Grand Opening of Tuscan Market to benefit The Chase Home

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On Monday, July 1, Tuscan Market will open in downtown Portsmouth with 10% of the day’s proceeds to benefit The Chase Home.

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.

Tuscan Market will also host a special lunch for youth who live at The Chase Home, an opportunity that staff at the nonprofit agency said will have “a big impact on the kids.”

“Anytime we can provide the kids with a community-based experience, it makes them feel good and better about themselves,” said Meme Wheeler, executive director at The Chase Home. “We are so thankful for this opportunity.”

This opportunity for The Chase Home builds off an existing relationship with Tuscan Brands. In addition to hosting fundraising events for The Chase Home, Tuscan Kitchen in Portsmouth has made numerous in-kind donations as well as prepared meals on-site for youth residents.

Joe Faro is founder and CEO of Tuscan Brands.

“We are thankful for Joe’s support of not just The Chase Home, but other nonprofits in the area,” added Wheeler.

Tuscan Market in downtown Portsmouth will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday to Thursday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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Grand Opening of Tuscan Market to benefit The Chase Home

The Chase Home Receives $1,000 from Sprague Energy

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Working with at-risk youth and their families in Portsmouth and throughout the state, The Chase Home recently received $1,000 from Sprague Energy to support its Seacoast Community Diversion Program (SCDP).

Serving nearly 50 youth, 11 to 17, and their families in the past fiscal year, SCDP works with youth and families struggling with complex issues, some of which include opioid addiction, homelessness and mental health issues.

“The program is unique because it is designed to divert youth from the path they are on before research shows it may be too late for them,” said Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home. “We are so grateful for the support of Sprague Energy in supporting SCDP.”

In the program, youth are required to sign a contract and meet regularly with a volunteer committee that reviews progress toward various clinical and therapeutic goals.

“These committees are composed of police chiefs, business persons, lawyers, school personnel and others from the community committed to making a difference,” added Wheeler. “The program is incredible because it involves police departments, probation officers, judges, city prosecutors and defenders, schools, mental heath agencies and so many others.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.

The Chase Home Receives $1,000 from Sprague Energy

Local companies provide more than $6,000 of in-kind services to support The Chase Home

Behind the scenes of any nonprofit are businesses who support them, a reality recently demonstrated at The Chase Home, which welcomed four local organizations for several projects of varying sizes.

In total, The Chase Home received more than $6,000 of in-kind support over the course of 4 days from Liberty Mutual, GreenPages, Portwalk Place and fellow nonprofit Gather.

In the garden project, Liberty Mutual and Gather cleaned out and prepared vegetable garden beds for planting, while additionally building out 4 new garden beds.

In support of Chase Home’s Independent Living Program, which provides apartment-style living to older youth residents, Liberty Mutual helped build a fourth bedroom and remodeled a living room to include a kitchenette.

In collaboration with Portwalk Place, Liberty Mutual also helped remove fallen branches from the property, clean garage bays, paint 18 bedrooms and several other areas, and made several “dump runs.”

In the final project, GreenPages painted several areas and executed their annual extensive clean-up of the property and trails, which sit on 26 acres near downtown Portsmouth.

For Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler, the projects, which took place over 4 days in May, mean “so much.”

“We get the chance to work alongside these people and get to know them,” she said. “I cannot stress enough what an impact this has had on our building and grounds.”

Wheeler estimated the amount of labor hours invested by all four organizations totals nearly 190 hours.

“From the staff and the Board, we thank of all you so much,” she said. “You have made a huge difference here.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at Chase Home.

Local companies provide more than $6,000 of in-kind services to support The Chase Home

New Board members making an impact at The Chase Home

The Chase Home in Portsmouth put out a call for volunteers on its Board of Directors, a request that has yielded tangible results in 2019.

“Each new board member has a skill set that complements one another,” said Meme Wheeler, executive director at The Chase Home. “They have literally hit the ground running this year, and it has been great.”

In total, The Chase Home has welcomed four new Board members in FY19.

Greenland, NH resident Scot Hopps is Director of Hotels for Lark Hotels. Dover, NH resident Jenna Cooke is Project Manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Sudbury, MA resident T.D. Thompson opened and runs the Boston Office of Schooley Mitchell. Stratham Resident Justin Rivlin is General Manager for River House in Portsmouth.

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth and families annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs.

Growth of the Board at The Chase Home reflects the nonprofit agency’s strategic direction, according to long time Board of Director Mike LaLime.

“A professional, well-connected board is a critical piece to our strategy,” he said. “We are also in a strategic planning phase where we are looking at our infrastructure.”

For new Board members, whose contributions have ranged from work-flow process improvements to corporate sponsor relationship-building, the opportunity to serve The Chase Home reflects diverse, but focused interests.

“I want to contribute to our community by bringing the planning, organizing, and results driven skills I’ve gained at Wells Fargo to an organization whose mission statement I feel passionate about,” remarked Cooke.

Thompson added, “[I want] to support an amazing organization that has a direct impact on the lives of young people at critical stages in their lives.”

For Hopps, serving on The Chase Home Board reflects a lifelong commitment to people.

“There can be no more important investment than the kids and families that The Chase Home supports,” he said.

Having worked with The Chase Home for years as a volunteer, Rivlin said he is “lucky to have the opportunity to help an organization he described as “humble and deserving.”

“Every day, The Chase home is saving children’s lives,” he said. “I look forward to contributing to the success of this cause.”

New Board members making an impact at The Chase Home

The Chase Home at the front lines of opioid epidemic

Serving at-risk youth both in its residential facility and in the community, three-quarters of those seen by staff at The Chase Home are significantly affected by the opioid crisis.

For The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler, this stark reality hit home in recent weeks.

“We just took in siblings, who are teenagers, but look 8 and 10,” she explained. “They are malnourished, suffered from neglect/abuse, and rarely went to school.”

Wheeler said the parent is “missing all teeth, very thin, and clearly addicted.”

“These kids came to us at night in pajamas and crying,” she said. “It’s pretty heartbreaking.”

The real work, said Wheeler, begins now.

“These kids need a tremendous amount of support and help that costs real dollars,” she said. “Most people do not understand that we take kids who are not just in the Juvenile Justice system. They are here through no fault of their own, and it often involves parental addiction to drugs and opioids…This crisis is real and it’s right here.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of the oldest nonprofits in New Hampshire, serving more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.

The Chase Home at the front lines of opioid epidemic

Sons of the American Legion invests $3,000 in The Chase Home

Recently, Sons of the American Legion made a $3,000 donation to support the Seacoast Community Diversion Program (SCDP) at The Chase Home, which works with at-risk youth and families across the Seacoast and state.

“The program is so important because it reaches kids and youth either in trouble with the law or in crisis,” said Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler.

While the program is supported by evidence-based research and mandated by the state as an option in every community, it does not receive financial support.

“There is legislation to change that, but that is still a couple years off,” she said. “In the meantime, we depend on individuals, businesses and local organizations like Sons of the American Legion.”

According to a recent study of 444 youth who went through a diversion program in New Hampshire, 79.3% were arrest-free one year later with 58.7% arrest-free after three years. Both percentages are substantially better than traditional juvenile justice measures, which are 20.7% and 41.3%, respectively.

For Mike Hunt of Sons of the American Legion, supporting the program was as much a personal decision as it was based on any data points.

“One of my officers Mark Warrant, and his daughter were at the Chase Home years ago, and he was very happy with it,” he said. “His son was in it, too, and they spoke very highly of Chase Home. We have also heard a lot about the program and how good it is. We support it, because it does good things for the kids in the area.”

Expressing gratitude at Sons of the American Legion’s support, Wheeler said SCDP is one of more than a dozen accredited juvenile court diversion programs in NH, which annually serve 700 youth arrested for a first-time offense. She said SCDP is unique, however, in that also seeks to address the needs of youth in crisis before they have been arrested.

“Before a youth is arrested, he or she presents many risk factors, which is why we work with schools and other agencies to identify them as early as possible,” she said. “It is less expensive to address these issues before they escalate into situations that involve the authorities.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at Chase Home.

Sons of the American Legion invests $3,000 in The Chase Home

Chase Home, Gather and Others Join Together to Tackle Food Insecurity

With food insecurity a growing problem on the Seacoast, The Chase Home and Gather, both located in Portsmouth, are working together to raise awareness about it.

“Food insecurity is a huge issue for the population we work with and we want to address it holistically,” said The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler.

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves more than 140 at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at Chase Home

“We are joining forces with Gather in hopes that more people will become aware of food insecurity and volunteer their time to help,” Wheeler added.

One way in which the agencies are working with one another includes a shared garden, located on the property of The Chase Home, which sits on 26 acres.

“At Gather, we found that when kids and teens garden and grow their own food they are more likely to eat healthy,” said Executive Director Deb Anthony, who said one out of 9 people in NH are food insecure. “Due to this, we support gardens in several places, including at Chase Home.”

Since growing the garden, Anthony said they have shared food with Chase Home and, in return, their teens have volunteered at Gather.

“It is a great partnership,” she added.

The meals at Chase Home have also been enhanced through a partnership with Megan Stelzer from Ceres Bakery. She volunteers her time every Wednesday evening to make food for the youth who live there.

“I make dinner, a late snack, and I prepare breakfast for the next morning,” Stelzer said. “There is value in the kids seeing me do something for them with no personal gain. They really love it.”

Stelzer is just one example of what both organizations hope to achieve further this year, said Wheeler.

“We are lucky to have this type of positive community involvement, but we ultimately want to enhance this further,” she added.

Chase Home, Gather and Others Join Together to Tackle Food Insecurity