Rutland, one of the healthiest, safest, and happiest places in America!
We work together to address substance abuse, reduce crime, and build great neighborhoods.
Collaboration for the greater good.
Renewed focus on the positive
I believe in Rutland.
Project VISION has helped to bring about some significant changes in our community.
Perhaps the most significant change is the new and exciting commitment to working together to address our challenges. Our silos are starting to crumble.
The best example of this is the leadership demonstrated by the Rutland City Police Department in bringing together a number of social service organizations, many of which are now co-located at the Police Department, to help address the many issues underlying criminal activity in our community. These issues include, but are not limited to mental illness, family dysfunction, poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse and treatment.
Recognizing the importance of this effort, former Chief Baker appointed CaptainScott Tucker to serve as Executive Director of Project VISION. In this capacity Captain Tucker coordinates all the activities of the Rutland Police Department and the many social agencies now co-located in our VISION Center at the Police Department as well as the activities of our numerous partners.
We believe this unprecedented level of cooperation and coordination between law enforcement and the social service agencies serving our community will bring about meaningful improvement in the lives of our citizens and more effective law enforcement.
Since 2014, burglaries and theft in Rutland have dropped significantly- 60% and 45% respectively. Noise and disorderly conduct complaints have also decreased.
While the initiatives of the Rutland Police Department are the most notable examples of a renewed spirit of cooperation within our community, it is certainly not the only example.
Northwest Rutland currently has 21 vacant or blighted buildings, which severely affect the quality of life in the neighborhood. The Rutland Redevelopment Authority (RRA), which has historically served as Rutland City’s economic development entity, sought and received a $1.25 million dollar grant to demolish, restore or replace approximately half of those vacant or blighted structures in the next four years.
An undertaking of this magnitude goes well beyond the ability of the RRA alone. As such, the RRA has partnered with NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, a non-profit homeownership organization and the Housing Trust of Rutland County to help them complete this task. This new and exciting partnership will permit us to accomplish so much more than we ever could working alone.
Since 2014, community partners have demolished 2 blighted buildings in Northwest Rutland and are in the process of rehabilitating 3 vacant properties into beautiful single family homes. By 2018, 11 vacant or blighted properties will be razed or rehabilitated under this grant.
“It’s doing a lot better than it was two years ago, three years ago, that’s for sure,” longtime resident Steve McKearin says. (VPR)
This is only the beginning.
We are undertaking an extensive community building effort in Northwest Rutland with a variety of initiatives.
Those initiatives require the close coordination of a number of organizations including the Housing Trust of Rutland County; Neighborworks of Western Vermont; The Dream Center (created by Linda Justin and her husband Bill) which helps to mentor children and families in need; the Vermont Farmers Food Center (otherwise known as the Farmers Market); various faith based groups as well as countless volunteers and neighbors.
Their goal is to make Northwest Rutland strong, proud and self-directed.
It is our hope that this neighborhood becomes the last place that someone would go to sell drugs or engage in illegal activities and the first place someone would look when choosing a place to live and raise a family.
As part of Project VISION local health and human service organizations dealing with addiction and substance abuse in the greater Rutland area have come together to determine what they can do, working in concert, to help address the challenges our community faces.
These organizations, committed to the health and wellbeing of Rutland county residents have given themselves the goal of reducing addiction in Rutland County to the lowest level in the State of Vermont in the years ahead.
In the last three years, treatment options have greatly expanded in Rutland. About 900 people now have access to methadone and Suboxone that reduce opiate cravings, as well as a host of inpatient and outpatient treatment options and recovery programs.
“We see those  no longer have to commit crimes to feed their addictions because they are now getting treatment,” Bradley GoodHale, a crime analyst with the Rutland City Police Department, says. (VPR)
These organizations are working more closely than ever to develop strategies to increase awareness of, and access to, all the currently available prevention and treatment programs.
They are asking themselves the hard questions: Where is access to treatment a problem? Are there gaps in existing services? Do our services overlap? How can we create a system to better support those in need based on existing resources?
Project VISION has created a conversation and level of cooperation that is engaging local organizations to work together to address these critical issues in new and different ways.
We have been able to accomplish much using just the local resources available to us and we will succeed even if we have to do it all by ourselves.
Our goal has always been to achieve the greatest good by more efficiently using the resources that are already available in our community. Fortunately, we have outstanding partners and they have been generous with their resources.