The Chase Home Expands In-Home Program

In response to community needs, The Chase Home continues to expand its In-Home Program, which provides families struggling with drug and alcohol abuse or juvenile problems direct care within their homes.

“It is really important to work within the families environment,” said Executive Director Meme Wheeler, who said the program is in its fourth year of operation. “It allows us to understand what is going on in the home.”

Recently, The Chase Home hired a second in-home worker.

“The demand for this program is definitely there,” added Wheeler. “As of March 1, we hired a second in-home worker, Kelsey Fitta.”

According to Fitta, the work takes place in people’s home between one to three days each week for one hour at a time.

“I enjoy the work I do and feel that it’s important in helping build a better relationship between the youth and their family,” she said. “At these visits, I cover anything from talking about how their week has gone, discussing better communication, mediating arguments, or talking about school.”

In addition to Fitta, Jyana Jordan has worked in the home-based services program for the past year and at The Chase Home for the past three years.

“In the past year, I have been a part of many cases that supported teens and their families in identifying problems, barriers to success, and triggers for emotional outbursts,” she said. “I have helped create structure, consistency, coping skills, and improve overall communication, which led to teens being able to remain in their home.”

As part of the program, families are connected to a variety of services, including therapy, psychiatry, or section 8 housing.

“Any support we can offer both during and after the program is important,” added Wheeler, who said the main goal behind the program is prevention.

She cited the Family First Prevention Services Act, signed into law in 2018, as an important step to ensure that child welfare agencies will focus more on prevention.

“If we can put more money, time, and resources into prevention first to potentially prevent placement of children out of their home and family, that’s what we should all be doing,” she added. “To that end, we are in the process of becoming Child Health Support certified so we can provide services that will help prevent placement for young children.”

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.

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The Chase Home Expands In-Home Program

Seacoast Youth Suicide Prevention Network to offer Suicide Prevention Training

On March 22, the Seacoast Youth Suicide Prevention Network (SYSPN) will offer suicide prevention training for Portsmouth High School staff.

The training consists of prepared slideshows that highlight the expertise of each lead agency in SYSPN. Now in its third year, SYSPN was formed through major funding from Exeter Hospital. In addition to The Chase Home, other lead agencies within SYSPN include New Heights and Seacoast Outright.

“The training highlights suicide warning signs, how to assess for risk, and how to respond efficiently and effectively,” said Cory Towne-Kerr of The Chase Home, which helped form the network. “We continue to have youth suicides in our state, and we need to band together to put a stop to this, which is why we need to offer education for those who work with our youth.”

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 Chase Home.

To learn more about The Chase Home, or to learn more about SYSPN, visit www.chasehome.org.
Seacoast Youth Suicide Prevention Network to offer Suicide Prevention Training

Martingale Wharf Restaurant to support Chase Home in February

Serving at-risk kids throughout the Seacoast and state of New Hampshire, The Chase Home in Portsmouth has been selected by Martingale Wharf as its nonprofit beneficiary on Tuesdays in February.

According to Martingale Wharf’s General Manager, Michelle Matthews, The Chase Home will receive 10% of all their sales on Tuesdays throughout February.

“This is part of a new initiative where we will select a new nonprofit each month,” she said. “The Chase Home has been part of the Seacoast for years, so this is a way for us to thank one of the state’s oldest nonprofits.”

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 at The Chase Home, said she is thrilled at the new partnership.

“This is a great opportunity for us to fill in some gaps in our budget and raise awareness about what we do,” she said. “We are very grateful for this support.”

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

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

Martingale Wharf Restaurant to support Chase Home in February

Chase Home supports SENATE BILL 294

Serving at-risk kids throughout the Seacoast and state of New Hampshire, The Chase Home is in favor of SB – 294, legislation developed by Senator Guida that supports accredited Juvenile Court Diversion programs.

Providing evidence-based support and services to first-time juvenile offenders rather than placing them in the traditional Juvenile Justice System, these programs lost Incentive Funds in 2011.

14066469_1742555312652597_7402010286160885767_o“We support this legislation because diversion is critically needed in this state,” said The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler, who noted their recently accredited program is nearly at full capacity.

“Research supports the effectiveness of diversion, and data bears that out,” she added.

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.

Currently, there are 21 accredited juvenile court diversion programs in NH, which serve upwards of 700 youth per year arrested for a first-time offense. These programs are administered by the NH Juvenile Court Diversion Network.

“Some diversion programs are supported by county governments, city police departments, or city offices of youth services, but the majority offer diversion as struggling non-profits,” said Nicole Rodler, Network board chair. “We need this legislation to be approved and implemented.”

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.

To learn more about The Chase Home, visit www.chasehome.org. To learn more about diversion, or the NH Juvenile Court Diversion Network, visit nhcourtdiversion.org.

Chase Home supports SENATE BILL 294

My Reis Salon gives back to The Chase Home

With locations in Exeter and Portsmouth, My Reis Salon recently provided an opportunity for several female youth at The Chase Home to receive a custom cut and style from a stylist.

Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home, expressed gratitude to Nicole Reis, who owns the salon.

“She approached us, and it was just a wonderful experience for our girls,” she said. “We try to work with local businesses to provide our youth with meaningful life enhancement opportunities. We are so thankful for Nicole and her team.”

For Reis, giving back to nonprofits, including The Chase Home, is an important part of her business.

“It is important for me to try and give back to the places that give so much to the community,” she said. “I am very happy we could help these girls look and feel their best.”

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, intervention, residential and community-based programs.

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

My Reis Salon gives back to The Chase Home

Local artist creates a mural at The Chase Home

Recently, local artist Natalee Miller created a mural in the girls dorm at The Chase Home in Portsmouth. For Miller, the opportunity to work with The Chase Home was special in a multitude of ways.

“I love doing murals and working larger than I do on a day to day basis,” she said. “They gave me total artistic freedom, which is very rare and kind of a dream project. Most of my work and style also revolves around the female experience in some way, so it was a no-brainer.”

An illustrator and designer, she said she has had the urge lately to “go large scale and play with interiors and spaces more,” which made the project at The Chase Home even more enjoyable.

“I love doing murals and treating walls like a huge sheet of drawing paper,” said Miller, who said all her works tend to reflect a revolving collection of themes and things that inspire her.

She does tend to work with common conceptual threads that generally relate to history, nostalgia and fashion.

“I also can’t seem to break away from the late 70s and 80s no matter what I do,” she laughed.

In total, the project took 15 hours to complete.

“I had to work in small time increments while school was in session so I wouldn’t be in the way,” she added.

While at The Chase Home, Miller said she did, however, have the chance to meet some of the youth who live there.

“They did keep me company a few times and it was fun and hilarious,” she said. “Everyone I met there was great.”

The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler expressed appreciation for Miller’s artistic contribution.

“It is wonderful to have this place feel as much like a home as possible,” she said. “The girls love this mural and so does the staff.”

Miller said she is also thankful that she was “handed this wall and trusted to do [her] thing.”

“The whole experience was great,” she said. “Everyone was incredibly warm and accommodating, and I’m honored to have my work at 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 www.chasehome.org.

Local artist creates a mural at The Chase Home

The Chase Home Receives $1,000 Life Enhancement Grant

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Cory Towne-Kerr (l), Coordinator of The Chase Home’s Seacoast Community Diversion Program, with Meme Wheeler, Executive Director of The Chase Home

A $1,000 grant from the Rosamond Thaxter Foundation of Maine will enable youth at The Chase Home in Portsmouth to have an opportunity to participate in competitive athletics and gain important life skills.

“We are very grateful for the Rosamond Thaxter Foundation’s history of generosity and commitment to at-risk youth,” said Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home. “Because of their support, our residents will have opportunities at a scale otherwise not possible.”

Serving youth from age 11 to 19, The Chase Home provides life enhancement opportunities on a regular basis throughout the year. These activities provide opportunities for at-risk youth to gain confidence and practice important life skills while simply having fun as kids.

“Such life enhancement opportunities have included community or school sporting activities, educational field trips, adventure-based learning activities and group recreational activities,” said Wheeler, who noted the grant fills budget gaps.

“While Title I provides us with $8,000 per year for life enhancement activities, it represents a mere fraction of their actual cost,” she added.

The Rosamond Thaxter Foundation’s mission is to support charitable organizations in and around Kittery Maine, Portsmouth New Hampshire, and the Isles of Shoals. A lifelong resident of Kittery Point, Maine, Rosamond Thaxter was a philanthropist, writer, public speaker, and world traveler. “Rozzie,” as she liked to be called, established her charitable foundation in 1964 to continue to support local non-profit organizations with whom she had been involved for many 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.

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

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The Chase Home Receives $1,000 Life Enhancement Grant