Don’t let barriers get in the way

Don’t let barriers get in the way

By Jan Demers George led a team of six. They were three talented people who were homeless, and three sturdy volunteers. In an hour’s time, they were feeding 61 homeless individuals and families on a holiday when no other agency offered an evening meal. The location was the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, run by the… Read More »

If you can only remember one thing

If you can only remember one thing

News from the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity by Jan Demers There is a certain way I begin with all new staff at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity where we work with people with low incomes. My first words go something like this: “I know that you will be laser-focused on learning… Read More »

Kindness in the waiting rooms

By Jan F. Demers “Get in the van! We are going!” She gave her friend — who had avoided doctors for years — little choice. She had listened to the other tell of pain and had seen her gait change. The result of the van trip: The doctor found a tumor in her friend’s back,… Read More »

Shortcake and economic opportunity: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

By Jan F. Demers Fresh, firm, red strawberries spooned over a warm, flaky, homemade biscuit, topped with whipped cream.   Strawberry shortcake: perfect for any time of year but especially nice in the summer. Each component is good by itself, even the whipped cream. Together they are a spectacular offering. Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity… Read More »

Vermont owned forever

Vermont owned forever

By Jan Demers “I have consistently doubled my income for the last three years. This year my gross is so far past my wildest expectations of what I thought I could do!” Johannes Ziegler, owner of JZ Carpentry LLC, began working with CVOEO’s Micro Business Program in 2011. He had a dream of owning his… Read More »

Crisis, emergency repair and long term fix

By Jan Demers It was Friday night and he had no heat. His furnace was broken beyond repair. He was elderly, living alone and without any means to pay for a new furnace. CVOEO’s Crisis Fuel Program and then the Weatherization Emergency Heating program were called. Jeremy Francis, a CVOEO auditor, met him at his… Read More »

You still have to pay the tax

Jan Demers, CVOEO, Executive Director Paying taxes can be frightening and confusing if you are elderly, a new American or have low income. The truth is paying taxes can be an anxiety producing experience for anyone, me included. What if I make an error in calculations? What if I pay too much? What if I… Read More »