This summer, The Chase Home in Portsmouth received a $50,000 2022 Angel Grant from Foundation for Seacoast Health.
Criteria for selection for the award was that organizations “must improve the health and wellbeing of individuals in one or more of the nine communities within the Foundation’s service area.” These communities include Portsmouth, Newington, New Castle, Greenland, Rye, and North Hampton, New Hampshire as well as Kittery, Eliot and York in Maine.
Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth provides prevention, early intervention, residential, and community-based programs to at-risk youth, all of whom are involved with DHHS or the Juvenile Justice System. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.
The award, according to Meme Wheeler, executive director of The Chase Home, is instrumental for several reasons. “It is unrestricted, so we can use it precisely where and how we need to use the money,” she explained. “It also comes at a time where we are dealing with a lot of volatility due to inflation and the lingering pandemic. There is a lot of uncertainty right now.”
In describing their services, Program Director Lindsey Ellis referred to The Chase Home as “a safety net.” “They don’t have safety and security in their own lives due to a variety of hurdles, including family addiction issues, incarcerated parents, deceased parents, abuse and neglect and for many kids’ homelessness.”
In working to help provide this safety and security, Ellis said kids experience many victories along the way with staff. These victories range from securing a driver’s license or a job to opening a bank account, getting a haircut, or learning how to cook.
“These young people have known a lifetime of struggles and trauma before they’re even considered adults, yet the vast majority of them are fantastic human beings despite all the challenges they face,” she added.
To learn more about Foundation for Seacoast Health and its grantmaking philosophy, visit foundationforseacoasthealth.org.