Chase Home welcomes new Board President

After ten years of service on the Chase Home Board of Directors, Chris McCarthy recently made the difficult decision to resign her post as president and “turn the reins over” to Rob Levey.

Chris (l) with Rob
Chris (l) with Rob

“I am as committed as ever to the Chase Home, but I felt it was time,” said McCarthy. “I could not be happier to see Rob assume this role. He has proven himself a leader in numerous ways since joining the Board.”

Former Director of Development and Communications at Seacoast Mental Health Center and current CEO of Exponential Squared, a strategic marketing and development firm, Levey joined the Chase Home Board in early 2014. Regarding his new role, he expressed optimism at the foundation McCarthy helped build during her tenure.

“Chris has been a calm and steadying voice through challenging times and served as a wonderful leader and mentor,” he noted. “I learned a lot from her and look forward to helping build on the success she helped Chase Home achieve in recent years.”

Founded in 1877, Chase Home provides home-based services as well as housing for youth who have been involved in the legal system or neglected and/or abused.

“These are complicated cases that require comprehensive interventions,” noted Meme Wheeler, executive director at Chase Home. “With the right services and support, we can help entire families achieve their goals in life.”

In looking back on her time at Chase Home, McCarthy said she has seen many changes, including the demands placed on the Board itself.

“As a Board, it became increasingly important for us to fundraise and help provide oversight

Rob (l) with Meme
Rob (l) with Meme

of the budget and day-to-day operations,” she said. “We do not just listen to reports on Chase Home—we are actively involved and accountable.”

Levey agrees and said one of his first objectives is to work closely with Wheeler, the Board and community stakeholders to help develop “a new strategic direction for Chase Home.”

“We have many tangible assets here—expert staff, caring and committed board members, and a savvy executive director who understands where our services need to go from a clinical perspective,” he said. “My job will be to do whatever it takes to best support all of them and our mission with fiscal sustainability in mind.”

Citing a strong working relationship with Levey, Wheeler said the need to ramp up Chase Home’s capacity has never been greater.

“We are still woefully underfunded given the demand for our services in Portsmouth and across the state,” she said. “Although I am sad to see Chris go, I am very excited at this new chapter for Chase Home.”

Serving 36% of youth requiring intermediate placement in New Hampshire, Chase Home is one of five intermediate level group homes in the state. Chase Home collaborates with all major community stakeholders, including district courts, police departments, community mental health agencies, schools, welfare organizations and others.

To learn more about Chase Home, visit www.chasehome.org.

Chase Home welcomes new Board President

Chase Home continues to embrace change

Meme Wheeler on the left with Chase Home Staff
Meme Wheeler on the left with Clinical Coordinator Jillian Record and Program Director Craig Dennis

Having previously operated “under the radar” for close to its nearly 140 year history, Chase Home embarked on several related initiatives last year designed to raise its profile in Portsmouth and across the state. More than a simple PR move, the push to raise its profile in the communities it serves was designed to meet both internal and external needs, according to Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler.

“Internally, we need to diversify our revenue streams to ensure future fiscal sustainability,” she said. “Externally, the needs of at-risk youth have never been greater. The opiate epidemic in particular has severely disrupted the family structure. Parents and kids are struggling like never before.”

Having recently completed its most recent fiscal year on June 30, Wheeler said Chase Home “benefited tremendously” from more consistent engagement with community members through print and social media. A corporate sponsorship program also yielded several new financial supporters, including Piscataqua Savings Bank and Insurcomm.

Grant-writing also became a major focus, which yielded several major grant awards, some of which have yet to be publicly acknowledged. Wheeler said one award that has been made public, a $15,000+ from the Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle, will significantly boost the agency’s infrastructure.

“It is a capacity building grant that touches on board development and technology—these are the things nonprofits desperately need, but rarely have money needed to invest in them,” she said.

Earlier in 2016, Chase Home was also able to launch an Independent Living Program for The Chase Home (92 of 92)teens who would benefit from a period of transition at its residential facility before striking forth on their own. Noting the program was made possible as a result of its selection as co-beneficiary of Lonza Biologic’s Harvest Open Charity Golf Tournament last September, Wheeler said another key asset at Chase Home often goes unnoticed.

“We quite simply have an incredible staff,” she said. “Chase Home is staffed 24/7, and what that means is we have some very dedicated people here who provide the best clinical services possible, but with huge hearts, too…Everyone here cares so deeply for our kids and in kids in general. I am proud to be part of this team.”

In looking ahead, Chase Home Board Member Rob Levey said the Board looks forward to working to support staff in its efforts to expand home programming as well as forging new relationships in the community. Citing one donor who wishes to remain anonymous as just one example, he said the support they have seen from all sectors of the community has helped to galvanize the Board and staff alike.

“We have one donor who has helped us create a media room for our kids and is looking to enhance other areas of our home to improve their quality of life,” he said. “It’s kind of humbling to see someone step forth and make so many contributions and yet wish to The Chase Home (76 of 92)remain anonymous. That is just one story out of so many in this past year.”

Serving 36% of youth requiring intermediate placement in New Hampshire, Chase Home is one of five intermediate level group homes in the state. Chase Home collaborates with all major community stakeholders, including district courts and police departments to community mental health agencies, schools, welfare organizations and others.

To learn more about Chase Home, visit www.chasehome.org.

Chase Home continues to embrace change

Chase Home awarded large grant from Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle

In May, Chase Home for Children in Portsmouth was honored as recipient of an at least $15,000 award from the Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle (seacoast-womens-giving-circleSWGC) as part of its 2016 grant cycle. The award, which will be distributed in its entirety by July, will support a year-long capacity-building project that will include strategy and vision development, technology upgrades and leadership, governance and board development.

Referring to the capacity-building grant award as “monumental” to the nonprofit agency, Executive Director Meme Wheeler said outcomes from the grant would have far-reaching implications.

“The grant will enhance the effectiveness of our leadership and governance as well as improve our ability to raise revenue to support day-to-day operations,” she said. “What impresses me about this grant award is that it funds the kinds of activities and tools that most other funders simply do not. I cannot applaud the Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle enough for their vision in developing this year’s funding priority.”

In addition to ongoing board training and development for one year, the grant will provide 12540729_1657334241174705_8618515086222224335_nfunds for the purchase of additional laptops for community-based staff. Other aspects of the project include systems and database enhancements that will allow staff to better track kids in the program, their treatment plans and outcomes.

Chase Home Board Member Rob Levey, who helped develop the winning proposal with Wheeler, said the Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle continues to play a major role in the greater Seacoast region.

“They thoroughly study community needs and assessments as well as the agencies that apply for funding,” he said. “This award is a serious validation of our work and where we are headed. As an agency, we are well-positioned to meet emerging needs—and this grant plays a major role in quickly expanding our organizational capacity.”

Serving 36% of youth requiring intermediate placement, Chase Home is one of five intermediate level group homes in New Hampshire. The youth Chase Home serves across the state have all been involved with the abuse/neglect system and require significant interventions.

To learn more about Chase Home, visit www.chasehome.org.

Chase Home awarded large grant from Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle

Anonymous gift enhances kids’ lives at Chase Home

In March, Chase Home turned to social media to request support from the communities it serves without any expectation as to what may happen. Several monetary donations came into Chase Home, including a $10,500 gift out of which $1,500 was allocated to match Best Buy’s offer to create a movie room for youth residents.

According to Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler, work has been completed on the room, which has thrilled both staff and the residents. Referring to the room as “an example of how much the community cares,” she said the residents—ages 11 to 18—can now experience something many might take for granted.

“It’s not just a movie room—it’s a slice of home, a home most of these kids have never experience before,” she said. “To see the look on these kids’ faces when they first saw the room completed was just incredible…While the kids are here, it is critical we create a home-like environment for them, which can enhance the overall therapeutic process.”

Serving 36% of youth requiring intermediate placement—which means a place to live—in New Hampshire, Chase Home is one of five intermediate level group homes in the state. The goal of its residential program is to reunify the youth with their families. According to Chase Home Board Member Rob Levey, though, such a goal is not always possible.

Many of these kids come from troubled circumstances where the parents are addicted to drugs, in jail, or have outright disappeared,” he said. “When we say we provide a home here, we mean it, and this media rooms helps us create a very subtle, comfortable environment…We are so grateful for all the gifts that have come into Chase Home. It sends troubled youth an important message—that people care.”

To learn more about Chase Home, visit www.chasehome.org.

Anonymous gift enhances kids’ lives at Chase Home

River House continues to make a difference

For quiriver-house-mainte some time now, River House has stepped up in a very big way to support kids in our residential program by providing meals for them right at Chase Home. They have helped in other ways, too.

This is what Justin, River House Manager, had to say when asked why they support Chase Home.

In Justin’s Words
“We started helping the Chase Home about 2 1/2 years ago. We wanted to find an organization that helped people locally. It was Christmas time and we thought what a great opportunity to help out children. We started a giving tree to gather gifts for the kids. We had them all fill out 4 gifts they would like. Our staff made ornaments that represent each gift the kids asked for.

This past Christmas, we were able to get all the kids what they asked for (over 55 gifts–some as big as a long board). In addition to the toys each year, we have invited the kids to come in for dinner. We load them up with River House sweat shirts and gear and then send them over to the music hall for a holiday show. This is an extremely exciting time because
some of them had never been out to a sit down restaurant before.

We had such success with the last two Christmases we wanted to do something throughout the year. We offered to do a lunch drop off 1 per month. It has been great working with the Chase Home. Michael, her employees and kids have always been so humble. We do the last Wednesday of every month and try to change up dinner every time. It has been anything from macaroni and cheese to some of our seafood chowder. We do our best to throw something sweet in as well.

We wanted to work with a organization that helped the local community. The River House has always made major efforts to support the community’s music and arts with major sponsorships to prescott park, the Music Hall and the Seacoast Science Center. We wanted to turn our attention to a cause that has done so much good for children that may not the
opportunities that we take for granted. It gives the Chase Home residents something to look forward to.

The River House, owned by the Labries have always inspired us to help where help is needed. I joined the restaurant over 3 years ago and have been blown away with the Labrie family’s generosity to the community.”

To Justin and the Labries–thank you–from all of us at Chase Home!

River House continues to make a difference

Unexpected gift surprises staff, helps transform Chase Home

12540729_1657334241174705_8618515086222224335_nHaving operated “under the radar” for more than 100 years, Chase Home in Portsmouth has begun to build momentum in support of its work with troubled youth.

Most recently, Chase Home solicited the support of the local Seacoast community to support an initiative whereby one of its rooms would be transformed into a movie room. A local citizen, who wishes to remain anonymous, answered the call and much more, according to Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler.

“We received a gift of $10,500 total from an individual who was moved by our mission to help youth in need of significant support and guidance,” she said. “While most of his donation is earmarked for general operating support, $1,500 of it will match Best Buy’s offer to cover half the costs needed to create a room here at Chase Home into a real movie theater.”

Acknowledging all of the youth they serve have been involved with the NH legal system, Wheeler said the movie room serves a pragmatic as well as a symbolic purpose.

“These kids need to a place to ‘hang out,’” she said. “For the most part, they are teenagers—and this is their home for right now. This latest gift does more than create a media room, it actually helps to make this place a real home—maybe a home these kids have never had.”

Serving 36% of youth requiring intermediate placement in New Hampshire, Chase Home is one of five intermediate level group homes in the state. To learn more about Chase Home or to check on the progress of the movie room, visit www.chasehome.org.

 

Unexpected gift surprises staff, helps transform Chase Home

Piscataqua Savings Bank supports Chase Home with $1,000 investment

PSBlogo - ColorPiscataqua Savings Bank has invested $1,000 to support Chase Home for Children in Portsmouth. According to Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler, the investment comes at a critical time, as it continues to solidify itself after the previous winter caused more than $300,000 worth of structural damage.

“Our Residential Program suffered because we could not see as many kids—we lost revenue,” said Wheeler. “2016 is a strong year so far for us, as we continue to implement our strategic plan. Diversifying sources of revenue and building relationships is part of this strategy. I can’t thank Piscataqua Savings Bank enough for their belief in and support of Chase Home.

Founded in the same year as Chase Home—1877—Piscataqua Savings Bank has been a longtime supporter of local nonprofits.

“Piscataqua Savings Bank is pleased to support the work of The Chase Home for Children,” said President and CEO Rick Wallis. “Providing a safe and supportive environment for at-risk children is the foundation for building a successful life.”

Expressing gratitude at the support provided by Piscataqua Savings Bank, Chase Home Board Member Rob Levey said one of their objectives now as an agency is to “work as intelligently and effectively as possible.”

“Everything we do now is framed within a very serious drug epidemic that is affecting every sector of society, but especially our youth,” he said. “With corporate support and intelligent programming and services, we can make a lasting impact on the Seacoast and in other areas we serve.”

Serving 36% of youth requiring intermediate placement, Chase Home is one of five intermediate level group homes in New Hampshire. The youth Chase Home serves across the state have all been involved with the criminal justice system and require significant interventions.

To learn more about Chase Home, visit www.chasehome.org.

Piscataqua Savings Bank supports Chase Home with $1,000 investment