Imagine, as a parent, not knowing where you and your children will sleep at night. Imagine all your belongings loaded into your car and having nowhere to go. Imagine not knowing what you will feed your family for dinner or where you will eat. This year in America, more than 2.5 million children and their parents will experience homelessness. Right here in New Hampshire, 45% of our homeless population is comprised of families with children. Further, 50% of those families are in Southern New Hampshire. Our goal is to End Homeless, One Family at a Time. Our objective is to equip families with the tools and skills they need to rise from homelessness to self-sufficiency; from crisis to sustainable lifestyles that include secure housing, steady income, and reliable transportation.
Our Unique Charge
Unique in the area, FPGN serves families of all compositions, including single-fathers (a growing portion of the homeless population), two-parent families, single mothers, pregnant women, and any other types of families; other programs in the region are strictly for single mothers. We also serve veteran families that do not qualify for other veteran programs. There are no restrictions on the age of the parent or the child. For example, a homeless 36-year old single mother with two children, ages 15 and 8, would not be eligible for other programs in the Nashua region because the upper limit for children is 12. Our focus is on protecting the family unit and saving families by teaching them the skills they need to both become self-sufficient and maintain independent lives.
Our Programs and Services
Families arrive with a multitude of issues -job, health, legal, child care and others - that impede their progress toward a stable, self-sufficient life. Each family works with the Director of Family Services to develop comprehensive financial and housing plans. With the goal of self-sufficiency and permanent housing, they establish short-term objectives to overcome these obstacles and they are held accountable for making progress. They meet weekly with Family Services to monitor their progress, alter the plans as circumstances improve, and establish new timelines. In lieu of rent, the families are required to save 70% of their disposable income. We prefer to teach them to budget and save their earnings toward security deposits and/or down payments, allowing them to secure and maintain sustainable housing when they graduate from the program. Each adult is required to participate in the group Financial Literacy Course that meets once a week and to meet individually with the course instructor to assess progress toward their financial objectives. In addition, families must also attend parenting classes to learn the skills and tools to effectively parent their children and to help them deal with the stresses of homelessness. Children who experience homelessness are twice as likely to have behavioral issues. Families are so well prepared when they leave FPGN that 85% achieve and sustain housing independence one year after graduating.
All of the volunteers here at FPGN are as unique as our families. Each have their own stories as to why they decided to give back, and each have unique skills that we put to good use here. Volunteers at FPGN are responsible for cooking meals, tutoring kids, babysitting, accepting donations, and much more! There are even opportunities for high level volunteering where you could sit on a committee or help plan events!
Imagine, as a parent, not knowing where you and your children will sleep at night. Imagine all your belongings loaded into your car and having nowhere to go. Imagine not knowing what you will feed your family for dinner or where you…