The Merchants Bank Foundation is pleased to announce that Project Against Violent Encounters (PAVE) has been awarded an $8,000 grant to help support shelter services for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence and/ or stalking. PAVE provides confidential services throughout Bennington County including but not limited to: a 24 hour hotline, emergency and transitional housing, court and social service advocacy, case management, legal assistance, supervised visitation, school and community prevention education and outreach.

According to PAVE’s Executive Director, Linda Campbell, and Housing Case Manager, Lauren Wilcox, more than 50% of the homeless population is due to domestic violence. They agree there just are not enough options available that are safe and secure for victims and their families fleeing violence. In order to heal and move forward, supportive shelter is a vital need. The funding awarded by the Merchants Bank Foundation will help provide a safe space for individuals and families in crisis and support case management services that will assist in their efforts to stabilize and become financially independent with the goal of securing permanent housing.

Merchants Bank believes in caring and sharing with the people and communities they serve. They show their support by donating to non-profit organizations, sponsoring community events and volunteering in local communities. Established in 1849, Merchants Bank is Vermont’s largest and sole remaining statewide independent bank. Consumer, business, municipal and investment customers enjoy personalized relationships, sophisticated online and mobile banking options, and 32 branches statewide. Merchants Bank (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NASDAQ “MBVT”) and Merchants Trust Company employ approximately 300 full-time employees and 40 part-time employees statewide, and have earned several “Best Places to Work in Vermont” awards. American Banker ranks Merchants Bank a “Top 200” in America among 851 peers. The Merchants Bank Foundation, established by Merchants Bank as a non-profit, donates money to charities that serve the communities of Vermont.