Over the winter and early spring, major construction work has taken place at The Chase Home for Children in Portsmouth—a project that is now completed. Funded through a $50,000 grant award from the City of Portsmouth/U.S. Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program, the project affected several significant infrastructural repairs and life safety upgrades at Chase Home.
According to Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler, these improvements included new stairway handrails, fire alarm panel, sealing of several structural elements for firestopping purposes, emergency lights and ceiling tiles.
“These things were necessary from a code and safety standpoint,” she said. “It was a serious undertaking. I cannot thank the City of Portsmouth enough for making this happen. We are in a much better position from a structural perspective than we have been in years.”
Mayor of Portsmouth, Jack Blalock said the federal Community Development Block Grant program is an important source of funding in the community.
“It supports programs like Chase Home that provide housing and social services to families and youth who earn low to moderate incomes,” he said. “Over the last thirty years, this block grant in Portsmouth has supported and continues to support numerous infrastructure, facility improvement, housing rehabilitation and social service programs in our City that directly benefit persons who are elderly or homeless, children who are abused or neglected and thousands of other eligible recipients.”
In looking ahead at Chase Home’s future, Board Director and owner of Tre Cleaning & Restoration, Mike LaLime said it looks much brighter as a result of this project.
“We are always discussing the building, this home where kids live,” he said. “The City of Portsmouth has definitely impacted our operations in a terrific and positive way…We are all very thankful.”
Wheeler added, “We also want to thank Peter and North South Construction. They did an incredible job and went above and beyond what we could have expected.”
Founded in 1877 as an orphanage, Chase Home has evolved through the years to meet needs in the greater Seacoast community related to children and youth.
To view photos of the project, find Chase Home on Facebook or Instagram, or visit www.chasehome.org.
To receive updates about Chase Home, text CHASEHOME to 41411, or visit www.chasehome.org.