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Green Mountain Youth Campus - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where is the proposed site for the Green Mountain Youth Campus?
    • The site is located on land owned by the State of Vermont off Comfort Hill Road across the road from Comfort Hill Kennels, set back from the road and north of the solar array.
  2. Why do we need a new facility?
    • There is currently no facility within the state equipped to handle the complex treatment needs of Vermont’s youth with DCF-involvement. This leads to youth being placed in inappropriate settings, such as emergency rooms, which not only places stress on the rest of the system, but also leads to poor outcomes for these youth. This two-part campus, which consists of a short-term crisis stabilization program and an ongoing treatment center, will go a long way to address this need in Vermont.
  3. Who will be housed at the Youth Campus?
    • This campus is intended for justice-involved youth ages 12-18 with complex mental health and other treatment needs.
  4. We already have JobCorps – how is this different?
    • JobCorps is a federal program through the Department of Labor that offers free job training and other services to low-income youth. The Green Mountain Youth Campus will be a treatment and stabilization program for Vermont’s justice-involved youth.
  5. Who is in charge of this project?
    • The Vermont Department for Children and Families is leading this project with the support of the Department of Buildings and General Services. We have partnered with Vermont developers ReArch Company to design and build the campus.
  6. How will the operation of Green Mountain Youth Campus differ from Woodside?
    • Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center was operated by DCF, which is the organization that also licenses and oversees Residential Treatment Programs in Vermont. In order to address some of the oversight issues that arose with Woodside, the GMYC will be operated by an independent residential treatment provider and will be licensed by the DCF. This structure will be the same as other licensed residential programs in Vermont. DCF should not be both the service provider and regulatory authority, and this will not be the structure of Green Mountain Youth Campus.
    • DCF will contract with an independent third-party clinical service provider with trauma-responsive and evidence-based experience working with youth in crisis. That service provider will be overseen by DCF’s residential licensing unit. This division of authority will help to protect from the type of conflict-of-interest that arose from Woodside.
    • In addition to this structural difference, the independent Office of the Child, Youth, and Family Advocate (OCYFA) was created in 2023 and began operating in 2024 and has statutory authority to visit residential programs and review records. This additional level of oversight will play a key role in ensuring that the needs of the youth staying at Green Mountain Youth Campus are appropriately addressed, and that the program's policies, procedures, and operations work to the benefit of the youth. More information on the OCYFA may be found on their website, linked above
  7. What is the project timeline?
    • We anticipate construction will begin in Spring/Summer 2025 and be completed in 2026.
  8. How many kids will be housed on the campus?
    • The two programs will be able to hold a maximum of 14 kids. The goal will be for the campus to never be at capacity. This will both allow for space within the system for events involving multiple youth to be quickly housed at the campus, if needed, as well as supporting the goal of moving kids into community-based treatment programs as quickly as safely possible.
  9. Can parents take their kids to the Youth Campus if they are having a mental health crisis?
    • No, this campus is for justice-involved youth, and they must receive placement through DCF.
    • If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the Suicide and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline at 988. More information on mental health services in Vermont may be found at the Vermont Department of Mental Health website: How to Get Help | Department of Mental Health (
  10. How will this campus help alleviate stress on the overall system of youth mental health care?
    • The youth served by this campus would be the highest-need kids with complex mental health and other needs. Currently, these children are being served in inadequate settings (such as emergency rooms) that don’t appropriately address either their needs, or the needs of their community. Having an appropriate, secure place to provide services to the highest need kids will in turn open up capacity to help kids whose needs are less acute.
  11. How will Vergennes benefit?
    • Vergennes is not alone in experiencing rising rates of youth with mental health concerns. The Green Mountain Youth Campus will provide a safe place for high-needs, justice-involved youth to stabilize and receive the treatment they need, increasing capacity for youth whose needs may be less acute to in turn receive the care they need in other facilities.
    • The State of Vermont understands that when a facility is sited in a municipality, it is the beginning of a long-term relationship that needs to be beneficial for all parties. The project team is in conversation with city leadership and the legislative delegation to ensure that the project ends up being a net positive for Vergennes. Economic development through job creation and increased commercial activity is always a factor in siting state facilities.
  12. How can I learn more, give feedback, or otherwise participate in the process?
    • Community involvement and input will be a crucial component to planning and design, and your input will be welcomed in public forums. You can contact the project team directly at Project updates will be posted on this website, and this FAQ document will be updated over the course of the project. This project will also go through the normal public permitting process.
  13. I own or lease a neighboring property. How can I reach you to discuss my concerns?
    • You can contact the project team directly at with any questions or concerns. There will also be public meetings to discuss the project.
  14. Who will be running this facility?
    • The campus will be operated independently by a yet-to-be selected provider with experience working with children in a developmentally appropriate manner that is trauma-responsive and supported by brain science. This provider will be overseen by DCF.
  15. How will the service provider be held accountable?
    • The service provider will be subject to oversight by DCF's residential licensing unit.
  16. Will all youth come straight here when they are arrested?
    • No. These programs are for a specific subset of justice involved youth with serious treatment needs. At the moment, we only anticipate having 4-5 kids here at a time.
  17. What kind of jobs will the campus create?
    • This campus will create a wide variety of jobs – from custodial staff to mental health clinicians. Staff at Green Mountain Youth Campus will be employees of the contracted service provider, as opposed to State of Vermont employees, and staffing levels will be determined by the service provider. At this time, we anticipate the campus to create roughly 60 positions.
  18. Where will the workers live?
    • A Vermont Department of Labor study predicts the workforce for this campus will draw primarily from the Middlebury and Burlington areas.
  19. Will the kids use the trails around the facility?
    • The youth will only leave the secure campus accompanied by staff, or when transitioning out of the program
  20. Where will children under the age of twelve go?
    • Kids under 12 are usually placed in homes or other community-based settings.
  21. Will the kids at this facility interact with Addison Northwest District schools?
    • Kids’ home districts will be responsible for providing instructional materials and they will be educated on campus. They will not be attending Vergennes schools.
  22. Why not just rehabilitate the Woodside property?
  23. What will the impact be on Vergennes police, fire and medical emergency services?
    • There is minimal anticipated impact on local police, fire, and emergency medical services. There will be medical and security staff employed on campus to address the vast majority of daily needs.
  24. Will the State pay taxes?
    • Vergennes will receive tax payments (rather than PILOT, Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) for this campus.

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Page Last Updated: June 7, 2024