2011 November Newsletter

Issue:15 Nov/2011
In This Edition

The Many Ways to Say Thanks…

Agency Spotlight:New Hampshire Catholic Charities

Individual Spotlight: Dick Webster

On the Edge… at the Center

What’s New in the MCoC?

Click on any one of the following housing projects to receive more information:

85/87 Laurel Street

335 Somerville Street

Lowell Street Housing

Valley and Belmont

If your agency is developing or has recently developed housing for the homeless, please email info@mcocnh.org to have it listed on our website!

The Many Ways to Say Thanks…
Saying the words, “Thank You” is one of those important lessons that people make sure children know early. As we grow older in life we learn that it is not just that you say thanks but it’s also that you mean it. The donors on whom agencies depend are no different. They need to be acknowledged in creative ways that display how much you appreciate their help. With Thanksgiving almost upon us, we are reminded to give thanks. Here are some simple ways to say “thanks.”

  1. Get your Board of Directors or other leaders involved in these efforts.

Have some of them, after you’ve already sent an official letter of gratitude, call donors with whom they already have a relationship. Calls are a personal touch in an age of technological communication. Also, calls that come from known board members show personal investment in this agency.

  1. Add a personal touch in your official thank you letters.

Many of your donors probably receive plenty of other thank you letters. Be a little more personal and creative by adding an unedited letter from a participant from one of the agency’s programs or a drawing from a child. It adds an unexpected touch and reminds donors that their money or time affects real change.

  1.  Social Media Acknowledgement.

Social media is the new frontier for all types of communication. Use it to thank donors as well as solicit them. It gives an opportunity for public acknowledgement,  but can also facilitate connection with new reasons to add your organization to a donor’s list.

  1. Technology as an opportunity to be creative.

Send a video (serious or fun) or a photo slide show visually capturing what a donor’s money has been able to do.While you are thanking them, you are giving them a compelling reason to return as a donor.

  1. Make sure all donors are thanked, no matter how great or small.

Every little bit helps. In a tough economy making sure everyone feels acknowledged for what they contribute is important. By cultivating that relationship you may encourage larger donations but also  gain  insight to why that donor donates which could open doors to new constituents.

MCoC Spotlight
Agency Spotlight

New Hampshire Catholic Charities

New Hampshire Catholic Charities was founded by Bishop Matthew F. Brady in 1945 and incorporated March 7, 1946. Their mission was founded on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. They believe in serving all people, regardless of creed, and strive for social justice and dedicate themselves to providing quality health and social service programs that heal, comfort, and empower.

From an initial staff of three, Catholic Charities has grown to become the largest private, non-profit, social service agency in New Hampshire, employing nearly 850 employees with regional offices across the state. New Hampshire Catholic Charities offers a range of social services and programs: Immigration and Refugee Services helping refugees requesting resettlement in New Hampshire; OUR PLACE assisting pregnant and parenting teens and young adults from pregnancy through the early childhood years; skilled nursing care and counseling services, and many more.The New Hampshire Food Bank, a service of Catholic Charities, is the only food warehouse distribution center in the state.

Each year, the Food Bank distributes 6.5 million pounds of donated and surplus food to over 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care centers, senior citizen homes, and substance abuse treatment centers. These member agencies in turn provide food to over 125,000 people throughout New Hampshire.

Historically, NH Catholic Charities has continued to expand and change its services to meet the needs of an ever-changing society. Some of the original services have been replaced with programs that better serve the current needs of New Hampshire residents. As New Hampshire Catholic Charities heads into their 66th year of service, they’ll continue the tradition of responding to and meeting the needs of the people of New Hampshire.

Whether it has been dedicating time  having representation in the MCoC leadership committee, or going to MCoC meetings,  NH Catholic Charities continues to collaborate within the MCoC in order to work with the community in assisting the most vulnerable populations in Manchester and the state of New Hampshire.

For more information about New Hampshire Catholic Charities, please visit their website at the following link:  http://www.nh-cc.org/

Thank you, New Hampshire Catholic Charities, for your continued support and participation in the Manchester Continuum of Care!

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Individual Spotlight

Dick Webster, Housing Development Manager, Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority

What is your name and what is the position you have?

My name is Dick Webster.I work at Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority (MHRA). I am a Housing Development Manager.

How long have you had that position and how would you describe it?

I’ve been with the Authority for 34 years and have had my current position for 10 years. I pursue development of new housing opportunities by, among other things, applying for other funding as it becomes available had construction of housing and for housing assistance and by facilitating partnerships with other nonprofit and for profit developers as opportunities become available.

What was your previous background?

I was the Leased Housing Manager for 11 years and before that the Chief Rehabilitation Specialist.

What do you want others to know most about the organization you work for?

Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority has a lot of different types of housing. We own public housing,three different tax credit properties (over 1400 apartments), Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, and Housing ChoiceVouchers for Non-Elderly People with Disabilities, etc. Its important for people to know we are open to partnering with other agencies where we can. Some of our housing assistance is targeted towards homeless individuals and families. MHRA also provides considerable services to its residents.

What do you find most rewarding in what you do?

One of the nicest things about going to work everyday is working with people who care about other people and knowing that you’ve helped people in need.

What are the specific continuum of care activities that you are involved/participate in?

I go to MCoC Assembly meetings. I enjoy attending assembly meetings so I can see if there are other areas where the Authority can be useful.

Why do you choose to go to MCoC Meetings?

We’ve consistently partnered and worked closely with a lot of agencies in the continuum. I think being there is important. Going to continuum of care meetings is one way the Authority can partner with others in the community. We are always looking for ways to utilize the assistance that we can provide.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I like spending time with my family, to go jogging everyday, skiing and sailing.

Is there anything else you’d like to add or that you think I should know?

We are open to speaking to other agencies to see if there might be ways to partner and create additional housing for low income households.

Thank you, Dick Webster, for your continued support and participation in the Manchester Continuum of Care!

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 On the Edge… At the Center

Stories from the Manchester Homeless Services Center

By Christopher Emerson, Manager

Jack’s Idea

Although most people at the Center are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness, we have some folks who live in a rooming house or apartment.  Many of them are people with disabilities.  In September, as required by federal grants, I began to do income verifications for those who do have a regular, indoor place to live.

As I was reviewing his $674/month income, a disabled man named Jack said, “I hope I can still come here for lunch, because I like it here, but I don’t want to take anything from someone who needs it more than I do.”

“You keep coming for lunch,” I said, “and let me worry about how to make the money work.”

He paused, rubbed his chin a bit and said, “You know, people like me are better off than the homeless, and I know this place is really for them.” He paused again.

“I think you ought to ask people like me to volunteer around here, pull our own weight more.”

Actually, that idea was already part of our plan, but the fact that Jack suggested it himself is truly admirable. More than that, he’s been signing up to help ever since.

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