Winter has taken hold in New Hampshire over the past few weeks and it shows on our windblown faces. My walks with my dog have gotten shorter in direct response to the drop of each degree on the weather report. We, Dobby and I, consider ourselves very fortunate that when our fingers and paws begin to ice over, we get to thaw out in the comfort of our home.
We are all spending more time than ever in our homes during the pandemic. We work, cook, attend school, and raise families, all under the same roof. It can be easy to take that roof for granted. The harsh reality is that over the course of a year in New Hampshire there are 15,000 homeless youth seeking services who aren’t as lucky. Imagine being a kid and instead of worrying about tomorrow’s math test, you are worried about where you will find your next meal and how you stay warm through the night.
That is where Waypoint New Hampshire steps in. Waypoint is the only statewide nonprofit with a continuum of services dedicated to ending youth homelessness in the State. Waypoint’s Homeless Youth and Young Adult Services serve thousands of youth from 12-23 by helping them find shelter, employment assistance, and giving them the emotional support they need. This past year has been no exception, in fact, the number of people seeking help through Waypoint’s Street Outreach program has almost doubled during the COVID pandemic. To meet the needs Waypoint is planning to expand its reach by adding drop-in centers in Rochester and Concord, and an overnight shelter for youth in Manchester.
It is easy to feel helpless in the face of all the injustices and tragedies facing us in the world right now. The best thing we can do in the face of injustice is something, we can each do something. In this case, we can act right now by joining me and hundreds of other Waypoint volunteers by joining Waypoint’s SleepOut on March 26th to support their work to end youth homelessness in New Hampshire.
If you want to learn more about the SleepOut and what Waypoint is doing to end youth homelessness come and join the Manchester Young Professionals on March 4th as they host a virtual conversation with Waypoint NH.
New Hampshire is a special place because of the strength of our nonprofits and the active community that holds them up, come be a part of that community!