Men and women who live in the Haven’s Hixon House Adult Shelter spend, on average, two months working with Service Coordinators towards solutions to prepare them to move back into the community. Often shelter guest are ready to leave and the biggest barrier can be finding affordable housing. The Upper Valley offers rental housing priced more for Dartmouth College or Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center professionals than for low-income individuals. Through an amazing partnership between Twin Pines Housing and the Upper Valley Haven, a downtown Lebanon apartment building was renovated to provide a solution to the lack of affordable housing in the community.
In July of 2018, Parkhurst Community Housing opened with 18 one-bedroom apartments for chronically homeless and extremely low-income members of the community. Improvements to the circa-1860s building included a new roof, siding, wiring, windows, flooring, light fixtures, bathrooms, appliances, and energy efficiency. This summer, 13 guests of Hixon House were moved into their own apartments. The downtown Lebanon location, near bus lines and a variety of services, makes it particularly convenient to the many residents without cars. Ongoing support for Parkhurst residents is provided by the Upper Valley Haven through Service Coordinator, Emily Severson. Emily is on site at Parkhurst three days a week to check in with residents and ensure their situation remains sustainable. She shares, ” My favorite part of working within the Parkhurst program is helping to empower the residents as they build their own safe harbor after being without one for so long. It is humbling to witness the resilience of these individuals as they redefine their identities with pride and perseverance.”
The first New Hampshire project to receive funding through the new National Housing Trust Fund, Parkhurst used approximately $2.7 million from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, the Community Loan Fund, and several generous private funders. The Haven is very proud to be a partner in collaboration to provide a housing solution for our area. Working across state lines with generous donors of time and in-kind work to make the project a success, Parkhurst is an example of the best kind of community collaboration and problem-solving.