Hartford Planning Commission to hear shelter proposal for 25,000 Gifts building

Published: 12-15-2023 6:16 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Hartford Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Monday to review a site plan by the Upper Valley Haven, which seeks to convert the former “25,000 Gifts” building on North Main Street into an emergency shelter

The Haven, a White River Junction-based nonprofit social services provider, is proposing to renovate 608 North Main Street to create a “low-barrier” emergency shelter serving up to 20 people. 

A low-barrier shelter is open to anyone who needs a bed, regardless of substance use issues. 

The property is located at an intersection of routes 5 and 4, where the Vermont Agency of Transportation, or VTrans, is planning roadway upgrades to improve public safety. One project will extend the sidewalk along Route 5, which would give pedestrians an easier access to the 25,000 Gifts property. A separate roundabout project, scheduled to start construction in 2027, would add crosswalks across Route 5 on both ends of the property.

VTrans also is considering building a bus pull-off near the intersection that will allow Advance Transit to add a stop near the facility.

The public hearing will take place on Monday, Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall.