Tri-County CAP Expands Shelter Services

Tri-County Community Action Program (Tri-County CAP) is pleased to announce that the agency is expanding its shelter services for homeless individuals and families in the tri-county area. According to Jeanne Robillard, CEO of Tri-County CAP, there is an increased demand for comprehensive homeless services for women, and women with children, in the communities served by Tri-County CAP. A Community Needs Assessment conducted by the agency in 2019 identified homelessness as one of the top three community concerns in their service areas of Coos, Carroll and Grafton Counties. Tri-County CAP determined that an expansion of the population and geographic areas served by its current shelter programs, as well as exploring ways to increase their shelter bed capacity, would help meet this growing need.

“As a primary provider of homeless services in the tri-county area, we are acutely aware of the on-going need for more interventions and options for homeless women and women with children in our catchment area.” said Robillard. “Our Community Needs Assessment, along with the challenges of COVID-19, further strengthened our resolve as an agency to do our part to address this growing need.”

Currently, Burch House shelter operates as “The Support Center at Burch House,” one of New Hampshire’s 13 crisis centers, all serving victims of domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking.  The Burch House is a dedicated domestic violence shelter that serves Northern Grafton County and offers services in response to the unique safety needs of women and children fleeing abuse. As of April 1, Tri-County CAP is transitioning Burch House Shelter from a dedicated domestic violence shelter to an open homeless shelter that will serve women, and women and children, across the whole of its service area of Coos, Carroll, and Grafton Counties.

Tri-County CAP also operates the Tyler Blain House Shelter in Lancaster and plans to combine both shelters into one program of Shelter Services under its Department of Housing Stability. Tyler Blain House Shelter will continue to provide shelter and case management to men and intact families, and Burch House Shelter will provide the same services to women and women with children. “Overall, Tri-County Community Action will be able to provide 21 to 22 shelter beds in this area,” said Kristy Letendre, Chief Programs Officer. According to Letendre, all TCCAP shelter and direct housing support services have adopted the Critical Time Intervention (CTI) model, an evidence-based, time limited and phased case management practice that seeks to prevent recurrent homelessness. “We provide intensive supportive services to connect homeless individuals and families to vital community services that will support them to maintain a permanent housing placement.” said Letendre.

This expansion of Burch House Shelter was made possible by funding through the DHHS Bureau of Housing Supports, the NH Charitable Foundation Tillotson Fund, Cares Act Community Service Block Grant COVID funds, and a generous donation from private donors Tina and Davis Mangold. “We’re looking forward to building new opportunities for even more women across the whole of our tri-county service area.” said Robillard. “We’re also excited about continuing our collaboration with DHHS-Bureau of Housing Supports and the Balance of State Continuum of Care to provide enhanced homeless and housing services. We are also grateful to our state and community partners for their support as we embark on this new venture.” Robillard commented that although Burch House Shelter will no longer provide dedicated services tailored to the needs of victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence, victims seeking shelter are always welcome at Burch House and will be referred for services to another crisis center.

The Support Center at Burch House’s 24-hour domestic and sexual violence helpline will be re-directed to the statewide helpline at 1-866-644-3574. This will ensure that victims and survivors who are fleeing dangerous situations in Northern Grafton County will continue to receive support from a specialized crisis center and that victim/survivor services in the area formerly covered by Tri-County CAP will continue uninterrupted. The crisis centers of RESPONSE in Berlin, WISE in Lebanon and Voices Against Violence in Plymouth will take over provision of those services.

Tri-County CAP Shelter Services may be reached by calling 603-444-0624 for Burch House or 603-788-2344 for Tyler Blain House. Services for homeless emergencies after business hours and weekends, including those offered through Tri-County CAP, may be accessed by dialing 2-1-1. 

Tri-County Community Action Program, Inc. is private, non-profit agency that provides opportunities to strengthen communities by improving the lives of low to moderate income families and individuals in Coos, Carroll and Grafton Counties.