Hope on Haven Hill celebrates new facility with ground breaking ceremony

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The Center for Hope and Wellness will be located on the site of the former St. Mary's Catholic Church on Charles Street in Rochester. (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - On May 24 Hope on Haven Hill hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the next phase in the building of the Center for Hope and Wellness in Rochester.

HHH Board Co-Chair Sarah Landres welcomed the crowd of about 40 people, including HHH Board members, capital campaign donors, community members, and HHH clients and staff.

"With the support of all of you, and the City of Rochester, we are going to make a significant difference in the lives of many women, their children, and their families," said Landres. "When a community embraces and supports individuals challenged by substance use disorder and gets behind a project such as this, everyone benefits."

The Center for Hope and Wellness will be located on the site of the former St. Mary's Catholic Church on Charles Street in Rochester. For over a year, HHH has been working to raise the funds needed to raze the church building and construct the agency's new 8,000 square foot facility.

"I am always motivated, inspired, and humbled by the generosity of so many of you who are here today who have been part of this amazing journey to create critical services for pregnant and postpartum women struggling with substance use disorder," said Kerry Norton, HHH Executive Director. "Today we mark an important milestone. Because of this caring community and all of you gathered here, we have raised the funds needed to build our Center for Hope and Wellness."

Once constructed, the Center for Hope and Wellness will become a hub for families in recovery, offering treatment and wellness programs, workplace training, childcare for parents in agency programs, and community space for a range of health and learning programs. Additionally, it will allow for HHH's administrative office spaces to be consolidated into one central space.

To date, HHH has raised $3.1 million toward its $3.25 million capital campaign goal. This includes funding received through a $500,000 CDFA Tax Credit Program, and donations made by local businesses and individuals.

"Early on in our journey we were so fortunate to receive the support of the Vanderheiden family and Thomas Haas and the entire team of the Thomas W. Haas Foundation," said Norton. "Their generous donations launched and laid the groundwork for our capital campaign. We have been able to leverage that support to engage additional businesses and individuals in the community and make this campaign successful."

"Hope on Haven Hill is a vital community program that all of us at the Thomas W Haas Foundation is truly honored to support. We have watched and invested in the growth of this important nonprofit because of the positive impact it has had for so many New Hampshire families," commented Tom Haas.

In addition to covering the cost of construction for the Center for Hope and Wellness, a portion of contributions made to HHH's capital campaign will establish a much-needed fund for the development of affordable recovery housing. Following the groundbreaking ceremony, a short reception was held at the site of the first property HHH has purchased to serve as affordable rental housing for program graduates.

"We know that the biggest impediment to success for so many of the families we serve is the lack of affordable recovery housing," announced HHH Board Co-Chair Dr. Joseph Hannon. "So while we have raised the funds needed for construction, our campaign will continue a bit longer as we raise the funds for furnishing and outfitting the Center for Hope and Wellness, and to establish a fund for recovery housing."

"I want to thank my fellow board members, all of our donors and supporters," HHH capital campaign Chair Susan Daigle said. "It takes a village, and we couldn't have done this without all of you. Thank you all so much."

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