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News & Updates

In Memoriam, Robert Sargent Shriver, Sr. (November 9, 1915 – January 18, 2011)

Southern New Hampshire Services joins millions across the country in mourning the loss and celebrating the life of Sargent Shriver, the father of Community Action. As a lifelong public servant and visionary idealist, Mr. Shriver is renowned for his leadership in creating many of the important social programs still active today which serve to better the lives of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.


Shriver was long known for his idealism and conviction that the power of an active and involved citizenry can change the world for the better. In the era of civil rights, he encouraged the nation’s economically disadvantaged to get involved in the very programs which aimed to help them, which was a dramatic shift from how social programs had been run up until that time. This model is reflected in the Promise of Community Action:

Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

Shriver was born in Westminster, Maryland on November 9, 1915. A graduate of Yale and Yale Law School, he was also a Lieutenant in the Navy during WWII and was awarded the Purple Heart. He married Eunice Kennedy (July 10, 1921 – August 11, 2009), a sister of then-Senator John F. Kennedy.

Shriver played an important role in Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign, and after the election he served as the first director of the Peace Corps. After President Kennedy's assassination, Shriver continued to serve as Director of the Peace Corps and served as Special Assistant to President Lyndon Johnson. Under Johnson, he created the Office of Economic Opportunity with William B. Mullins and served as its first Director. He is known as the "architect" of the Johnson administration's "War on Poverty".


In this role, Shriver founded numerous social programs and organizations, including Community Action, Head Start, VISTA, Job Corps, Upward Bound, Foster Grandparents, Special Olympics, Legal Services, and others, all while continuing to direct the Peace Corps. He served as U.S. ambassador to France from 1968 to 1970, and was the Democratic Party's candidate for Vice President during the 1972 presidential election.

In recognition of his life of public service and leadership, in 1993, Shriver received the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom From Want Award. On August 8, 1994, Shriver received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, from President Bill Clinton.


Speaking at a 2003 National Center on Poverty Law dinner in Mr. Shriver’s honor, President Clinton said, ‘‘In my lifetime, America has never had a warrior for peace and against poverty, a warrior to make citizenship the noblest of all endeavors, like Sargent Shriver.’’

In a statement, President Barack Obama says Shriver embodied the idea of public service during a long and distinguished career, calling him one of the "brightest lights of the greatest generation." Obama went on to say that through the Peace Corps, Shriver helped make it possible for generations of Americans to serve as "ambassadors of good will" around the world.

SNHS Homeless Outreach Receives Generous Donation

When Kathy Paquette, SNHS Homeless Support Specialist, appealed to the readers of the Nashua Telegraph for warm clothing items for the community’s homeless population, she never expected that, along with sleeping bags and gloves, she would receive $6,000 in anonymous donations!  The generous donations will provide transportation assistance, emergency motel stays and other services to help the homeless get the help they need. Read More

SNHS' Mary's House Celebrates 15 Years of Affordable Housing

The walls of Karen High’s home are decorated with framed drawings and paintings, including one she bought in Paris when she visited in 2002. Eight years later, High’s life is drastically different than the year she was able to travel abroad.

Currently unemployed, High’s home consists of one room in Mary’s House – a program of Southern New Hampshire Services that provides safe and affordable permanent housing for previously homeless, single women in Nashua.

Story reprinted from The Telegraph.

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Grand Opening of the Eileen Phinney Multi-Cultural Center

SNHS is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of the Eileen Phinney Multi-Cultural Center at 521 Maple in Manchester on Friday, Nov. 19, from 12 PM to 1PM.

The Latin American Center (LAC) began in 1972, founded by the late Eileen Phinney, a Uruguayan immigrant who founded and was actively involved in the Center as well as the broader Multicultural community of Manchester for 40+ years. In 2010 the Latin American Center officially became the Eileen Phinney Multi-Cultural Center in recognition of her role in starting the center and many years of service to the community.

The Center will continue to the serve the Latino community but now will be available to a variety of different groups in the ever-growing minority community in the Manchester area. The Center has been used for Ethnic groups including Latinos, Bhutanese, Somalians and Congolese. Classes have been conducted for English language and training, agricultural seminars, citizenship, workers’ rights and various other issues that affect the Refugee and Immigrant communities. Currently, the building houses Latino Services, Somali Batu Community Association of New Hampshire and the administrative office for the B.R.I.N.G. I.T!!! after school program It is our explicit commitment to work cooperatively with other organizations, agencies and individuals who are serving the same population to avoid redundancies of services or programs.

2nd Annual Amazing Senior Race

The 2nd annual Amazing Senior Race took place on Sunday, September 26, 2010 at the Mall of New Hampshire.

Mayor Ted Gatsas cut the ribbon during opening ceremonies for the Amazing Senior Race. From left, Dee Martin, Lyn Collins, Mayor Gatsas and Jay McCallion, RSVP volunteer.

There were 19 stores that participated in the event this year plus 7 interactive sponsor tables. With four routes that covered the Mall, the walkers had a great time doing challenges along the way such as: Dress the Mannequin, name that gadget and string beads. Besides raising awareness of what RSVP volunteers do in the community, this event raised over $5,000 to help maintain and implement RSVP programs in the community.

For more information on RSVP, contact Dee Martin, Volunteer Services Director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

RSVP volunteer Norma Valley and her granddaughter Kaity were the top fund raising team!

Vice President Biden Announces 200,000 Homes Weatherized Under the Recovery Act

ryan and bidenManchester, N.H. – At an event with homeowners and workers who benefited from the program, today in Manchester, New Hampshire, Vice President Joe Biden announced a major Recovery Act milestone – the weatherizing of 200,000 homes under the Recovery Act. As a result of the Administration’s unprecedented commitment to energy efficiency, more than 200,000 low-income families have been able to save money on their energy bills while saving energy, and thousands of people have been put to work.

“Thanks to the Recovery Act, thousands of construction workers across the country are now on the job making energy-saving home improvements that will save working families hundreds of dollars a year on their utility bills,” said Vice President Biden. “From replacing windows and doors to adding insulation, these are small changes that are making a big difference for American workers, manufacturer and consumers. We’ve hit the accelerator on the weatherization program, making over 200,000 homes more energy-efficient already, and are now full speed ahead to meet our original target of weatherizing 600,000 homes nationwide. ”

“The weatherization program under the Recovery Act – one of our signature programs – is successfully delivering energy and cost savings for hundreds of thousands of American families while creating thousands of clean energy jobs in local communities,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Vice President Biden today visited the Manchester, New Hampshire home of the Dumont family to announce the milestone. The Dumont family is expected to save over $600 a year on their utility bills once their weatherization project is completed and Southern New Hampshire Services, the local organization weatherizing their home, has already hired 7 new full-time employees and an estimated 68 subcontractors as a result of the Recovery Act weatherization funding.

New Hampshire has been one of the nation’s weatherization leaders, ramping up quickly and effectively to reach their goals ahead of schedule. Through June, New Hampshire has weatherized a total of more than 1,000 homes under the Recovery Act. New Hampshire was also recently selected to receive an additional $3.1 million to complement and expand their existing weatherization program, drive innovation, and deliver even greater energy bill savings for local families.

Vice President Joe Biden & Gale Hennessy
New Hampshire’s efforts are contributing to the success of the program nationwide. After ramping up last year, the Weatherization Assistance Program is now weatherizing homes at its optimal rate – approximately 25,000 homes per month. With 200,000 homes weatherized nationally, states are more than a third of the way to reaching the President’s goal of weatherizing nearly 600,000 homes under the Recovery Act. This summer alone, more than 80,000 homes are being weatherized nationwide versus 3,000 last summer. Including homes weatherized with annual program funding, more than 300,000 homes have now been weatherized since the Recovery Act began.

The weatherization program is also creating thousands of jobs locally – putting carpenters, electricians, and factory workers back to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances, and improving heating and cooling systems. According to state reports, the Recovery Act Weatherization Assistance Program supported more than 13,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2010, including approximately 120 jobs in New Hampshire. These workers are receiving training in energy upgrades that will help form the foundation for a sustainable energy efficiency industry in America that can extend to the more than 100 million middle-class homes that stand to benefit from weatherization.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program helps lower-income families save energy and money by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. According to a recent study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, weatherization services save families an average of more than $400 in energy costs during the first year after home retrofits are installed. Overall, the Administration is investing about $90 billion through the Recovery Act in clean energy and energy-efficiency projects that cut costs, reduce energy use and create new jobs.


Fuel Assistance Program accepting applications

The Fuel Assistance Program (FAP) has begun taking applications for the winter season that runs from December 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017. An in-person interview is required of all applicants. All qualified households can now call to make an appointment to come to their local Southern New Hampshire Services office to apply.

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