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Windham Windsor Housing Trust Recognizes SEVCA’s Susan Howes at its Annual Meeting

The Windham & Windsor Housing Trust held its Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 27th at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center to report to its membership, elect new board members, and honor the memory and dedication of SEVCA housing specialist Susan Howes with a special award.

Over 100 staff, supporters, residents, funders and friends were in attendance at the annual gathering, which featured a special keynote address from Dr. Jim O’Connell, Director of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless and subject of Tracy Kidder’s bestselling book “Rough Sleepers.”

A highlight of the event was the presentation of the distinguished Tom Yahn Award to the late Susan Howes, who served as Senior Housing Specialist with SEVCA until 2023. The award is given out annually to a community member who demonstrates a long-term commitment to the preservation and development of affordable housing and/or to the lives of those who live in affordable housing.

“Susan was not only a remarkable person, but an extraordinary housing case manager,” says Pat Burke, SEVCA Family Services Director. “She took her work very seriously and worked tirelessly on behalf of folks in our community who struggle to find and stay in housing. She was encouraging, empathetic, compassionate, and a strong advocate for what she believed in. She had an amazing wit and a tremendously warm smile, and she put people at ease even in their most challenging times. She was the best at what she did.”

“Susan Howes embodies this award,” says WWHT Executive Director Elizabeth Bridgewater. “She was truly a champion on the housing front. Throughout her 18 years with SEVCA, her tireless dedication to helping countless families find safe and stable housing is just exceptional. Susan always made sure that her clients felt informed and empowered. Her strengths were in building relationships and discovering paths to make things really happen. Her loss is felt deeply throughout our community.”

The award was accepted on Susan’s behalf by Pat Burke and Susan’s daughters Meg and Emily Howes. 

Story by Marion Major, Photos by Liz Lavorgna.