CCEH Cold Weather Emergency Homeless Shelter
2017-18 Thrive Outdoors Shelter team
It all started when...
A few years ago, Jake was running the Manchester Homeless Services Center where - on heavy days - up to 180 guests were served. Though many agencies were involved (and doing amazing work), a general lack of understanding by the community at large, and differences of opinion towards the best ways to work with the homeless, led to the Centers untimely closing.
This Center was where Jake, Ed, and Vinnie began developing the core of Thrive Outdoors - with the thoughts of creating something that would help even those in the most stressful situations become more mindful.
Since Thrive Outdoors originated in a homeless services environment it made sense that they pursue efforts where they could continue to serve this population. The hope is to guide those experiencing homelessness to a healthier mindset while helping the community at large better understand the situation. All this through their wilderness survival, mindset, team, and leadership curriculum.
The opportunity presented itself in Concord in 2015 when the long standing volunteer-run Cold Weather Shelter closed it's doors. This was a painful decision by the directors, but after years and years of serving those with serious need, volunteers were beginning to burn out. They decided, before it could become unsafe, to seek other options.
Our very own Arolyn Chappell with the Friends Program (and the backing / support of many other agencies) ran the shelter for the 2016 & 2017 seasons - with Vinnie and Jake as two of the managers. This all happened at St. Peter's Church, but because the building was for sale everyone knew it was only temporary.
In 2017 the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) began building their own site for a permanent cold weather shelter as a part of their "Safe Space" campaign. This is in-part a response to the issue of Concord potentially not having a winter shelter in years to come.
This is where Thrive Outdoors comes in. Because Jake, Arolyn, and Vinnie have years of experience running shelters, service centers, and stress management programs The CCEH took them on as the program agency - the "boots on the ground" team if you will. Terry Blake, the long-time director of the now closed volunteer Cold Weather Shelter graciously agreed to come on as the CCEH Volunteer Coordinator under the direction of Thrive Outdoors.
This year the City Mayor Jim Bouley and The CCEH decided that they did not want to wait until January to open the doors - it gets awful cold in December. Thrive Outdoors was up to the task and doors open December 18th, 2017. This means we will be serving our homeless guests on Christmas and New Years.
The 2017 - 18 season is the last to be held at St. Peter's Church. Starting in the winter of 2018 The Cold Weather Emergency Shelter will be held in the new shelter building behind the Concord Homeless Resource Day Center. Thrive Outdoors hopes to be involved for many years to come.
If you are interested in supporting the CCEH and their shelter endeavour please take a look at this link: CCEH Website
If you want to volunteer your time please sign up here: Volunteer sign-up
For other questions please contact Jake at 625-6600.
See what the Monitor is saying: Monitor Shelter Story