Upper Valley homeless shelter doubles space for families

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(Host) Homeless families in the Upper Valley will have more shelter with the opening this weekend of the new Upper Valley Haven. The $2.4 million project in White River Junction means the Haven can now provide shelter for eight homeless families.

Tom Ketteridge is the managing director of the Haven. He says a study showed there was a big need for more space.

(Ketteridge) “With only a four family capacity we were turning away on the order of 150 families a year. We were full all the time. And we know even with eight families we’ll be turning families away, but we’ll be able to help twice as many families as before.”

(Host) Ketteridge says last year the average stay at the shelter was 62 days. He says his organization helps families secure an income and find an apartment to get on their feet again.

The Upper Valley Haven also provides a food shelf, a bread program, a clothing room, and educational programming for children.

(Ketteridge) “We really believe that if we’re going to break the cycle of poverty that we see in so many of the families we serve it’s going to have to start with the kids get them believing they can be professionals go to college do things that will give them a much better chance of escaping the cycle of poverty.”

(Host) The Upper Valley Haven grand opening will begin on Saturday morning at 10 o’clock with a parade from Hartford High School to the new facility on Route 5. There will also be speakers, tours, food and a band.

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