MANCHESTER, NH – In response to the changing health care needs of the area’s homeless and transient population during the pandemic, Families In Transition-New Horizons (FIT-NH) has opened and fully staffed “Angie’s Shelter,” a new location in center Manchester to provide quarantine space for up to 17 individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
Participants will receive all of the resources that they need to be able to successfully quarantine including meals, case management, telehealth for physical and behavioral health services including SUD treatment, MAT support, intensive cleaning protocols etc. The building will be staffed 24/7.
“Our goal is to protect the health of our participants while managing this public health threat,” explains Cathy Kuhn, Chief Strategy Officer for FIT-NH. “We know that people experiencing homelessness are at high risk for severe complications from the virus due to the high rate of chronic severe medical conditions among this population. Additionally, due to limited resources, those who are living unsheltered and those staying in close or communal living spaces are unable to effectively prevent community transmission of disease because they are unable to self-quarantine or purchase necessary supplies to practice good hygiene. Angie’s Shelter will help alleviate these risks.”
Angie’s Shelter is located at 434 Union Street. It is a three-story building with 17 individual rooms which provides space needed for a COVID-19 quarantine of participants. The building also has bathroom and shower facilities as well as a kitchen and living space. Funding for the facility is coming from the state of New Hampshire, which will cover the expenses for staff, operations and as well as the basic supplies needed to provide comfort to the participants.
“We want to thank our partners at the local and state level who have provided the resources to allow us to execute the plans we are developing at Families In Transition – New Horizons; we have the bandwidth to create solutions and we have solid support in our efforts,” says Stephanie Savard, Chief Operating Officer for FIT-NH. “The shifting needs of our participants means we are in a constant state of change and we appreciate the help we are getting from a variety of places, as well as the incredible donations of food and resources from the community and from the private sector. It’s making a huge difference.”
Angie’s Shelter will complement the project at St Casimir, which is being utilized to decompress the New Horizons shelter, allowing greater opportunities for social distancing. Along with the additional supports being provided to people living in encampments, these initiatives are ensuring that those without homes have the supports that they need to stay safe during this uncertain time.
“We are grateful to have support from state, local, nonprofit and private partners to implement this comprehensive and coordinated plan, all of which is designed to ensure that people who are experiencing homelessness have the resources that they need to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” says Lisa Allard, Chief Financial Officer for FIT-NH. “Even in the face of this immediate response, we recognize the important opportunity that we have right now to utilize new resources that are coming into the state to create a new and more robust system to prevent and end homelessness in New Hampshire.”
Angie’s Shelter is named after a nun who was central in serving the needs of homeless women in the Manchester area.
Families in Transition-New Horizons (FIT-NH) 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. For more information about FIT-NH visit, www.fitnh.org, or call 603-641-9441.