Harbor Homes Celebrates Flag Day by Opening New Facility in Manchester

On 06/24/2013

Ribbon Cutting

On June 14, 2013, Harbor Homes hosted a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the opening of its newest transitional and permanent supportive housing facility for homeless veterans and their families, BAE Systems Independence Hall, located at 335 Somerville Street in Manchester, NH.  About 200 people, including business and civic leaders, dignitaries, and elected officials attended this event. The speaking presentation included NH Department of Health and Human Services’ Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas; Major General William N. Reddel III, The Adjutant General, New Hampshire; Mayor Ted Gatsas; and a testimonial of a program graduate, Matt Milbourn. Tours of the facility were also included.

Known as BAE Systems Independence Hall, the new facility is in direct response to New Hampshire’s Four Year Plan to End Veteran Homelessness, formally adopted by Governor Lynch in 2010. Honorably-discharged homeless veterans are a unique and disproportionately represented homeless sub-population. Nationwide, only 7% of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly 13% of the homeless adult populations are veterans.  Up to 600 veterans are homeless in NH, with more than 7,000 veteran households at risk of homelessness.

BAE Systems Independence Hall is the latest edition to Harbor Homes’ “Veterans FIRST” programming. The new facility will provide twenty-six one and two-bedroom apartments. Veterans and their families will reside in the facility while working to address the cause of their homelessness and move on to independence.  Most will stay just two years, while some will stay permanently. The veterans receive assistance in finding employment, access to dedicated transportation, medical and behavioral health care, case management, and a myriad of other supportive services.

The project cost is approximately $5.2 million. Funding for the project is a mix of loans and grants from the VA, HUD, City of Manchester, Merrimack County Savings Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank Boston, NH Housing Finance Authority, TD Bank Charitable Foundation, Citizens Bank Foundation, Harbor Homes, and BAE Systems. Representatives from these organizations spoke at the Ribbon Cutting event.

Harbor Homes, a private, non-profit organization, is NH’s largest provider of veteran-specific housing and services for homeless and at-risk veterans.  The agency operates “Veterans FIRST” a unique mix of housing and services designed to help homeless veterans achieve sustainable independence. Harbor Homes’ programming for veterans helped bring Greater Nashua’s unsheltered homeless veteran population from a high of over 100 in 2005 to just one veteran in 2013 – a feat the agency hopes to replicate in Greater Manchester and throughout the State. A brief video of the Veterans FIRST programming can be viewed HERE.

Harbor Homes would like to thank the staff, board of directors, volunteers, corporate partners and donors who made the building and opening ceremony possible! A special thank you to Exeter Events and Tents, APS Lighting, Starbucks Coffee of Bedford, Collins Flowers, Shirley’s Flowers, Nadeau’s Subs, Sam’s Club, Michelle’s Pastries and Deli, Pepsi, the Manchester Police, Hannaford, Manchester Transit Authority, Walmart and Neighborworks Southern NH for their generous assistance on June 14!

If you would like to see pictures from the event, please visit our Flickr site!



2 Responses to “Harbor Homes Celebrates Flag Day by Opening New Facility in Manchester”

  1. Hi Peter: Once again you have achieved a marvelous success with BAE Systems Independence Hall. How lucky the Vets are to have someone like you creating both housing and life enhancing opportunties for them. I am thrilled for you and Harbor Homes and the vets. Best regards, Lee

  2. Wellcome to Manchester!

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