A fresh start! The Way Home celebrates graduates of transitional housing program

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MANCHESTER, NH –  In front of family, friends and supporters, graduates of The Way Home’s transitional housing program celebrated a crucial step forward recently.

“You truly helped me when I had little hope,” said Alicia. “I was in a bad spot and you were there (she said of the agency).  I can’t thank all of you enough.”

Mary Sliney from The Way Home (left) speaks with Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig at The Way Home recent graduation event. Courtesy Photo

Alicia was part of a recent “class” of clients of The Way Home who had competed the traditional housing program.  The program covers a broad range of topics including: safe relationships, how to ensure a healthy household, parenting support and budgeting skills.  “Through the classes, the participants gain new skills and confidence which helps them achieve a better path forward,” said Mary Sliney, Executive Director, The Way Home.

Victoria said the program gave her the skills and confidence she needed to take control of her life.  She also noted The Way Home’s efforts with her young son in helping him with school work and providing a pathway to health activities.

Cindy Bringhurst, program manager, was among the speakers, and told the graduates that she was “honored and grateful to be part of their journeys.  This recognition is a tribute to your hard work and dedication.”

In addition to Sliney and Bringhurst, other speakers at the event included Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, Bianka Beaudoin and Christina Sleeper from The Way Home and Board Chair Rick Blais.  Mayor Craig called The Way Home, “a true community resource,” and applauded the graduates and their families for their efforts.

“We celebrate each family’s success in meeting goals that make the move into safe, affordable housing possible,” Sliney said. “Each family has a different story on “why” they came to The Way Home, but one thing is always true, they all have a goal to keep their children safe.”

Transitional housing is a temporary “safe home” in which formerly homeless families can heal from past experiences work toward a better future. The program provides supportive services and educational opportunities to help families set goals, gain new skills, and remove barriers to success. Progress in the family’s Steps to Success Plan is shared in regular meetings with The Way Home’s Housing Counselor. “What is harder to measure but equally important is the improved self-esteem and pride you can witness as a family goes through the program,” added Ms. Sliney.

Through successful participation in the Transitional Housing program, the graduating families earn a Housing Choice Voucher helping them secure safe, affordable housing.

About The Way Home

Now celebrating its 30th year of community service, The Way Home is a non-profit dedicated to helping low-income households obtain and sustain safe, affordable housing throughout the state of New Hampshire.  Since 1988, The Way Home has assisted more than 21,000 homeless and high-risk families, individuals, veterans and special needs clients with their housing needs.

The organization’s Mission and Vision statements speak of creatively helping those with the fewest resources. When designing its programs, The Way Home looks first to empower clients in need. Over the past three decades, this has meant helping them increase their resourcefulness by providing more financial literacy classes, housing counseling and coaching, steps to success coaching, healthy home education, landlord/tenant rights and other life skills classes.

The organization’s Vision is to continue as an innovative, grassroots organization committed to creatively helping those with the least resources increase access, raise hope, and build self-esteem.  The Way Home implements the “housing first” approach, which provides secure housing with the support clients need to make a difference in their lives.  To learn more, please visit www.thewayhomenh.org.