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America is the land of opportunity. No matter what obstacles arise, we believe every person should have access to a healthy, sustainable life as a contributing member of society. Our goal is to open the door of opportunity in New Hampshire for every individual and family we serve.

The Problem We Face

New Hampshire communities struggle with pockets of generational poverty which are rooted deeper than any one solution can resolve. Access to nutritious food, safe housing and preventative health care is made more difficult due to cost, and the far-reaching impacts of opioids and other addictive substances, which all can contribute to a feeling of hopelessness.

FACT: Hillsborough & Rockingham Counties contain 53% of the New Hampshire population.

FACT: New Hampshire is the 14th most expensive state to live in despite the average wage being insufficient for affording basic living expenses.

FACT: Over 50% of all substance-related deaths in New Hampshire occur in Hillsborough & Rockingham counties, and 51 per 1,000 children are affected by the opioid crisis in New Hampshire annually.

To learn more about the needs of our communities in Hillsborough & Rockingham Counties, see our Community Needs Assessment.


Our Mission

At Southern New Hampshire Services, our mission is to extinguish the root causes of poverty within our community at the source rather than only treating the symptoms, stopping the cycle at the start for sustained success. We accomplish this by:

  • Providing activities designed to assist low-income participants, including the elderly, in securing and retaining meaningful employment, attaining an adequate education, and making better use of available income
  • Meeting urgent and immediate individual and family needs, including health, nutrition, housing and employment-related assistance
  • Addressing the problems and barriers which block the achievement of self-sufficiency

Whole Family Approach

Our main strategy to break the cycle of generational poverty is to address the needs of all family members holistically and intentionally through the Whole Family Approach.

The Whole Family Approach:

  • Engages families to create achievable goals
  • Considers the needs of all family members
  • Streamlines access to needed services
  • Coordinates with community partners to provide local assistance
  • Increases support network for more open doors and opportunities for growth
  • Emphasizes workforce development, financial literacy, quality education and healthy nutrition

Since 1965, Southern New Hampshire Services has provided social service programs and advocacy activities for approximately 31,000 economically disadvantaged, elderly, youth, and other vulnerable populations each year. As the Community Action Agency serving Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties, we operate more than 60 programs through contracts with federal, state and local governments, community partners and private community-based groups to meet the needs of those in our own backyard.

Our services are available for a variety of needs which include: 

  • Workforce & Economic Development
  • Education Services
  • Child Development
  • Health Food & Nutrition
  • Housing & Community Services
  • Energy & Utility Assistance

To learn more about the variety of services we offer, see our Overview of Services.

To learn more about our impact in 2023, see our Annual Report.

To learn more about what's ahead for our future, see our Strategic Plan.

To learn more about where we've come from, see our History.


What is a Community Action Partnership?

Community Action Partnerships are local private and public non-profit organizations that carry out the Community Action Program, which was founded by the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act to fight poverty by empowering the poor in the United States. Community Action Partnerships are intended to promote self-sufficiency, and they depend heavily on volunteer work, especially when serving the low-income community.

Each individual Community Action Agency has a board consisting of at least one-third low-income community members, one-third public officials, and up to one-third private sector leaders.

There are currently over 1,000 Community Action Agencies providing a broad range of activities which include:

  • Promoting citizen participation in the local community
  • Supporting the workforce through job training and employment-related assistance
  • Delivering Head Start, Early Head Start and other child development programs
  • Distributing quality health and nutrition resources
  • Providing access to housing & community services
  • Assistance with energy and utility bills for owned and rented households

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.

Other Community Action Partnerships

Our Partners in Progress

In order to see positive change as we work to end generational poverty in New Hampshire, we need boots on the ground throughout the state and not just in Hillsborough & Rockingham Counties. Southern New Hampshire Services is one of five Community Action Partnerships serving the state of New Hampshire and work alongside these agencies to serve each of our communities and help make a difference.

Community Action Program of Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc.
Serving Belknap & Merrimack Counties

Southwestern Community Services, Inc.
Serving Cheshire & Sullivan Counties

Community Action Partnership of Strafford County
Serving Strafford County

Tri-County Community Action Program
Serving Coos, Carroll and Grafton Counties