Just over one year ago, Talbot House Ministries celebrated the grand opening of the Vermont Place Apartments, an affordable housing project serving the homeless, veterans, and disabled. With rents averaging just over $400 a month, this unique public-private partnership has already proven to be a model of success to our clients and community.
Talbot House has housed 26 individuals at Vermont Place in its first year. Dwayne, 53, is one such tenant. Before moving to Vermont Place, Dwayne lived alone in Winter Haven. He suffered from chronic illnesses that caused him to spend 10 or more days in the hospital every year. At Vermont Place, Dwayne’s case manager helped him acquire transportation assistance and other wraparound services to improve his health. Because his rent is scaled to what he can afford, Dwayne can now afford his medications and meet his dietary needs.
“It’s changed my life,” Dwayne says. “To be able to afford all of my medications now… It has been a total blessing.” Dwayne is one of many whose quality of life has drastically improved during his time at the Vermont Place Apartments.
Deborah Cozzetti, Housing Manager, shares, “Vermont Place is a beautiful refuge for those who have struggled to find a safe, affordable, crime- and drug-free community to call home. What was once known as a heavily drug- and crime-influenced neighborhood, Vermont Place is seen and felt as an example of hope and light.”
“It’s been a year of learning and patience but also growth, not only for Talbot House but for our tenants that with pride, call Vermont Place home. A big thank you to the case managers and community partners that bring success and resources to our tenants.”
Talbot House Ministries remains grateful for the City of Lakeland’s support of this initiative, along with all the donors and supporters who made the project a reality.