Four Concord apartments for the formerly homeless ready for tenants to settle in

  • A towel with the Keeler Family Realty logo lays at the foot of the bed in one of the four apartments that they and other organizations helped furnish.

  • Diana Johnson, marketing relationship manager, (left) and Merrimack County Savings Bank President Linda Lorden wipe down the donated furniture for the fully-furnished apartment for the new Green Street Apartments for four former homeless residents from the Concord area. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Josh Belanger of the Concord Coop carries in a chair for the furnishing of the their sponsored apartments at the Green Street Apartments on Saturday morning, November 21, 2020. The former homeless residents will be able to move into a fully-furnished apartment later this month. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Dawn Beers, vice president of marketing for Franklin Savings Bank, carries a mat through the newly decorated living room with furniture bought, repaired and painted by the bank staff. Beers spent her Saturday building a bed and cleaning for the eventual residents to come in later this month. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 11/23/2020 4:30:24 PM

The walls have been painted a pleasant shade of blue. The floors and blinds are new and clean. The furniture is in place and ready for someone to move in.

Four new apartments at 10 Green St. in Concord have been fully renovated and will soon house adults who were previously homeless.

This weekend, volunteers put the finishing touches on the apartments, including new furniture and a final cleaning

“It makes you feel really good, it warms your heart, and it makes you feel lucky for the things that we have,” Merrimack County Savings Bank President Linda Lorden said in between wiping down some of the new tables and chairs that were put in place Saturday. “This is a new home for somebody. I’m trying to envision their thought, opening this door into this home of theirs to think, ‘Oh my God, I’m warm, I can have a cup of coffee, I don’t have to worry about where I’m sleeping tonight.’ ”

The bank is one of the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness’s “pillars of support,” along with Concord Food Co-op, Franklin Savings Bank, Keeler Family Realtors. Each has provided donations and volunteer time.

For the coalition, buying, renovating, furnishing the apartments has been a true community effort.

The purchase and renovation of the Green Street building was financed by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. Merrimack County government sold the property to the coalition. Real estate agents Brenda Litchfield and Wendy E. Keeler donated a portion of their commissions from the sale. Law firms Cleveland, Waters and Bass, P.A. and McLane Middleton, both provided pro bono legal work.

Design work was done by Warren Street Architects and general contractor JH Spain donated all of its profits from work on the project and secured securing sub-contractors at reduced rates. To top it off, Dana Nute, Resilient Buildings Group, Inc. helped identify and apply for rebates for energy efficient upgrades.

Dawn Beers, vice president of marketing for Franklin Savings Bank, assembled beds on Saturday.

“I feel it’s very important that everybody should have a safe place to live,” Beers said. “Really, that’s why I’m here today to try to help individuals who are experiencing homelessness to be able to find an affordable place for them to be able to live so they’re not outside in the elements. It’s disheartening to see people were struggling with that, especially now, down in Manchester, for example.”

The apartments are coming on line at a critical time in the state for the homeless. With the spread of the coronavirus, winter shelters are limiting the number of individuals who will be able to spend the night during the coldest time of the year. While the apartments won’t solve the issue, they are a step in the right direction.

“Having a home isn’t something that’s a privilege, I think that it’s something that is, its inherent, it’s something that we all deserve. Everyone needs to come home and be safe and live with dignity,” said Diana Johnson, the marketing and relationship manager with Merrimack County Savings Bank. “It’s something that we’re really proud of supporting and helping in any way we can.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Merrimack County sold the property to the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness. 

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