In 2013, HowardCenter will celebrate its 140th anniversary. Founded in 1873 as an agency serving the children of the destitute, HowardCenter's children's programs continue to be a crucial component in the services it offers. Today, HowardCenter offers life-saving professional crisis and counseling services to children and adults; supportive services to individuals with autism and developmental disabilities who need help with education, employment, and life maintenance skills; counseling and medical services for those struggling with substance abuse, and intensive interventions for adults with serious and persistent mental health challenges. The agency serves 15,000 individuals and families each year, mostly in Chittenden County (although some programs are statewide).
Throughout its history, HowardCenter has been a leader within the community, creating prevention, education and treatment programs in response to emerging community needs. Within the last 15 years alone, HowardCenter established the:
- First social and rehabilitative services clubhouse in Vermont. Westview provides recreational and employment opportunities for individuals with serious mental illness.
- First residential treatment program for adolescent sex offenders
- First coordinated psychiatric services program in Vermont offered to community-based nursing homes in collaboration with Fletcher Allen Health Care
- First Call, first and only 24-hour crisis services for children and families in Vermont
- First HUD-funded shelter in Vermont for homeless adults with psychiatric challenges
- Downtown Burlington Community Outreach program to assist people with mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness, and unmet social service needs
- First client services provided in risk-reduction education and needle exchange program in Vermont
- First methadone clinic in Vermont offering comprehensive medical, counseling and testing services for individuals with opiate addiction
- First youth-oriented directory of youth services in Chittenden County
- First Safety Connection Program in the state to allow adults with developmental disabilities to live independently, relying on technology and professional staff for emergency support
It's difficult to predict what challenges our community may face in 2013, but as we approach our 140th anniversary, we look forward to providing services which benefit individuals, families and our community.
Visit our website, www.howardcenter.org, for more information about our programs and how you may contribute to the work we do within the community. Many of our programs rely on community support, and throughout the year, we sponsor several fundraising events. Check our website after the first of the year for information about our upcoming 2013 Curling Challenger fundraiser.
If you would like your business to be featured in an upcoming issue of the Kinney Pike Report, contact us.