MANCHESTER — Business leaders and community members are invited to give feedback this Friday on how Families in Transition can improve the services, facility and neighborhood of the New Horizons shelter at 199 Manchester St.
Families in Transition – New Horizons (FIT-NH) in partnership with Plan NH will hold a two-day design charrette Friday and Saturday at Manchester High School Central.
The charrette was scheduled to create a plan to enhance the current New Horizons shelter, soup kitchen and pantry “to better meet the needs of people accessing the organization’s services as well as creating positive change in the surrounding neighborhood,” according to a release.
“We understand that redeveloping one building is only one piece of changing an entire neighborhood,” said Maureen Beauregard, president of FIT-NH. “Full transformation needs to be done through a community engagement process that brings in neighborhood stakeholders so a plan can be developed that incorporates their viewpoints and concerns. Our long-range plan is to upgrade our facility and we hope that area property owners will do the same, as the best days of the neighborhood are yet to come.”
Renovations at the site will make the shelter more inviting to those who live on the street and should be completed by mid-July. The renovations will increase the total beds at the shelter from 76 to 102.
The renovations will create open-space areas for secure men’s and women’s dormitories. A separate 26-bed wing will be devoted to people in recovery. Bathrooms on both floors are being renovated.
The total project cost is $200,000. Federal grant funds of $130,000, which are provided through City Hall, are helping to pay for the renovations.
There are two public input sessions scheduled for Friday, one at 3:30 p.m. and the other at 6:30 p.m., at Central High School, 207 Lowell St., Manchester; community members are invited to attend one or both.
Plan NH will then present the results of the charrette, based on what they have seen and heard, on Saturday at 3 p.m., also at Central High School.
Attendees of the input session(s) and recommendation presentation are asked to sign up at support.fitnh.org/plannh.