MANCHESTER, N.H. – A group of volunteers has teamed up with Manchester Director of Homelessness Initiatives Schonna Green to give HOPE to the homeless population of Manchester.
On Tuesday, the first work session of the HOPE (“Housing Options Promote Empowerment”) Outreach Committee was held at the Manchester Central Fire Station on Merrimack Street, following two earlier informational sessions in recent weeks.
The HOPE program is split into three parts, with “HOPE I” aiming to directly help the homeless and housing insecure community, “HOPE II” looking to aid organizations that help those groups and “HOPE III” providing information to the public at large through initiatives and aims to keep the public appraised of the homelessness situation in Manchester through efforts such as a page on the city website.
In Tuesday’s meeting, the new Outreach Committee tackled topics related to all three phases of the plan, particularly 587 Maple St., where Rootz Natural Hair Shop has offered to provide a floor of its building for a donation and distribution center to assist the city’s homeless non-profit groups.
It is yet to be established when the location would be open, but Green expects it to become available before Christmas for one to two days per week.
Meetings of the Outreach Committee occur on the second Tuesday of every month and Green hopes more volunteers can attend to help achieve the group’s goals.
“We are in need of everybody we can get to help create change,” she said. “Every person in the community matters and the more people can get, the better we can articulate our ideas.”
The meeting brought an array of volunteers ranging from Alderman At-Large-elect June Trisciani and Alderman At-Large candidate Anthony Harris to local resident and first-time volunteer Ricky Gurung.
Gurung said he attended the meeting on Tuesday for a sense of community building.
“I think initiatives like this are the best way to help the city grow and make it safer for the next generation,” he said. “There are many people in the city that are homeless, but I believe we can do things to help.”