Friday, January 31, 2014

NHHFA opens emergency shelter for families in transition

News from NHC's family of members

by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference

Bedford, New Hampshire’s former Manchester Community Resource Center will soon become the Manchester Emergency Shelter after the Board of Directors of NHC member New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) approved $750,000 in funding for the project last month. The facility will be converted into a 12-unit emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness. The project is sponsored by Families in Transition (FIT), a New Hampshire-based organization that seeks to provide families facing homelessness with interventions that will help them to lead successful lives.

The shelter will include a Head Start daycare program sponsored by Southern New Hampshire Services, Inc., a health clinic operated by the Mobile Community Health Team, a commercial kitchen and food pantry, an intake center and private bathrooms for all residents. Funding provided by NHHFA will go toward the facility’s housing elements.

Families in Transition has spoken often about the need for a facility of this type in Manchester,” NHHFA’s Executive Director Dean Christon said in a press release. “We are pleased to play a role in their vision and to support the creation of safe and affordable housing for families in need.”

Combining investment in shelter with services and supports is often used to increase the impact of each. Last year NHC hosted a tour of a senior living facility in DC that combined apartments with specialized services for residents. On our blog, we’ve detailed the negative impacts of federal budget sequestration on the ability of providers to create permanent supportive housing options for people exiting homelessness. NHHFA’s efforts show how states and local communities are stepping in to meet the challenge of homelessness even as federal funding lags behind.

Funding for the program comes from NHHFA’s Special Needs Housing program. 

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