Seacoast Family Promise organizes a network of religious congregations to help homeless families. These congregations open their facilities on a rotating basis to provide overnight shelter and meals; at the organizations’s day center, staff help families with the support they need to get back on their feet. Karen and her son came to Seacoast Family Promise for help in 2009.
Anna: I was teaching maybe a skull lab the other day, and in the middle of the lab one of the little kids turns to his friend and says “This is a lot of fun isn’t it.”
The Montshire Museum of Science is a vibrant center for children -- and adults -- to make discoveries about science and the natural world. Anna Super was three years old when her parents first brought her to the museum. She’s 29 now, and still fascinated.
Emerge Family Advocates provides a safe, neutral supervised place for child visitation and custody transfer. The Honorable Lawrence MacLeod, a New Hampshire circuit court judge, says that service is beneficial for children and families.
At Camp Inter-Actions, blind and visually-impaired children have the opportunity to do all the usual summer-camp things -- like boating and swimming and crafts. And the unusual -- like creating a full-scale choral production.
Camper: I’m absolutely music obsessed, so my favorite camp activity is music. I could do that all day long. I thihnk we do a fantastic job, Duy is a great director.
Duy Bui started there as a junior counselor, went to the Manhattan School of Music, and has gone on to create a choral program at the camp.
Good Bridges, a program of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, helps women transition from prison back to meaningful participation in their communities. The program pairs mentors with women transitioning from incarceration. April Dunn, a realtor, has been helping Val Fredette make that transition.
April: For a woman coming out of prison they have obstacles that the average person doesn’t have.
Val: I needed somebody that could show me the right way of doing things and somebody to look up to and really mentor me.
The Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter provides about 1,700 meals each week and operates two homeless shelters. But it also helps people address the root causes of hunger and homelessness -- and to offer the proverbial ounce of prevention. The shelter helped Jackie, who is in recovery from alcoholism, get back to work.
Jackie: The people at the transitional housing program where I live referred me to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter for assistance with education and vocational goals that I had.
At the Seacoast Science Center at Odiorne Point in Rye, visitors learn about the science and beauty of marine life and the Gulf of Maine. Myra Sallet is a 13-year-old volunteer who particularly likes working with younger kids who come to explore.
The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music brings musicians from around the globe to tiny Nelson, New Hampshire. They learn and share chamber music, and come to understand one another’s cultures and perspectives. Amelia Perron talks about her experience there.
The Families First Health and Support Center is a community health center that provides services regardless of ability to pay. Sue and Kellie are a mother and daughter who have received health care services at the center.
The Homeless Center for Strafford County provides seasonal overnight shelter to single women and families. Almost half the people staying in the shelter are children – nearly all under five years old. Susan Ford directs the shelter and understands her clients’ first-hand.
Jack Calhoun and his siblings donated the 310-acre Calhoun Family Forest to the Monadnock Conservancy. They wanted the tract to be managed as their parents had managed it -- as a sustainable timber resource, for public use, education and conservation.
Jack: This property is an aggregation of properties that my parents bought; and over the years, they managed it for sustainable timber, for wildlife, and for protection of water resources
In addition to staging plays and concerts, The Palace Theater runs educational and cultural programs to engage community in the performing arts. Rebecca Gosselin is 12. She has participated in the Palace’s youth theatre programs for four years.
Dana Trahan was uninsured when she started to lose her vision, but did not realize that this was the result of a brain tumor. SeaCare Health Services helped her get the care and treatment she needed – quickly.
Dana: I would be watching my son’s baseball games and I really felt as if I needed to keep blinking my eyes to get focused on him, so I thought it made sense to have my eyes checked. Knowing that I didn’t have the health insurance, it was important to me to figure out a way to make this an affordable experience, and that brought me to SeaCare.
At D-Acres in Dorchester staff and interns work on sustainable food production and education programs for the public. For Scott Codey, who arrived fresh from New York City, the work he does is about more than growing food.
Scott: Our role is as an educational institution where we essentially teach and learn about permaculture farming and community living. Permaculture stands for permanent agriculture, and the idea is to live with the land rather than live on the land. We really try to develop farming practices which mimic what’s going on in nature.