Granite State Economic Development Corporation awards $10,000 grant to The Chase Home

The award was made through GSDC’s Economic Development Grant Fund (EDGF), which provides grants to organizations, projects and programs that “create and/or retain jobs, improve or otherwise enhance the community.”

GSDC’s Barbara Arena (middle) and Amanda Lee (r) at annual NADCO Conference

“This grant award reflects our core mission, which has always been to help small businesses  expand and grow, which directly assists the New England economy,” said GSDC’s Amanda Lee. “Because of the scope of their work with youth and families, Chase Home is a critical part of this larger economic wheel.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth serves 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.

According to Meme Wheeler, longtime executive director of The Chase Home, GSDC funds will help staff meet the day-to-day needs of youth in their residential program.

“For this program, the fiscal challenges have always been great,” she said. “We are reimbursed $239 from the state per child per day when the cost to house and feed them and provide services is approximately $300 per day.”

The goal of the program, she said, is to address the root causes of issues in families that led to state intervention.

“By removing the youth from the home environment and placing them here, it enables our staff to figure out what may be happening and help the entire family work on solutions,” said Wheeler. “The outcomes we seek are youth and entire families that are better able to contribute to the local community and economy, which is why I think we are a good fit for GSDC.”

Lee agrees and said the entire GSDC staff is even more committed now to the communities it serves in light of COVID-19.

“GSDC Founder Alan Abraham, who recently just retired, instilled this value in us that we are a family and we are here to do good,” she said. “I’m grateful for the chance to make a difference through our work and philanthropy.”

To learn more about GSDC, visit granitestatedev.com. To learn more about The Chase Home, visit chasehome.org.

Granite State Economic Development Corporation awards $10,000 grant to The Chase Home

The Chase Home Receives $5,000 Express Grant

Based in Portsmouth and serving youth, ages 11 to 19, statewide, The Chase Home recently received a $5,000 Express Grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to help meet urgent needs related to COVID-19.

According to Executive Director Meme Wheeler, the award is significant in that it allows the nonprofit agency to “put the money where it is needed the most.”

“It is an unrestricted grant that can help with immediate cash flow concerns,” she said.

One of these concerns relates to an increase in staffing.

“Expenses are more than 25% higher during the COVID-19 crisis,” she explained.

Noting there are no COVID-19 at Chase Home, Wheeler said “extraordinary precautions” have been taken to protect both their kids and staff.

“Some staff are quarantining to ensure their safety and that of our kids,” she said. “We are not taking any chances and are so proud of the dedication of our staff during this incredibly stressful time.”

Expressing gratitude at the grant by the Charitable Foundation, Wheeler said Chase Home has benefited from an outpouring of support from the larger Seacoast community and beyond.

“People and organizations are approaching us and asking how they can help,” she said. “We are very thankful for all who are stepping up to support us. Our kids both here at the home and in the community are truly fortunate to have such wonderful community advocates.”

Founded in 1877, 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 Chase Home.

To learn more about The Chase Home, or offer support, visit chasehome.org.

The Chase Home Receives $5,000 Express Grant

Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle (SWGC) awards $15,000 to The Chase Home

Founded in 2007, Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle (SWGC) annually examines a community issue before a rigorous grant-making process, an approach that recently resulted in a $15,000 competitive award for The Chase Home.

According to Kirsten Mahoney, who co-chairs SWGC with Kathleen MacLeod, several “compelling factors” led the group to fund Chase Home in 2020.

“100% of its clients have been affected by Adverse Childhood Experiences [ACEs] and trauma, which was our focus this funding cycle,” she said. “Chase Home has a proven track record of success in mitigating the experience of trauma by building resilience and protective factors. It also prevents the entrance of youth into the Juvenile Justice system.”

According to MacLeod, Chase Home presented a project that particularly resonated with SWGC members.

“Chase Home discussed in great detail how it planned to embed trauma-informed training into its systems and organizational culture across all programming,” she said. “This training is also  critical for The Chase Home to gain accreditation in compliance with 2018’s Family Preservation Act. The COVID-19 crisis makes this training even more important.”

Expressing gratitude for SWGC’s investment, Meme Wheeler, executive director of Chase Home, said the award will “literally transform how [they] operate.”

“This marks the beginning of an 18-month process in which every staff member–clinical and administrative–will receive very high-level trauma-informed training,” she said. “This is going to be best-in-class training and enhance every aspect of our service delivery model.”

Chair of SWGC’s GIVE committee, Erika Taylor said this year’s focus, Trauma due to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), was a natural follow-up to last year’s topic of Substance Use Disorder.

“Based on our research, we have learned that childhood trauma has a lasting impact that dramatically increases the likelihood of future physical and mental health issues,” she said. “Based on what Chase Home presented to us, we felt they would make a big impact in addressing that topic.”

Wheeler added, “This is an incredible honor and opportunity, and at-risk youth are the big winners.”

Since its inception, SWGC has distributed more than $700,000 to local nonprofits. New members are welcome to join at any time with a contribution to their collective gift. To learn more about SWGC, visit seacoastwomengive.org.

Founded in 1877, 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.

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

Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle (SWGC) awards $15,000 to The Chase Home

Private donations, corporate support help “fuel” The Chase Home

For The Chase Home, COVID-19 reinforces the importance of community support, which Executive Director Meme Wheeler said is proving instrumental in helping the nonprofit agency navigate “this unexpected crisis.”

“As a nonprofit, we essentially always prepare for the worst, but the coronavirus is impacting our operations and the families we serve in ways we simply could not have planned for at all,” she said.

If there is a silver lining, she said, it is the consistent support the agency has continued to receive from the community.

“Constant financial and in-kind support ease the uncertainty a bit and allows us to think more strategically on a day-to-day basis,” she said.

Recently, Northeast Delta Dental invested $2,500 to support The Chase Home’s food program, which provides food to youth living at Chase Home. In light of COVID-19, though, Wheeler said the program has expanded to help families in the community.

Meme Wheeler at her home office during COVID-19

“For families who receive our services in their homes, many of them have lost one or both incomes,” she said. “Therapy and support will not be effective if their basic need to eat is not met.”

Northeast Delta Dental’s Lisa Rousseau said they are committed “to doing all they can to support communities” across the region.

“This is a challenging time for us all, so we are thrilled that our support can help kids and families eat healthy and stay nourished,” she said. “We believe in The Chase Home in their mission, especially right now.”

Founded in 1877, 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 Chase Home.

“From all of us at Chase Home, I cannot thank Northeast Delta Dental and the so many others who keep stepping up to support our families,” said Wheeler, who noted a recent Food Campaign has secured an additional $2,500. “Words simply cannot express our gratitude.”

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

Private donations, corporate support help “fuel” The Chase Home

The Chase Home Receives $5,000 Grant from Bangor Savings Bank Foundation

CMM-2020-Logo-Horizontal

Recently, Bangor Savings Bank Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to The Chase Home as part of its Community Matters More initiative. Residents across Maine and New Hampshire were provided with the opportunity to vote for up to five nonprofits.

“It is just an incredible award that has come at precisely the right time,” said Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home. “The coronavirus has led to a substantial spike in the need for our services, so this gives us a push in the right direction when we really need it.”

According to Kelly Goodwin, Bangor Savings Bank’s Portsmouth branch manager, Community Matters More is an important part of the bank’s philanthropy.

“Community Matters More actively engages the public and puts dollars into the community in ways they direct,” he said. “It is empowering for the communities that we serve and gratifying for all of us at Bangor Savings Bank.”

In looking ahead at the needs of The Chase Home, Wheeler said it is too early to tell how COVID-19 might affect their operations in the long-term. She said community support, however, remains critical.

“We are so thankful for Bangor Savings Bank and individuals who are stepping up to support our kids,” she said. “We want everybody who supports us to feel like they are part of a real solution when they become involved in The Chase Home.”

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.

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

The Chase Home Receives $5,000 Grant from Bangor Savings Bank Foundation

Staff and community rally around The Chase Home

While the coronavirus has effectively ceased operations for many sectors of industry, nonprofit agencies like The Chase Home in Portsmouth have potentially never been busier.

“We are taking every preventative measure possible right now to prevent any cases of COVID-19 both among our staff and our kids,” said Executive Director Meme Wheeler. “Our staff are literally working overtime right now to ensure we adhere and even exceed all CDC guidelines.”

The Chase Home (76 of 92) (1)

Citing the need to hire additional relief staff in the event of a positive diagnosis for the coronavirus at The Chase Home–currently, there are none–Wheeler said the challenges currently faced by staff extend beyond the pragmatic.

“For the kids that live here, their families cannot visit them right now,” she said. “This is really tough on the kids.”

To address the anxiety experienced by many of the kids, Wheeler said they have instituted a rewards system to encourage positive behaviors.

“For instance, Laney & Lu is delivering smoothies for our kids today,” she said. “It’s an amazing gesture and one that reinforces for kids that they are part of this community. We are in this together and so thankful for everyone rallying around us and our kids.”

Regarding services provided by The Chase Home in the community, Wheeler said staff is using Skype and similar videoconferencing platforms to stay in close contact with families.

“Clinically, we cannot just stop providing services, so we are working strategically to stay in contact and offer support and guidance to families that really need that connection right now,” she said.
Founded in 1877, 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 Chase Home.

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

Staff and community rally around The Chase Home

Tenants Association at Pease (TAP) Selects The Chase Home as 2020 Beneficiary

Formed in 1999 to create an organized body of the people who work on the Pease Tradeport, Tenants Association at Pease (TAP) has selected The Chase Home as its 2020 charity beneficiary.

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From left to right: Craig Dennis, Chase Home Director of Operations; Deanna St. Hilaire, TAP President; and Meme Wheeler, Chase Home Executive Director.

“We choose a local charity that we feel could use the support and recognition and has not been chosen by us in previous years,” said President Deanna St. Hilaire, who said TAP has nearly 9,000 members.

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves more than 140 at-risk youth and families annually statewide through prevention, intervention, residential and community-based programs.

Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home, said she is “thrilled” at the selection.

“We want to express our deepest thanks for their support,” she said. “This is going to be a wonderful partnership.”

As beneficiary, The Chase Home will benefit from three TAP member events in 2020. These events include Spring Fling (May 7), Summer BBQ (August 13) and Fall Festival (October 28).

“We have great attendance at all of the events, especially the Summer BBQ,” explained St. Hilaire.

At each event, members will be asked to bring an item needed by The Chase Home or a cash donation.

“At each event, we will also provide a table or spot for Chase Home to collect donations,” added St. Hilaire. “We are excited to have Chase Home as our beneficiary in 2020 so we can help support their kids and raise awareness about what they do.”

To learn more about TAP, visit tenantsassociationatpease.org. To learn more about The Chase Home, visit chasehome.org.

Tenants Association at Pease (TAP) Selects The Chase Home as 2020 Beneficiary

Local Resident to Lead Renovation Project at The Chase Home

In its current location since the early 1900s, The Chase Home is in need of substantial exterior improvements, which has attracted the support of Portsmouth native Jeff Keefe, who has volunteered to lead the project.

Jeff Keefe and Meme Wheeler Outside The Chase Home
Jeff Keefe (left) and Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home. Photo credit: David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

Financial Advisor and Principal at Whole Wealth Management, LLC, Keefe led the successful development of the Puddle Dock Pond ice rink at Strawbery Banke Museum, which required nearly $1 million in cash and in-kind donations.

“I’m doing this for the kids,” said Keefe, who said his impetus is to elevate “the spirits of the kids who live at Chase Home.”

“My grandparents lived next door to Chase Home, so I have always been aware of it and what they did,” he explained. “I wanted to do something for an agency that has done so much for kids in this community for more than 140 years.”

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.

Meme Wheeler and Jeff Keefe Outside The Chase Home
Photo credit: David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

Regarding the needed improvements, Keefe cited a new driveway, roof and walkways as well as enhanced exterior lighting and landscaping as constituting the majority of the proposed work, which can be completed in phases.

“We will complete aspects of the project as the money is raised,” he said.

With preliminary costs of about $270,000, the project has already garnered nearly $40,000 in support from area companies, including Pike Industries, Bourassa Construction, Terra Firma Landscape Architecture and AndHow.

“Ideally, the project would ‘break ground’ this summer and be completed in about 8 weeks,” added Keefe.

For Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home, the project has long-term potential to impact the nonprofit agency in several ways.

“It not only addresses infrastructural and safety concerns, it creates a new face for The Chase Home,” she said. “This is a home for dozens of youth each year, many in crisis. It is very important we create the most welcoming environment possible for them.”

Keefe agreed and added, “This is really about emphasizing the ‘home’ in Chase Home, and it will require a community effort to do that.”

To learn more about The Chase Home, or support the campaign, visit chasehome.org.

Local Resident to Lead Renovation Project at The Chase Home

The Chase Home to Participate in Bangor Savings Bank’s Community Matters More

Selected for the first time to participate in Bangor Savings Bank’s Community Matters More, The Chase Home in Portsmouth is asking the community for its vote.

Each year, Community Matters More allows community members to become actively involved in grant giving as they decide which nonprofits will receive financial support from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation. The two nonprofits with the most votes in each geographic region will receive a $5,000 grant, while the remaining agencies will receive $1,000.

The Chase Home (76 of 92) (1)
Exterior of The Chase Home

“We are thrilled to be on the 2020 Community Matters More ballot,” said The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler. “This is a wonderful initiative.”

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.

Voting for the Community Matters More campaign takes place during the entire month of February. All votes must be completed by online ballot at www.bangor.com/cmm. Only one online ballot per person is eligible for submission.

To learn more about The Chase Home, or how you can support us, please visit www.chasehome.org.

The Chase Home to Participate in Bangor Savings Bank’s Community Matters More

Martingale Wharf Donates nearly $2,900 to The Chase Home

A longstanding supporter of The Chase Home in Portsmouth, Martingale Wharf recently donated $2,894.21 to The Chase Home, an amount raised from a portion of all sales on Tuesdays in December.

“It’s an initiative that brings more people to our restaurant on these days, which in turn provides nonprofits with financial support that can boost their operations,” said Martingale Wharf’s Michelle Matthews. “Everybody wins.”

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Interior of Martingale Wharf

MemeWheeler, executive director at The Chase Home, agrees and said such contributions are important in several ways.

“They not only help address budget gaps, they are unrestricted so we can use them in ways that best address current needs,” she said. “Through the years, Martingale Wharf has really impacted our operations. We are so thankful.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves more than 140 at-risk youth and families annually statewide through prevention, intervention, residential and community-based programs. To learn more about The Chase Home, or learn more about how your business can get involved, visit chasehome.org.

Martingale Wharf is located at 99 Bow Street in Portsmouth. To learn more about Martingale Wharf, visit martingalewharf.com.

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Martingale Wharf Donates nearly $2,900 to The Chase Home