The award was made through GSDC’s Economic Development Grant Fund (EDGF), which provides grants to organizations, projects and programs that “create and/or retain jobs, improve or otherwise enhance the community.”
“This grant award reflects our core mission, which has always been to help small businesses expand and grow, which directly assists the New England economy,” said GSDC’s Amanda Lee. “Because of the scope of their work with youth and families, Chase Home is a critical part of this larger economic wheel.”
Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth serves at-risk youth annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home.
According to Meme Wheeler, longtime executive director of The Chase Home, GSDC funds will help staff meet the day-to-day needs of youth in their residential program.
“For this program, the fiscal challenges have always been great,” she said. “We are reimbursed $239 from the state per child per day when the cost to house and feed them and provide services is approximately $300 per day.”
The goal of the program, she said, is to address the root causes of issues in families that led to state intervention.
“By removing the youth from the home environment and placing them here, it enables our staff to figure out what may be happening and help the entire family work on solutions,” said Wheeler. “The outcomes we seek are youth and entire families that are better able to contribute to the local community and economy, which is why I think we are a good fit for GSDC.”
Lee agrees and said the entire GSDC staff is even more committed now to the communities it serves in light of COVID-19.
“GSDC Founder Alan Abraham, who recently just retired, instilled this value in us that we are a family and we are here to do good,” she said. “I’m grateful for the chance to make a difference through our work and philanthropy.”