April 2, 2020


Private Donation Will Fund New Hires and Supplies for Pandemic Protocols

MANCHESTER, NH – Families In Transition-New Horizons (FIT-NH) has received a $100-thousand-dollar grant from a local charitable organization to respond to the various needs at the New Horizons Shelter and Soup Kitchen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be used, in part, to pay for hiring an expanded staff in order to implement emergency response, 24/7 staffing needs and support a plan to provide safe surroundings for participants at the shelter.

“We have developed plans to temporarily open and operate a new location to better protect our participants, decreasing the numbers of people in one location and improving opportunities for social distancing,” explains Cathy Kuhn, Chief Strategy Officer for FIT-NH. “Frankly, I’m not sure how we would be able to move forward with this response plan if we didn’t have the funds to help us staff this temporary facility while we need around the clock presence. Our donor has gone above and beyond with a timely gift that gives us new opportunity to protect our most vulnerable population.”

“Our city is deeply appreciative of this grant, and we’re thankful for all of the work being done by Families in Transition-New Horizons to provide care and safe shelter for our homeless population during this pandemic,” says Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig. “We are in an unprecedented time which requires a united response from the public and private sector; this gift will save lives.”

FIT-NH leadership has recently completed a sweeping emergency response plan at the request of city and state leaders, who are working to coordinate activities at all of New Hampshire’s homeless shelters.  There are unique challenges with this population, including the difficulty in working with individuals who have unique behavioral health and physical health challenges. The plan works to provide the type of physical space necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19, which is difficult in an open-footprint layout such as the one at New Horizons.

“We are grateful to Anna Thomas at the Manchester Health Department, Fire Chief Dan Goonan and the Medical Corps of the NH National Guard for helping us to map out a new floorplan to maximize social distancing opportunities for our participants,” says Stephanie Savard, Chief Operating Officer for FIT-NH. “We are additionally thankful to the State of New Hampshire for the plan that they are implementing to provide offsite isolation and quarantine locations for participants who may need those services.” 

The shelter’s emergency response plan is being reviewed by city and state leaders and will be up for approval in the coming days, before the surge of cases of COVID-19 is predicted to hit New Hampshire.

“This donor, who chose to remain anonymous, has always been a reliable and deeply generous partner of our activities each year, but this donation comes at a time when we were struggling to find solutions to our manpower shortage with implementing a 24/7 staffing strategy,” says Lisa Allard, Chief Financial Officer for FIT-NH. “Now we can say we are hiring and would ask anyone interested in working with our great team to reach out to us as we are looking for help right away.”

The funds from this grant will also be used for any supplies and equipment needed to respond to the surge of coronavirus cases that may move through Manchester and the participants of the shelter and soup kitchen.

About FIT-NH
Families in Transition-New Horizons provides 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. To inquire about available positions please contact Patrick Bergeron at (641) 9441 x105 or [email protected].


Apply online to our open positions: View FITNH Careers Page

See related news: New Horizons: Unexpected $100K donation will be used to set up and staff secondary shelter at St. Casimir (Manchester Ink Link)

Comments are closed.