Community Action Partnership of Strafford County Opening Winter Emergency Shelter

NOVEMBER 5, 2020 – Community Action Partnership of Strafford County (CAPSC) will open an emergency winter shelter to homeless clients starting on November 16th.

Located at the Garrison Hotel in Dover, the shelter will operate from November 16th to April 15th.  CAPSC will manage and staff the shelter 24 hours a day during the winter months. Clients must be referred to the shelter from area partners such as municipal welfare offices, police and fire departments, 211, other area shelters, and medical and social service providers.

“With the challenges of COVID-19, the previous emergency shelter models were not sustainable or safe this winter season,” said Betsey Andrews Parker, CAPSC CEO. “We learned from previous cold-weather seasons that we needed longer and more consistent shelter operations to help clients stay safe from both COVID and the cold.”

The emergency shelter supports the decompression of area shelters who had to reduce their intake capacity, due to COVID-19. In addition to rooms with COVID-safe protocols, housing insecure individuals and families can access additional support services at CAPSC’s main office at Bradley Commons at 577 Central Avenue in Dover. Clients using the shelter and expanded housing programs will also have access to communication resources, primarily for telehealth appointments with medical and mental healthcare providers, social services, or employment resources. Additional access to medical care and substance misuse support is available through partnerships with Goodwin Community Health, SOS Recovery, The Doorway, Tri-City Coop, Seacoast Mental Health, and Community Partners.

“While these services exist in our community already, COVID-19 as well as the other challenges of being homeless, prevent many clients from accessing these services or keeping appointments,” said Lauren Berman, Director of Housing and Economic Support at CAPSC. “When people have a warm place to sleep and feel safe, it allows them to begin the process of planning for future next steps.”

The emergency winter shelter is supported by grants from NH Housing Finance Authority, NH Community Development Authority, Strafford County, the cities of Dover, Somersworth and Rochester and a grant from the NH Bureau of Housing and Homeless.

CAPSC is seeking additional community support through volunteers to help with reception, manage donations and provide support to clients. Volunteers will need to complete an interview and background check to work with clients. Those interested should contact lberman@straffordcap.org. Volunteer support is also needed on weekends to serve dinner to 30-40 individuals. Meals will be prepared off site and delivered to the Garrison Hotel.

Individuals or groups interested in providing meals on weekends can access the sign-up genius at /www.signupgenius.com/go/4090A4EA5AA2FA4FC1-emergency.

To make a financial donation to CAPSC’s Emergency Winter Shelter, visit www.straffordcap.org/donate.

For more information on the shelter, program and volunteer inquiries, contact Lauren Berman at lberman@straffordcap.org or 603-435-2500 ext. 8155.

 

ABOUT CAPSC: Community Action Partnership of Strafford County (CAPSC)’s mission is to “educate, advocate, and assist people in Strafford County to meet their basic needs and promote self-sufficiency.”  In accordance with its mission, CAPSC offers over 64 coordinated programs that serve the whole person or family and include nutrition, housing, fuel and electrical assistance, weatherization, parent and child education, child care, senior transportation, and employment and job training, all of which are locally defined, planned, and managed in partnership with community agencies. For 55 years, CAPSC has changed countless lives for the better and provided hundreds of millions of dollars in goods and services in Strafford County, thereby reducing the burden on other County and community resources.

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