Spotlight on Community Partners

Geisel

The Upper Valley Haven is grateful to the many community and state organizations with whom we partner to do our best work. In order to best serve our community members in need, we work closely with our brother and sister organizations to provide the widest array of services and opportunities. No one organization can do it all, and we want to highlight some of the collaborative work we are so proud of this summer.

Getting medical students from Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine out of the hospital and into the Upper Valley community was the goal of Aaron Briggs ’15, DMS ’19. Two months into his medical school program Aaron conceived of Beyond the Books a Geisel program that offers students the opportunity to leave the antiseptic setting of the classroom and hospital to connect with community members, usually low income, struggling with severe health challenges. Beyond the Books mission explains, “As future physicians, the unacceptable health disparity within the United States must be our concern. However, before we can work to address this issue we must first strive to understand it. Beyond the Books seeks to foster a deep understanding of the challenges associated with socioeconomic disadvantage by providing medical students with the opportunity to form a relationship with an individual working to overcome this hardship.”

Beyond the Books pairs medical students with Upper Valley organizations that include The Family Place and the Upper Valley Haven,s Forward Bound program, and students also cook for and meet with residents of  Dismas House. As Briggs told Dartmouth Medicine, “(Forward Bound) quickly straightened us out. They were not interested in the advocacy or health information we were offering. They were more interested in the opportunity to shape the next generation of physicians – of being our community professors – teaching us, and preparing us to be the kind of doctors they wanted and needed to see in the future.”

Twin Pines Housing acquired and will develop the property at 10 Parkhurst Street in Lebanon, NH for low-income tenants who are chronically homeless. Eighteen units of housing will be renovated later this summer.  As noted in Twin Pines’ summer newsletter, the Upper Valley Haven looks forward to partnering with Twin Pines “to create a tenant selection plan and menu of supporting services to keep residents healthy, housed and working toward greater self-sufficiency.”
Funding for this project, reserved in part by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority‘s Multi-Family Working Group, will be supplemented with 18 Section 8 Project Based Vouchers, which pay the landlord the difference between 30 percent of the household’s adjusted income and the unit’s rent. These vouchers remain with the property, ensuring future tenants the opportunity for reduced rent.

The Upper Valley Haven is proud to be the recipient of two 2017 grants from Granite United Way. As a proud partner of Granite United Way, we share the common goal of improving lives and creating lasting change in the Upper Valley. The Haven applied for and received funding in two areas, Shelter Services funding as part of GUW’s Education funding and Food and Service Coordination funding as part of GUW’s Community funding.

“Granite United Way is proud to partner with the Upper Valley Haven in our shared goal of improving lives throughout our community,” said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. “Our teams of local volunteers dedicated hundreds of hours to the review process and we are confident that their decision to invest in the Haven’s programming will bring measurable results we can all be proud of.”

We are deeply grateful to the Couch Family Foundation for their generous three-year grant to the Haven in support of our poverty education work. The Haven believes that everyone in a community is better-served with more information and awareness about the causes and continuation of poverty. The Haven offers two tracks to provide meaningful poverty education.

Bridges Out of Poverty (Bridges) is offered to community members and offers training in how to, move individuals from poverty to self-sufficiency, reduce social costs related to crime, poor health, and welfare, strengthen educational attainment and job skills, enhance economic development, improve on-the-job productivity, revitalize neighborhoods and build sustainable communities where everyone can live well.

For guests in our shelters and community members living in poverty we offer Getting Ahead in a Just Getting’ By World (GA), a 54-hour workshop that helps individuals in poverty build their resources for a better, more stable life for themselves, their families, and their communities. Getting Ahead provides people in poverty with the same information found in Bridges Out of Poverty.

The Upper Valley Haven’s poverty education efforts seek to educate the community at large about the roots of poverty and methods to alleviate and eliminate poverty. With our education we see increased understanding, compassion and resources for those community members struggling with poverty. In addition, our programs for people in poverty offer training and resources for making positive change that will lead to happier, more stable and more prosperous life.

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