2021 Annual Report
Gifts of Caring
2021 was marked by so many beautiful gifts that were given and received within our communities. From our staff’s tireless dedication helping those impacted by COVID, to communities through Vermont (and beyond!) rallying to support our Recovery Residence project, caring for each other was a prominent theme.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
From the President of the Board
Our Board President introduces our 2021 Annual Report.
Our 2021 Financials
Have a look at our financial statements as of the end of 2021.
We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing supporters.
Community Gifts of Caring
A crucial project was made possible through the power of community.
Caring for the Unhoused
We continued to address the root causes of homelessness.
Taking Care During COVID
We took on new programs to help our neighbors during COVID.
A Message from the President of the Board
What gave you hope and inspiration during the last year?
For me, it was the talented and dedicated staff at Downstreet.
Downstreet employees faced crisis after crisis during the last year, including a lack of permanent executive leadership, a global pandemic stretching into a second year, and a growing need in the community for our housing services.
And what happened? They succeeded. They persevered. They continued to set a high standard for professionalism. The Downstreet staff showed up, did their work with their hearts and their hands, and thrived despite the odds and obstacles.
These months were challenging and difficult for the staff, but that stress never affected the quality of the work or the quantity of the projects they were involved with. In fact, just last month Downstreet received word that we retained our “exemplary” rating from NeighborWorks. From the outside, it was difficult to tell that Downstreet didn’t have a permanent director.
On the inside, I know this past year took its toll on the staff. But they kept working and boosted morale with events and friendly competitions (Taco Tuesdays and a pie baking contest, among other challenges). The staff continued to push themselves to be better, learning about how trauma shapes the lives of some of the residents of Downstreet homes and how employees can cope and de-stress from the emotional complications of the work they do to improve lives.
There are many successes to celebrate. Among them was the launch of the organization’s Recovery Residence project, which raised enough financial support in 2021 to purchase the building in January, with construction set to begin in April. This was a project that could have failed multiple times, but the Downstreet staff drew inspiration from the community this project will serve and pushed on.
My lesson for the year? Never give up on Downstreet, especially when we have a staff this awesome.
President, Downstreet Board of Trustees
The Caring People of Downstreet
What good is a mission without someone to carry it out? These are the people (minus a few who didn’t make it to the photo session) who show up everyday and put their hearts and souls into their work at Downstreet.
"The New Normal"
There has been a shift in the way business is done these days, and many of our meetings still take place online.
Left to right: Director of Real Estate Development, Nicola Anderson (with two foster kittens), Facilities Manager Bernie Wollums, and former Director of Property Management, Liz Genge.
Our SASH team set up a flu shot clinic for Downstreet staff and residents in the fall of 2021. Here, Maintenance Technician Andy Wilson gets his flu shot from a friendly and helpful Central Vermont Medical Center nurse.
Support & Services
Our SASH (Support & Services at Home) Program was literally a life saver for many during the last two years. Downstreet’s SASH team, (left to right Jen LaPan, Julia Burgess, and Betsy Race) were responsible for helping to keep some of Central Vermont’s most high-risk residents safe and healthy throughout the pandemic.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
When we needed to bridge the funding gap for our Recovery Residence project, our staff formed teams for a crowdfunding campaign and helped to raise more than $50,000. Pictured here is one of the teams (clockwise from the top left: Cara Hansen, Shanda Williams, Nate Quinn, and Liz Genge).
Our unofficial office dog, Victor, belongs to SASH Coordinator Julia Burgess. We all enjoyed his frequent visits to the office so much that he became an honorary staff member!
Dedication to the Mission
With so many people in need of an affordable place to live, our staff in every department have never been busier! Maintenance Technicians Tim Lovely and Andy Wilson spent most of their time in the field helping residents with everything from lightbulb changes to leaky sinks.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Sarah Copeland Hanzas