Champlain College leased the former Eagles Club to the Committee on Temporary Shelter for $1, according to COTS Executive Director Rita Markley.
As the Burlington Free Press noted yesterday, employees from local businesses J.A. Morrissey Inc. and Duncan-Wisniewski Architecture are converting the downtown social club, which sits on the corner of Maple and St. Paul Streets, into temporary apartments. Markley tells Seven Days that Cummings Electric, New England Air Systems, Curtis Lumber, and workers from Recyle North's YouthBuild program are also donating time and, in some cases, materials.
In a phone interview Saturday, Markley said that 12 to 16 single individuals will live on the building's first floor, and that 10 families will live on the second floor. Tenants will pay COTS 30 percent of their disposable incomes. COTS will hold the money and give it back later as a way to encourage responsible money management.
Markley said the new homeless shelter serves an acute need. That's because some of her would-be clients are staying in state-subsidized motels and unheated garages. She added that COTS intends to lease the former Eagles Club until Champlain's building permits are approved in "two or three years."