Frequently Asked Questions About the Merger
The Board of Directors of Families in Transition and New Horizons have voted to merge
both organizations into one, effective January 1, 2018. This strength-based merger will help best serve the individuals and families in our community who are most in need.
- Why are Families in Transition and New Horizons merging? Both organizations recognize that coming together into one organization will best serve the individuals and families in our community most in need. They also agree that the current homeless services system is fragmented and that, at times, some people fall through the gaps and aren’t being served in the best way possible. Having one organization enables us to integrate services, identify specialty services, scale programs, and eliminate the gaps to help serve more people in need of emergency shelter, affordable housing, food, and supportive services in order to gain self-sufficiency and respect. Not only do homeless individuals benefit from a simplified and targeted process, but agencies benefit from a reduction in duplicative intake functions, reductions in time spent on filling out forms, and an increase in interagency collaboration.
- Is there really a homeless and food insecurity issue in Manchester? Although hundreds of formerly homeless people are being safely housed in Manchester each day, the city still struggles with a persistent problem of housing insecurity and homelessness for both single individuals as well as families. In the last year, New Horizons has seen more unduplicated individuals coming into the shelter than in any year previous. Moreover, the waitlist for emergency shelter for families remains excessively long, currently consisting of 190 families, over a third of whom are living in their cars, on the streets, or in another place not meant for human habitation. In addition, over half of the students in the Manchester School District receive free or reduced-priced lunches during the school year. In fact, some schools are in the high 80-90% eligibility.
- If I donate to Families in Transition, where will it go and how will it be used? Your donation will be used by Families in Transition to carry out its work of providing 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.
- If I donate to New Horizons, where will it go and how will it be used? Your donation will go to New Horizons for the operations and use of the shelter, food pantry, soup kitchen and Angie’s Shelter for Women.
- I’ve heard that you’re raising money for the merger. Why? Ending homelessness in New Hampshire requires an investment in the creation of integrated systems of care grounded in detailed planning, wide-ranging collaboration, sound evidence, and clear communication. There are unavoidable costs associated with bringing two organizations into one, including technology, professional development opportunity for staff, creation of systems to make the operations of one organization more efficient, streamlining employee benefits, improvement in services identified over the first six-to-twelve months, etc.
- How will each organization keep its core mission? The boards of directors from both organizations recognize the importance and the need to continue to provide shelter, affordable housing, and food to those most in need.
- What advantages will result from the merger of these two entities? There are many! First and foremost, we’ll be on the forefront of creating an integrated system of care for Manchester’s homeless citizens. As two of the largest and most well respected homeless service organizations in the State of New Hampshire, the merger presents a unique opportunity for the City of Manchester to become a model for the creation of a robust and integrated system of care that will lead to tangible results for those most in need including: 1) An increased supply of affordable housing for those most in need; 2) Sustained positive outcomes through the incorporation of evidence based practices proven to meet identified goals; 3) The use of consistent and accurate data to regularly measure success and identify areas for systemic and programmatic improvements; and 4) An integrated and seamless system of care that will prevent homelessness when possible and rapidly rehouse those who become homeless, including both the chronically homeless and families with children.
- What will change with the merger? Our plan is to take the first six-to-twelve months to observe the operations and outcomes of both organizations. During this time, we’ll collectively and collaboratively identify opportunities, gaps in the system, and professional development opportunities for staff. Then, over time, we will implement the updates identified to help eliminate the gaps in services.
- How do the current missions of each entity complement each other today (is there currently overlap in services provided) and will those missions change? The current missions of each organization are very closely aligned. The New Horizons mission is to provide food and shelter to people in need and offer supportive services to achieve self-sufficiency. Families in Transition’s mission is to provide 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. The combined mission of a merged organization will be to provide hunger relief, emergency shelter, safe affordable housing, and supportive services to individuals and families who are homeless or in need enabling them to gain self-sufficiency and respect.
- How will the merger of these two entities impact the level of giving (support) currently received by both organizations? The funding needs for the work of the organizations will continue. Our hope is that all businesses, organizations, state and local government, and individuals’ donations and grant support will continue and grow to help cover the costs needed to continue to provide essential services and programming.
- Why do we believe that the merger will better serve the homeless? Both organizations do important work and do a good job at providing services. However, having both organizations come together as one entity enables us to integrate services, scale programs where needed, identify specialty services, and eliminate the gaps that currently exist to help better serve those who are in need of services.
- Can New Horizons and Families in Transition accomplish their goals without having to turn to a merger? Yes, both organizations could continue, business as usual. However, we believe our services will be delivered better under one organization.
- Why can’t New Horizons and Families in Transition just cooperate without the merger? The reality is, we could. That being said, there are gaps in the continuum of care for people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. Having one organization focusing on the issues at hand will enable us to eliminate more of those gaps, increase the supply of affordable housing, increase the availability of nutritious food coupled with nutrition education, improve client outcomes through the incorporation of Evidence Based Practices proven to meet identified goals, measure the success and identify areas of programmatic and systems level change through the production and utilization of consistent and accurate data, and create an integrated and coordinated system of services that ensures all clients have seamless access to the specific resources that will best meet their needs.
- What are the financial implications of a merged entity? Both Families in Transition and New Horizons are financially strong organizations separately. The combined entity will remain strong.
- Under a merged entity, can I target where my donation will be used? If you choose to do so, you can specify where/how your donation will be used; e.g. shelter for individuals, shelter for families, food pantry, soup kitchen, affordable housing, etc.
- Under a merged entity, what happens to my donation if I don’t target where my donation will be used? The money will be used for the operations, programming, and services where it is most needed to carry out the mission.
- What is going to happen to the real estate, and the bank accounts, currently owned by New Horizons? The real estate and bank accounts of New Horizons currently owned by New Horizons will continue to be used to provide shelter, operate a soup kitchen and pantry and housing at Angie’s Shelter for Women.
- Is Families in Transition going to discontinue any of the services currently offered by New Horizons? No.
- Will New Horizons continue to provide an emergency homeless shelter to those in need? Yes.
- Will New Horizons continue to operate their soup kitchen providing dinner every night? Yes.
- Will New Horizons continue to operate their food pantry? Yes.