Harbor Homes, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create and provide quality residential and supportive services to individuals and families challenged by mental illness and/or homelessness. Established in 1980, Harbor Homes provides community-based options for affordable and supportive housing services for disadvantaged populations-which today includes the chronically homeless, veterans, the elderly, and individuals and families living with disabilities.Today, Harbor Homes owns more than 30 properties throughout New Hampshire and provides various affordable housing options including emergency, transitional, permanent supportive, and income-based to more than 740 individuals.
You might be familiar with their name through some of the programs and services they offer. For instance, their Veterans FIRST program was established to aid homeless veterans with specific housing and services. They’ll be expanding their Veterans FIRST program to Manchester by opening a new transitional housing facility on Somerville Street in the summer of 2012. This will serve male and female veterans and their families, and provide transitional housing for up to two years.The Harbor Homes’ Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center also recently became a Federally Qualified Health Center that is recognized and funded through the US Department of Health Resources Services Administration. It offers primary, preventive, and supplementary health care to adolescents and adults who are homeless, living “doubled up” or temporarily with family or friends, and residing in emergency, transitional, or other kinds of temporary housing and living arrangements. Services are offered free of charge and on a sliding fee basis.
Whether it has been linking the Manchester Continuum of Care on their website or attending General Assembly meetings, Harbor Homes Inc. continues to collaborate within the MCoC in the common effort to end homelessness in their communities.
Stories from the Manchester Homeless Services Center
By Christopher Emerson, Manager
Bill & Irene
Although we often focus on the thorny problems surrounding the chronically homeless, sometimes the best results happen with the recently homeless.
Take Bill and Ilene. They came into The Homeless Services Center on a Monday, in “desperate need of a shower,” as Bill said. Ilene’s hands were shaking. “I can’t do this,” she said. “This isn’t me.”
Once we discovered that Bill is disabled veteran, we connected them to Lisa from the VA, and she referred them to Linda from Harbor Homes, who connected them to Glenn at Family Strength. By Wednesday, Bill and Ilene had a temporary place to live and a plan for where to go thereafter.
On Thursday they came back to the Center expressing gratitude, promising to come back to volunteer. Ilene said, “You were the right people in the right place at the right time.”
We might see them again, but Bill and Ilene illustrate how sometimes the new homeless have the highest motivation to change their situation. I wonder how resilient they would be after a year of homelessness. Hope is sometimes a wilting plant which needs to be watered and nurtured quickly. For our long term homeless, we often need to re-seed hope entirely. That’s one of our jobs.
Pictured here are presenters : Craig Everett, Jocelynne Pinsonneault, Erin Kelly, Jay Mattia, David Carroll, Kevin Kintner and Susan Howland. (Chris Emerson is not pictured here)
On August 24 some members of the MCOC put together a panel as part of a presentation on homelessness and mental illness for the Manchester City Library’s staff development day. The panel discussed the services they provide and answered some questions about homelessness and mental illness in Manchester.
Thanks to the presenters who were able to participate. Collaboration and community awareness are always important to the MCOC!