Burlington, VT. — The Burlington Police Department removed six individuals camped out at the Sears Lane encampment. Four of the individuals followed police orders but two were taken into custody, one of whom refused to leave voluntarily and the other due to having multiple outstanding warrants.
The Sears Lane encampment has been closed since October and the City had established a fence around the perimeter and posted no trespassing signs. Since October 14, the City has worked to find better housing options for those in the encampment and so far, over 30 individuals have found new housing supports.
Burlington’s interim police Chief Jon Murad says the Department of Public Works and Parks Department are removing illegal structures such as improperly vented stoves, generators and propane fuel from the site.
Mayor Miro Weinberger stated, “While this action was necessary to protect public health and safety, all that has happened over the course of 2021 at Sears Lane is a reflection of a systemic failure of our housing system and the efforts to end chronic homelessness. As a community and as a region, we must and we can find a better way. Next week, the Administration will be announcing a series of new housing initiatives with the hope that, by working together and with the community, the challenging and unfortunate events at Sears Lane ultimately lead to long-term progress towards housing truly being a human right for all.”