About the COTS Walk

The 35th Annual COTS Walk on Sunday, May 5, 2024 is a 3.5-mile trek (a shorter 1-mile route is available) around downtown Burlington that starts from Battery Park and follows the path a person experiencing homelessness might travel to connect with COTS shelter and services.

Check-in begins at 1 p.m., and the Walk kicks off at 2 p.m. Walkers head down the Church Street Marketplace, up Main Street and into surrounding neighborhoods. Along the way, walkers are invited to stop outside each of COTS’ numerous buildings. We'll have interactive and up-close looks at our shelters, housing, and program spaces. Find the QR codes posted along the route to link to virtual tours of each stop and explore our 360 panoramas, sound bites, narrated videos, photos, clickable links, and so much more.

The Walk takes about 1-2 hours to complete, ending back at Battery Park where walkers are met with music and Ben & Jerry’s.

New on the route this year! We are excited to share that construction will be complete on our new Main Street Family Housing, colocated with our Main Street Family Shelter. Stop by this multi-family apartment building that will provide 16 units of permanent, deeply affordable housing for families who have formerly experienced homelessness in our community. 

Who Walks and Why

About 2,000 walkers of all ages, from businesses, schools, social and religious organizations, and neighborhoods come together from all over the region to participate in the annual COTS Walk.

The COTS Walk has two purposes: To raise public awareness about homelessness in our community and to raise money to support COTS shelters and services for Vermonters who are homeless or are at risk of losing their homes.

Our Goal

We plan to raise $210,000 to support COTS shelters and services in the upcoming year.

How to participate

Walk as an individual: Set a fundraising goal for yourself and begin collecting pledges from friends, co-workers, family members and neighbors. We will help set up times for walkers and team captains to drop off any physical donations as the COTS Walk day gets closer.

Be a Team Captain: The Walk is especially fun if you form a team and fundraise with a group of co-workers, friends, family members or your social or religious organization. Give your team a name, make signs or costumes or come up with another creative way to identify yourselves as a Walk Team for COTS. Our photographer will be there to snap your team photo!

Take the Challenge: Set a goal of raising at least $1,000 as an individual. (COTS Walk Challenge teams aim to raise $2,500 as a team.) A generous grant matches Challenge Walk donations up to $15,000. Also, Challenge walkers who meet their goal will receive exclusive COTS logo gear, and Challenge Teams receive special recognition at our Annual Meeting.

Contact Romy Theisen at (802) 343-6903 to register over the phone.

Scrolling Photos by Stephen Mease Photography.