About OEO

OEO supports organizations across the State that provide direct services to low-income Vermonters.  Below are some highlights of our work.

Asset Building

OEO supports two programs that help lower-income Vermonters build their financial assets:

  1. Individual Development Account helps people save for specific goals. 
    • In FY 2016, the IDA helped 168 people increase their savings: 59 Vermonters invested $141,453 in their first home, post-secondary education, or a small business.
  2. Micro Business Development Program helps people start and grow micro businesses. 
    • In FY 2016, the MBDP had 727 participants: 69 participants started new businesses, 60 participants expanded their businesses, 90 (FTE) jobs were created, and $1.27 million in capital was accessed.

Community Services

OEO provides federal funds to Vermont's five Community Action Agencies, which provide direct community services to more than 70,000 low-income Vermonters. This may include emergency food, fuel and utilities, housing supports, financial coaching and classes, information and referrals, job readiness training, self-employment training, tax preparation, and transportation assistance.

Not all programs are offered in all areas. Contact your local  Community Action Agency to learn what programs are offered in your community.

Family Supportive Housing (FSH)

OEO provides funds to partners in seven communities to reduce child and family homelessness in Vermont: Barre, Bennington, Burlington, Brattleboro, Rutland, St. Johnsbury and White River Junction.  Each site helps homeless families move into affordable housing and provides intensive home-based case management and service coordination to help families keep their housing.  Priority is given to families that are homeless, have had multiple episodes of homelessness, and are actively working with DCF’s Family Services Division.  

Click here to read the latest FSH Annual Report.

Housing Opportunity Grant Program (HOP)

OEO provides a blend of state and federal funds to about 40 non-profit agencies in all areas of the state who provide emergency shelters, including warming shelters, day shelters, and shelters for people fleeing domestic abuse; transitional housing; services to move homeless families and individuals into permanent housing; and services to keep individuals and families from becoming homeless.  Shelters range in size from only a few rooms for families to more than 30 beds for single adults.

Between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, 3,952 people were sheltered for a total of 175,997 shelter bed nights: 2,857 were adults, 1095 were children under 18, and the average length of stay was about 44 days.

Click here to read the latest HOP Annual Report.

Weatherization Services

OEO provides funds to five partner organizations for the delivery of weatherization services to lower-income residents, particularly older Vermonters, people with disabilities, and families with children. The goal is to save them fuel and electricity by improving the energy efficiency of their homes, leaving them with more money to spend on other necessities such as food and health care.  A weatherized home saves a family, on average, about $500 a year.   

In FY 2016, 774 homes were weatherized and the average investment per home was $8,500.

Priority was given to:

  • Households getting fuel assistance
  • Homes with the highest energy use
  • Families that include seniors, children and people with disabilities

Contact Us

Sarah Phillips, Director
Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO)
280 State Drive
Waterbury, VT - 05671-1050
Phone: (802) 241-0935

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