The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in partnership with New Hampshire’s Youth Success Project (YSP), is pleased to announce that New Hampshire has been selected to receive more than $2 million in grant funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to address youth homelessness across the State.
The two-year, $2.2 million grant through HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) will support the Coordinated Community Plan for the Balance of State Continuum of Care (CoC), which covers the geographic areas outside of Manchester and Greater Nashua. Combined with an additional $1.2 million in funding expected to be awarded to the Manchester Continuum of Care (CoC), an estimated $3.4 million in funding will be dedicated to preventing and ending youth homelessness in New Hampshire.
“Every youth in New Hampshire should have access to safe, stable housing and this is a tremendous step in the right direction,” said DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette. “This critical funding will allow us to continue our work with community partners and youth with lived experience to identify the barriers to securing housing for our youth, and implement plans in our communities that address them head-on.”
Since the fall of 2021, the DHHS Bureau of Housing Supports has been working with the YSP throughout each stage of creating the Coordinated Community Plan, with a focus on including the perspective of youth who have experienced homelessness. The YSP has played a pivotal role in collaborating with State and community partners as they work to address youth housing instability, including the DHHS Division for Children, Youth and Families, Bureau for Behavioral Health Services, Division of Public Health Services, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, the NH Department of Education, and a wide range of service organizations.
“We hope the YSP’s work can serve as an example for service providers and decision-makers across the state,” said YSP Co-Director Ariel Hayes. “People of all demographics deserve to be included in the decisions that impact their lives, and these young people know what they need better than anyone else at the table. Including their voice will lead to stronger programming and services.”
“It was empowering to be able to be a part of this process and have a voice in how the money will be spent to better the lives of youth facing housing instability,” said YSP leader Maddison Lemay. “Watching the Youth Success Project grow from where it started to where it is now has been impressive. We are gaining new members, making connections, and making a difference.”
In addition to funding the development of the Coordinated Community Plans, funds will be allocated to nonprofit organizations that house and provide services to young people experiencing homelessness, including Waypoint, the Tri-County Community Action Partnership, The Upper Room, and the Claremont Learning Partnership for the Balance of State CoC; and Waypoint and the Home for Little Wanderers for the Manchester CoC.
“The Manchester Continuum of Care was so excited to be a recipient of the YHDP grant. This is a big step towards ending youth and young adult homelessness in our community,” said Ellie Huot, Shelter Supervisor, Waypoint Runaway and Homeless Youth Services. “None of the work would have been doable without the incredible partnership and collaboration of the Youth Success Project.”
Funding will support the development and maintenance of various housing programs, as well as navigators serving as the first point of contact for young people seeking services.
For more information on the Coordinated Community Plan, visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt476/files/documents2/yhdp-coordinated-community-plan.pdf