2022: Our Impact

Published on May 12, 2023 | Impact

Each year, we share the Community Action Partnership of Strafford County Annual Report, which illustrates in numbers the full impact of our organization in the previous year.   The Annual Report is coming out mid-May and we are excited to share it.  This year, we are taking a moment in our blog to offer even more information and some details that don’t make it into the report but that we think paint a fuller picture of what we accomplished in 2022, including the programs we implemented, the people we served, and the outcomes we achieved. 

Thank yous all around

Despite the continuing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2022, we were able to adapt and continue our mission of serving those in need. We are proud of the work that we accomplished over the past year, and we are grateful for the support of our donors, volunteers, and partners who made it all possible. It was truly a community effort. We cannot say thank you enough!  

We made our funding work hard 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal and state funding for organizations like CAPSC soared, with a 2022 total of over $41M in grant funding.  We made every effort to utilize the funds in two important ways: direct benefits to CAPSC families through programs and services, or direct dollar-for-dollar payment of bills like utilities and rent on a family’s behalf.  

Here is a glimpse at how our 2022 funding made a difference for individuals and families throughout Strafford County:

Total # of households served 15,552
# of individuals receiving assistance through our housing and homeless prevention programs 6,590
# of meals served in the Summer Meals Program 67,964
$ value of fuel and electric assistance $3,988,085
$ value of rent and utility payments to keep families housed $28,431,601
$ value of all Head Start and Early Head Start programming  $3,071,027

Those are some big numbers… but we also have some smaller numbers that are no less important…

  • We distributed 307 holiday baskets during Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, which allowed families to enjoy a meal with loved ones and feel the comfort of tradition without worrying about food insecurity.
  • We provided local transportation to 72 seniors, enabling them to get around town to appointments and shopping, and providing a sense of autonomy that is crucial to a healthy mental outlook.
  • Our weatherization program provided upgrades and necessary repairs to 104 individual homes, resulting in lower utility bills and a healthier indoor environment for 412 residents!

Support, Setbacks, and Success

In 2021, families faced a record number of financial challenges due to the pandemic, which led to the initiation of the New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program (NHERAP).  The goal of NHERAP was to provide stability for families who had lost a source of income during the pandemic.  The program aimed to keep NH households in their homes by providing rent and utility subsidies, including past due and future rent.  As one of NH’s community action agencies acting in conjunction with NHERAP, CAPSC received direct funding and was a key facilitator in the application process.  To-date, statewide, these combined efforts provided $270M in assistance to over 25,000 households in all 10 NH counties.  

However, in October 2022, NHERAP paused accepting new applications due to lack of funding at the federal level, and existing participants would be phased out through June 15, 2023.   

As a non-profit that is dependent on federal and local funding, as well as private and corporate donations, we often have to pivot our efforts as resources shift, or at times, just disappear.  The NHERAP setback told us that we needed to look elsewhere for ways to help Strafford County families find housing, a clear and present challenge considering the rising rental rates and a 0.5% vacancy rate in the state of New Hampshire (New Hampshire Statewide Housing Needs Assessment).

With this pause in the NHERAP program, we took a step back to observe our situation and decide on our next steps.  We made the observation that families kept in their homes during very challenging financial times were more in need of our services.  Simply put, more families were coming to CAPSC, were more aware of our full program offering, and were taking full advantage of it.  While a greater demand shows greater need, we were happy to be able to provide it to more people.

How did the community find out about CAPSC?

First, the statewide promotion and success of NHERAP helped thousands of new families discover CAPSC, get to our doors and our website, and get their housing applications in.  Because of this, there is now more awareness of all of CAPSC programming throughout Strafford County, which has led to new partnerships.  Through NHERAP, we developed strong relationships and communication with local vendors, landlords and hotel owners and we are continuing those partnerships beyond NHERAP, as well.

CAPSC has been very successful in partnering with the City of Dover, the City of Rochester and the City of Somersworth in implementing programs and projects that increase housing opportunities, provide assistance to homeless individuals, and help homeowners and renters alike with the increasing costs of heating their homes and feeding their families.

                           – Bob Arnold, Director of Housing Development and Revitalization

Second, our internal operations had been whittled down to essentials during the lockdowns of 2020-2021, giving rise to a necessary surge of efficiency and massively improved cross-program assistance to help families needing more than one of our services.  In doing so, we attained a long-standing goal of having a “whole person approach” that addresses the multiple needs of one family. 

New Hampshire’s glass is half-full

Walk down the halls at our headquarters in Bradley Commons and you will definitely notice an optimistic atmosphere.  While we are aware of the many challenges ahead, there are some great things going on in NH.  

In 2022, New Hamphshire ranked as the #1 healthiest state in the U.S. (America’s Health Rankings Annual Report, December 2022).  This ranking includes a variety of factors that include social and economic factors (i.e. community and family safety, economic resources, education, and social support and engagement), physical environment (including housing and transit), clinical care (access to and quality of care), behaviors (including nutrition), and health outcomes (like drug related deaths, low birthweight, and chronic obesity).  

In addition, New Hampshire ranked #3 in the nation for seniors, thanks to the low risk of social isolation, low rate of chronic disease, and higher rates of physical activity.

Not coincidentally, CAPSC programming directly supports each of the factors listed above, from helping families with young children get their best start, to helping place people in permanent housing, as well as providing nutrition services and providing transportation to seniors.  

We absolutely believe that it is because of organizations like CAPSC that our state ranks so high, and it is a driving motivator for us to keep doing what we are doing every day!

Want to know more?

Here are just some of our projects and recent honorable mentions we are proud to share with you:

  • Housing Stabilization Program – On April 1st, 2023, CAPSC launched the Housing Stabilization Program to address the needs of those facing homelessness due to eviction. The goal of this program will be to keep those that currently have housing in their homes and off the streets and out of shelters. CAPSC staff will determine income eligibility and assist clients with case management and budgetary assistance as the clients move through the process, and in some cases the clients will be temporarily housed in local hotels, until permanent housing is secured.
  • Gafney Home – We are slated to begin remodeling the Gafney Home in spring 2023. The project will take 18 to 20 months to complete and will have 21 units of senior housing. CAPSC is working closely with JSA, Resilient Buildings, the City of Rochester, New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, and other stakeholders to ensure the project maintains the building’s architectural features while upgrading the infrastructure to accommodate ramps and other features designed to make the property more accessible.
  • Expanding into Northern Strafford County – There is much to be done to support the less-densely populated communities of Northern Strafford County.  Part of our strategic plan is to be able to locally serve these communities with a service center like our headquarters in Dover, and we are looking into funding and finding a space to meet this need.   We invite you to read more about this in our interview with Terry Jarvis, CAPSC Board Chair and New Durham resident.
  • Additional Housing – In Summer 2023, CAPSC will acquire a 9-bedroom shared living facility for women experiencing homelessness who also have a disability. This will be a subsidy-based program with qualifying individuals having an income of 30% or below the Area Median Income. We will provide case management with the intent for each resident to either transition into an apartment or remain at the facility permanently, depending on the individualized needs of each person.
  • Hope on Haven Hill Partnership – CAPSC has partnered with Hope on Haven Hill to expand services offered to pregnant and parenting women receiving treatment through Hope on Haven Hill’s IOP services, who otherwise would not be eligible to enroll in our Early Head Start Home Visiting Services. This collaboration is supported through a SAMSA grant, awarded to Hope on Haven Hill.  CAPSC will provide parenting education and child development, using research-based curriculums, to promote healthy social-emotional development, cognitive development, language and physical development.  Read more about it at our blog.
  • Launching of Early Childhood Resource NetworkThe ECR Network assists childcare professionals and programs in increasing efficiency through automation, and includes guidance, technical support, and a collaborative network approach to strengthen early childhood programs.

Upcoming Events

Mentioned in this post:

CAPSC Annual Report

Founded in 1965, CAPSC is the sole provider in Strafford County to offer a full suite of programs and services designed to have a measurable impact on the health and welfare of at-risk children, seniors, and people experiencing low incomes.

Every year we publish our Annual Report to give our community deeper insight into our organization’s impact and efforts, and to thank our Board members, donors and corporate sponsors.

Read current and past Annual Reports here.

Housing Program

We believe that everyone should have access to stable, safe, and permanent housing. CAPSC provides housing navigation and assistance to individuals and families residing in Strafford County. We strive to ensure that assistance is provided as effectively as possible, and that it is accessible no matter how or where a person begins seeking help.

Learn more here.