On Saturday, January 20, 2001, volunteers from the New Hampshire State Office helped The Way Home, a non-profit housing agency, make renovations to an old but recently acquired convent. The Way Home provides counseling, shelter and training to low-income and homeless families and individuals in the Manchester area, and wanted to convert the convent into a Housing Resource Center providing transitional housing for homeless families with special health needs.
The $1million dollar project will be financed with a $100,000 HOME grant from the City of Manchester; a $550,000 grant from other federal sources including EPA, and $350,000 from private foundations. The 11,000 square foot facility will provide:
- A reception area, children's play area, three housing counseling rooms, a training room, housing resource rooms, a community pantry, and staff offices;
- A community room for family-oriented activities for the residents of the transitional housing and for education workshops for The Way Home's program participants;
- A wellness room for private sessions with health professionals and for stress-management, quiet time for parents while their children are being supervised in another area; and
- Seven apartments for the short-term transitional housing program.
Substantial renovations were needed in the convent. To reduce costs and to help build and strengthen the community infrastructure, The Way Home received support of the Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity, who volunteered to serve as coordinator of the renovations. The first task is interior demolition of the 2nd and 3rd floors to prepare them for reconstruction.
When The Way Home sought community volunteers for this work, HUD staff immediately "signed up," the NHSO Web Manager made tee-shirt transfers for the staff with the logo "HUD Demolition Squad." Family members joined the Senior CB, CBs and PTO staff to assist in the work.
The images show the HUD staff who volunteered, and the Senior CB and out-stationed HOC PTO performing demolition on the 3rd floor of the convent.