ROCHESTER - Waypoint is ready to open its new youth resource centers in Rochester and Manchester, where it will also have an overnight emergency shelter for young people experiencing homelessness.
The YRC in Rochester is located at 3 Wallace Street, and the YRC and shelter in Manchester will be at 298 Hanover Street. Both facilities will open next Monday.
To mark the openings, Waypoint is holding a public open house at the Rochester site today from 6-8 p.m., and at the Manchester site on Thursday. also from 6-8 p.m. To register for either or both: https://waypointnh.org/YRC-shelter-OpenHouses
For years, Waypoint has been planning this expansion of services. The agency began confronting youth homelessness back in the 1970s and has grown its programs over the years to include Street Outreach, Runaway and Homeless Youth Services, Transitional Living Program, Rapid Rehousing, Youth Resource Centers, and now, the first and only overnight emergency shelter of its kind in New Hampshire. Further programs are currently under development.
Today, working in tandem with providers, advocates, law enforcement, supporters, legislators, and other partners, Waypoint is the only provider offering a comprehensive array of services for young people experiencing homelessness across New Hampshire.
It is estimated that over 14,000 young people will experience some form of homelessness in New Hampshire this year. On average, Waypoint makes around 1,500 contacts a year with young people experiencing homelessness. The agency serves as a lifeline for those on the street, providing survival aid and other basic needs, as well as services to contribute to long-term stability.
The YRC drop-in centers serve youth, ages 12-24, and provide access to basic needs such as a place to warm up or cool down, food, clothing, showers, and laundry. At the YRCs, youth can also connect with staff to develop goals, access further supports and services, participate in independent living skills groups or positive recreational opportunities, and access intensive case management.
The shelter will house 14 beds and will provide young people, ages 18-24, low-barrier access to emergency beds and to all the services provided at the YRC during daytime hours. Until now, New Hampshire was the only state in New England without an overnight emergency shelter with a continuum of services dedicated to young people.
"This expansion is part of a comprehensive, coordinated, and collaborative response to youth and young adult homelessness in New Hampshire and will strengthen the statewide social safety net for our most vulnerable youth" says Borja Alvarez de Toledo, president and CEO of Waypoint. "And, it wouldn't be possible without a strong, caring community to support it. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to help change the trajectory of so many young lives, and to get another step closer to ending youth homelessness in New Hampshire; this is our ultimate goal."
The expansion project costs $3.5 million overall: $2.48 million in Manchester, and $1.07 million in Rochester. Funding comes from federal and local grants, private foundations, and donations. To date, major funders include New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Community Project Funding grant through HUD's Economic Development Initiative, The Stebbins Family, PROCON, Cogswell Benevolent Trust, The Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation, Dobles Foundation, Samuel P. Hunt Foundation, City of Manchester, City of Rochester, Community Development Finance Authority, Flex Foundation, Pier People LLC, Thomas Haas Fund through NHCF, Seacoast Women Giving Circle, Agnes Lindsay Trust, Goldstein Family via NHCF, Dan Lyons, Rockport Mortgage, Rise Private Wealth Management, McLane Middleton, DF Richard Energy, Prime Source Foods, and Sharyn Zunz. Further support for operations comes through special event fund raising such as the SleepOut.
For further information on Waypoint and the agency's services to young people experiencing homelessness, visit www.waypointnh.org