Services of Vermont and Brattleboro-based Groundworks Collaborative to provide services on site in a central office building between the site's two strips of apartments. The central office building will also have a gathering area and a kitchen.

The project's price tag has been estimated at $4.3 million.

Great River Terrace is the first permanent supportive housing project in southern Vermont. According to WWHT, "supportive housing combines affordable housing with services — most often located on-site — that can help people who face complex challenges live with stability and dignity.

Supportive housing targets the most vulnerable people and gives them the support they need to live a full and healthy life. It provides chronically homeless people a way out of expensive emergency public services, and into their own homes and communities."

According to WWHT, permanent supportive housing is a "housing first model," with no conditions for sobriety or other preconditions to obtain or maintain housing and there is no time limit on occupancy.

On-site services, which are voluntary, include health counseling, substance abuse counseling and support, life skills education and coaching, employment referral and support, financial capability support, health and wellness coaching, and 24-hour crisis services.

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