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McKenna House seeks $500,000 grant to add 16 beds

The number of beds at the Salvation Army’s McKenna House will increase significantly if the homeless shelter is awarded the nearly $500,000 federal grant it’s seeking. And so far, the odds look promising: No other group has submitted an application to the county and the deadline is next month, said Merrimack County Administrator Kathleen Bateson.

McKenna House has 26 beds, 19 for men and seven for women. The grant money would allow the shelter to add 16 beds, bringing the number of beds for men to 29 and for women to 12, said Maj. Jerry Stinson of the Salvation Army. The expansion would also allow the Salvation Army to put a dining room in McKenna House.

“Especially during the winter months, we are still seeing people we are saying no to,” Stinson said. “We will be able to open up some beds for veterans as well. This will be a great part of trying to end homelessness.”

McKenna House provided shelter to 238 people last year but turns away about 10 people a day because it rarely has free beds, shelter Director Lorrie Dale told the Monitor in June. She was unavailable yesterday.

Residents typically stay from three to six months, paying $10 a day or completing 20 hours a week in community service. Residents can volunteer their time at the shelter or at a nonprofit in the community. Dale said 99 percent opt to volunteer. During their stay, residents receive help finding jobs and permanent housing from a case manager.

Convicted sex offenders are not allowed to stay because of the shelter’s proximity to day cares and schools. Residents must remain drug- and alcohol-free to keep their bed.

This would be the second Community Development Block Grant awarded to McKenna House in two years. In 2011, the shelter was awarded a $225,000 federal grant through the county. Shelter officials paired the money with in-kind donations and volunteer efforts to replace the building’s furnace, siding, windows and flooring. They also created a new activity space in the once dirt-floor basement for music and art therapy.

“That was a good project,” Bateson said. “They got a lot done for their money.”

The Merrimack County Board of Commissioners will hold a hearing on the Salvation Army’s application Jan. 7, a required first step in awarding the grant. In the meantime, the Salvation Army will write and submit its official grant proposal.

Bateson said the folks at McKenna House could know as early as late January or early February whether they will be awarded the grant.

(Annmarie Timmins can be reached at 369-3323 or atimmins@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @annmarietimmins.)

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Legacy Comments7

The county doesn't award the CDBG grant; it comes from us at CDFA and is awarded in one of two competitive rounds. NH counties and municipalities are limited to $500,000 for Housing/Public Facilities each calendar year...so sometimes counties have to choose between multiple projects to submit. The point of the article is that there looks to be no other agencies asking the county to apply, so it's likely they will on behalf of McKenna House. It should not be inferred that this automatically means the project will be awarded a CDBG grant. Thanks!

Also, awards will be announced in mid-April, not February.

Seriously, if the money is there and no one else applies then this project WILL get all of it. What are you going to do, send it back. Please tell the readers how many tax dollars have been returned in each of the past years.

Thanks Annmarie for the info about this Tuesday, January 7th Public Hearing at the County Commissioner's where? in Boscawen at __:__ o'clock a.m. or p.m.? $500,000 in Federal funds from who, where and how? The Feds care not about N.H. homesteaders like the Browns but go for this group-home stuff!? I called the Commissioners earlier this year of like before the April 1st time for assessing for the city to put down the Cleveland and Rudman blocks since the 40USC2355 to 3112 Federal agent there as "head" of "agency" as the G.S.A./ General Services Administration landlord had NOT filed his papers as required by N.H. RSA Chapter 123:1 with Bill Gardner, the N.H. Secretary of State to get the land exempted by RSA 123:2, that without such being done for this $100 million complex ought to bring in over $2 million a year in property taxes on such a billing that the City Assessor does RSA Ch. 643:1 "refrain" to do, of her an "Official Oppress"or.

Joseph - if your comment doesn't appear immediately when you post it, just hit the "refresh" button on your browser, rather than posting the whole thing again.

It appears even before I finish typing it with the typos of I have no chance to go back to make the corrections! Usually when I type some number or symbol (rather than a letter) the webpage here thinks that I'm done. Please erase the below as it ended at the #1 of RSA 123 of THEN I typed the rest as indicated above.

Thanks Annmarie for the info about this Tuesday, January 7th Public Hearing at the County Commissioner's where? in Boscawen at __:__ o'clock a.m. or p.m.? $500,000 in Federal funds from who, where and how? The Feds care not about N.H. homesteaders like the Browns but go for this group-home stuff!? I called the Commissioners earlier this year of like before the April 1st time for assessing for the city to put down the Clkevelsand and Rundman blocks since the 40USC2355 to 3112 Federal agent there as "head" of agency" as the G.S.A./ General Services Administration landlord had NOT filed his papers as required by N.H. RSA Chapter 1

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