Charter House Coalition began in 2005 when a few concerned community members realized there was a critical need for food and emergency housing within Addison County. The desire to help proved to be contagious and the Community Suppers and the Pleasant Street Community Housing were born a few months later. Community Suppers serve free warm and nutritious meals each Friday year-round, often serving 250 meals on-site or as takeouts.
Pleasant Street Community Housing has been a safe-haven for over 150 families while they garner the means to transition to stable housing. In 2009, in response to increasing need within our community, Charter House Coalition responded again with two new programs: Community Lunches, operating Monday through Thursday, and the Charter House Winter Shelter. Community Lunches now serves, on average, 45 nutritious lunches each day, and proves to be the highlight of the day for many community members.
Charter House Warming Shelter for Families provides a warm and safe place for up to five families to regroup and figure out a strategy to move forward toward an independent and sustainable future. The Charter House Warming Shelter for Individuals provides a warm, safe place to sleep for up to 18 adults and a link to professional services. Both shelters assure guests of a hot dinner and continental breakfast. Together these two programs will provide shelter to about 90 people between October 15th and April 15th. The Farm to Table program continues to grow and supplement the meal programs. Charter House Coalition, with the help of so many of its volunteers, plants, maintains and harvests a community garden adjacent Porter Hospital and served, gave away, or processed over 2,500 pounds of food in 2016!
Community Breakfast started in 2013 and serves a hot breakfast every Saturday throughout the entire year. In 2015 students from Middlebury College partnered with Charter House Coalition on starting and sustaining the Sunday Grill. The Sunday Grill is one of the favorite meals amongst guests and staff. With the addition of Sunday Grill the Coalition now offers a free community meal every day of the week.
In the fall of 2016, the Day Station began, allowing up to 15 individuals a safe and warm place to stay during the day with enriching activities and skill-building opportunities. During the summer of 2017 Charter House Coalition expanded the opportunity to serve families during the winter months by adding two bedrooms upstairs. We now have five bedrooms for families to stay safe and warm during the winter months. Every year these nine programs now provide over 30,000 warm meals and comfortable, secure housing for about 90 children and adults.