Executive Councilors Question New Funds for Hope for New Hampshire Recovery

Mar 6, 2018

Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

More than half a million dollars in new state funding for a major operator of recovery centers is up in the air ahead of a key Executive Council vote Wednesday morning. 

That’s after the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released an audit of the organization, Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, detailing financial and operational concerns.

The Manchester-based organization recently announced it would be closing several locations around the state because it’s so short on funds. That’s left hundreds of people in recovery scrambling for other providers, many in rural areas where options are slim.

The proposed $600,000 contract would keep some of the organization’s statewide services, those in Franklin and Berlin, running. It’s unclear what would happen to two other centers in Claremont and Concord.

But some councilors are now saying they’re concerned by the results of the audit. “I’m not voting on any contract until I ask many, many, many questions,” said Councilor Joe Kenney.

He pointed to broad financial and management issues documented in the report, including failures to comply with a number of requirements in a previous state contract. He also wants to see services continued in Claremont, not just in Manchester, Franklin and Berlin.   

Councilor Andru Volinsky mirrored Kenney’s call Tuesday for a deeper probe into the audit’s findings, citing what he called a combative tone in Hope for New Hampshire’s previous dealings with the state. “At this point, I’m not comfortable voting without further answers,” he said. “We need information.”