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July 18. 2012 11:35PM

Harbor Homes award targets state’s veterans

NASHUA — Harbor Homes, Inc. has been awarded a $1 million grant to help combat homelessness among state veterans.

“Harbor Homes is thrilled for all of the veteran families in New Hampshire who will benefit from this much-needed initiative,” Peter Kelleher, CEO of Harbor Homes, Inc. said in a statement. “Many veterans have unique challenges to overcome as a result of hardships experienced during their military service that make it more difficult to reintegrate into New Hampshire’s communities without targeted interventions and supportive services.”

The $1 million grant has been awarded from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Labor as part of the Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program.

The funding, according to Kelleher, will help prevent or end homelessness among 300 low-income veteran households, and help New Hampshire achieve its goal to be the first state in the country to effectively end veteran homelessness.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) wrote a letter recently in support of Harbor Homes’ application to Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

“Their wide presence in the state and strong connections to veterans service providers make Harbor Homes a terrific recipient for this grant,” said Shaheen. “The organization has made an impact on the lives of so many Granite State veterans, and I’m glad that they will have the opportunity to help so many more.”

Harbor Homes launched the Veterans FIRST initiative in 2004 to provide housing and support services to homeless veterans in New Hampshire, according to a release. Since then, 175 households have transitioned from the program into independent living.

Veterans FIRST is a transitional housing program for honorably discharged homeless veterans and their families with facilities at Buckingham Place and Dalianis House in Nashua.

According to the Government Accountability Office, there are between 423 and 600 homeless veteran families in New Hampshire, says the release, adding the state has the third highest percentage in the nation of low-income veteran renter households with moderate to severe housing affordability problems.

Harbor Homes is a local nonprofit group founded 30 years ago with a mission to create and provide quality residential and supportive services for individuals and their families with mental illness or struggling with homelessness, according to the organization’s website.

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Kimberly Houghton may be reached at khoughton@newstote.com.


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