2012 January Newsletter

Issue: 16 Jan/2012
In This Edition

What You Need To Know About The 2012 Point-In-Time Count

Families in Transition Celebrates 20 Years

On the Edge…At the Center

The Way Home Houses Manchester’s Veterans

Co Chair’s Letter

Project Homeless Connect

What’s New in the MCoC?

Click on any one of the following housing projects to receive more information:

85/87 Laurel Street

335 Somerville Street

Lowell Street Housing

Valley and Belmont

If your agency is developing or has recently developed housing for the homeless, please email [email protected] to have it listed on our website!

What You Need to Know About the 2012 Point- In-Time Count
The 2012 Point-In -Time Count is coming! We wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about the details of this event and why it is so important for Manchester’s homeless population.

The Point-In-Time Count (PIT) is an annual event where continuums across the U.S. conduct a count of the sheltered and unsheltered homeless population in their geographic areas during one 24-hour period. HUD mandates that continuums conduct the count every year on one day during the last week of January. The count is important because it provides data to local agencies and to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which tracks current trends in homelessness in the country.

The count is important for a number of reasons, most importantly because it is utilized by HUD to track the state of homelessness across the country and can be one factor in their determination of funding allocations. Results from the count can also be used locally by continuums to track their progress in addressing homelessness in their region.

This year the PIT will be conducted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. The sheltered homeless population count is conducted by service providers in the city using surveys. The unsheltered population in Manchester is counted with the help of many community volunteers. If you would like to participate as a volunteer please email [email protected].

If you are interested in learning more about the count or if you are a service provider who will be participating in the count, the MCoC will be providing a webinar training that will be available Friday, January 6 online at http://www.mcocnh.org/blog/pitupdate/. The training will include information on how to conduct the PIT using the electronic survey and when and how to submit the completed surveys. In addition, any changes made to the PIT will be discussed.

Find more information and updates about PIT before, during, and following the count here.

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Families in Transition Celebrates 20 Years
pictures of the managers at Families in Transition

Families in Transition celebrated its 20th year of providing homes and building hope for homeless individuals and families in the Manchester and Concord communities. In 1991, Families in Transition started with only 5 housing units in Manchester; today it has 200 housing units in both Manchester and Concord. Friends and supporters of the agency attended the anniversary celebration that was held at the agency’s flagship OutFITters Thrift Store in Manchester. Mayor Ted Gatsas, FIT Board Members, Staff, and a FIT Alumni Participant were guest speakers in the brief program highlighting the growth and success of Families in Transition. Guests were given guided tours of the “Family Mill” property, including a FIT participant apartment, child care center, and OutFITters Thrift Store.

The celebration also honored Maureen Beauregard, FIT Founder and President.

It is through her passion, foresight and entrepreneurialism that Families in Transition has grown to what it is today. A video montage was presented to the audience that highlights her work and dedicated efforts to eradicate homelessness throughout the history of Families in Transition. To watch this video, and to view photos from the event, visit http://www.fitnh.org/celebrate-20-years-with-families-in-transition

The FIT Board of Directors also presented the Maureen A. Beauregard Scholarship Fund, which was established to help Families in Transition participants and alumni pursue continuing education. For more information on the scholarship fund, please contact [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>.

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On Edge… At the Center

Stories from the Manchester Homeless Services Center
By Christopher Emerson, Manager

Rough Draft for a Life Story

Andy told me about being abused by the system, deprived of his rights, unjustly accused, and separated from his beloved wife and sparkling child. With his eyes closed in pain, he recounted every step from happiness to misery.

In a second version a few days later, Andy admitted he abused his wife, and the child was fathered by another man. Andy seethed at a world that refused to help him, at a crumbling economy, and at social service workers who wanted to incarcerate him.

I may well hear a third version. After all, Andy’s journey has taken him across four states, through welfare offices, hospitals, shelters and police stations, and every new city prompts him to tell his story differently.

Andy tells his stories to get what he wants, but beneath it all I feel he has lost the thread of his own life narrative. Maybe he’s just working on different drafts for the story that will eventually be the one he tells – like we all do.

At the Homeless Center we help people, and we did connect Andy with mental health services, but sometimes it’s a challenge to know exactly which person we’re trying to help.

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The Way Home Houses Manchester’s Veterans

The Way Home Ribbon Cutting

On December 7th, Mayor Ted Gatsas officially cut the ribbon to open nine new units of permanent supportive housing for veteran families. In collaboration with Elm Grove Apartments, Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority (MHRA), and the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs, The Way Home has begun providing these mostly 3- and 4-bedroom apartments to larger veteran families facing homelessness. Thanks to the diligent work of The Way Home’s friends at MHRA and the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, the buildings at Hanover and Hall already house 58 people, including 21 children.

You may have noticed this project featured on WMUR. [The article is no longer available on WMUR’s website].

These nine apartments at the corner of Hanover and Hall streets in Manchester represent a first step in The Way Home’s effort to end veteran homelessness. In November, The Way Home broke ground on Laurel Keys, a development on Laurel Street in Manchester that will begin providing permanent supportive housing to individual homeless veterans in the summer of 2012.

In 2009, the New Hampshire Homeless Veterans Plan identified permanent supportive housing as one of three “critical needs.” HUD’s Veteran supplement to the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report estimated that 173 homeless veterans resided in New Hampshire. That number, based on Point-in-Time Count data, was essentially unchanged from 2009.

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Co Chairs’ Letter
January Notes from the (co)Chairs/MCoC Community Awareness Committee

The Community Awareness Committee wishes you a Happy New Year! Now, let’s get down to business…

Homelessness in our City is something we all work every day to alleviate, but the truth is in the numbers (350 last PIT count) and the Manchester Homeless Services Center is full every day, so our work continues. The point of this committee is to bring the issue to more people out in the public, and to help them CARE about it, maybe even to help them actually SEE it. This is a lofty goal, but we are up to the task. We have a bold idea to create an interactive media display that is mobile and put it up this coming year and a commitment from Manchester Public TV to help us do it. We help to organize Project Homeless Connect each winter. We steward an incredible web page (www.mcocnh.org) and maintain the Facebook page for the Continuum with the help of VISTA volunteers. And we produce this newsletter.

Here’s what we need your help to do so everyone benefits:

–  Engage your constituents in the cause

–  Promote your stories, events, celebrations, successes

–  And create greater understanding among MCoC members about each other’s work.

So, as we enter the new year, consider how you can easily and without any cost include a link to this newsletter in communications with your supporters, link the MCoC site directly from your web page, Facebook page or e-newsletter, talk with your staff about stories you want to share and get them to us for social media, and help us make the interactive media display something the City can’t stop talking about by….TALKING ABOUT IT!

Thanks.

Loretta Prescott, Serenity Place            Susan Howland, Granite United Way/City of Manchester

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Project Homeless Connect

Get Connected!

This is done in partnership with:
Manchester Continuum of Care *Granite United Way *City of Manchester

Manchester Project Homeless Connect

When : Thursday, January 12th

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Host: St. Joseph Cathedral, Church Hall 145 Lowell Street

Target Audience: Services for Homeless or At Risk

What is there: Free lunch, donations, & access to services/benefits and resources to help move you forward into housing and self-sufficiency!

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