MANCHESTER, NH – Some 200 supporters of Families in Transition, carrying electric candles and umbrellas, took a symbolic walk in the evening rain through the neighborhood, ending at the renovated family Place Resource Center and Shelter on Lake Avenue.
It is a new beacon of hope for families facing hard times.
Tuesday’s grand opening was the long-awaited launch of the organization’s newly renovated two-story center, which is the only emergency family shelter in Manchester. Families in Transition provides services to families in need of emergency housing in Manchester, Concord, and Dover.
There is also a full-service resource center offering food, a therapeutic child care center, intake services, employment assistance, health care, and more.
The open house held Dec. 22 for the community was a chance to get a first look inside this $2.4 million project, which has been in the works for about three years. The celebration began with a candlelight walk of nearly 200 people starting from the Radisson Hotel to the new shelter. Guests were then invited inside the building for a ceremony and tours led by Dick Anagnost, Chairman of the FIT Board of Directors and a major funder of the project.
“Many people experiencing homelessness do not have their own transportation, so driving all over the city to access critical services and items such as health care, food, child care, employment assistance, etc. is a huge barrier for them, said Maureen Beauregard, FIT’s founder and president. “What we’ve developed is something that hasn’t been done yet in New Hampshire; a one-stop shop for families with a housing crisis.”
FIT is still in need of items essential to their families’ success, such as bedding, kitchen supplies, furniture, children’s medicine, cleaning supplies, and electronics. They are asking the public for help in purchasing these items through an online registry which can be viewed here.
Once the building is fully outfitted, families will be able to move in and access the services. The target date is mid-January.
By partnering with other local organizations, such as Southern New Hampshire Services Head Start, New Horizons, Goodwill, and Mobile Community Health Team of Catholic Medical Center, FIT can provide families with nutritious meals, health services, a therapeutic preschool, career assistance, and more tools to help them get back on their feet and successful independent living. To learn more about the facility and its services visit www.fitnh.org/familyplace.
Families in Transition is a nonprofit organization that provides safe, affordable housing and social services to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, enabling them to gain self-sufficiency and respect. FIT also owns and operates two thrift stores in Manchester and Concord, NH, both of which serve as economic engines to help pay for services that FIT provides. For more information about FIT, the shelter, and the stores visit www.fitnh.org or call 603-641-9441.