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Wentworth-Douglass Awards $25K Grant to Address Youth Homelessness

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has awarded a $25,000 community benefit grant to Waypoint to assist in the creation of a Drop-In Center in Rochester, which will allow the nonprofit organization to reach more homeless youth in the Seacoast region.

Homelessness is a growing problem in the communities that Wentworth-Douglass serves and can have a wide-range of negative health outcomes.

“We believe these important programs will have a meaningful impact on the health and wellbeing of vulnerable youth and young adults experiencing homelessness within our community, and that the development of these services are well aligned with needs identified in our most recent Community Health Needs Assessment,” said Michelle Hanson, RN, (pictured below at right) director of strategic planning and community benefit at Wentworth-Douglass.

Waypoint seeks to limit the amount of time that youth remain homeless by providing intervention and prevention. The Rochester Drop-In Center will provide a safe, judgment free place for youth to access basic needs while building trusting relationships with staff. Youth at the center will have access to food, clothing, technology, educational resources, and connections to multiple supportive services.

“With increasing homelessness among youth in our community, more services are needed. We are so thankful to Wentworth-Douglass for joining us in this effort to open a new Drop-in Center in Rochester that will mean more youth are able to access the support they need to find a path out of homelessness,” said Mandy Lancaster (pictured above at left), senior program manager of youth services at Waypoint.

The Rochester Drop-In Center is located at 3 Wallace Street and Waypoint expects an average of 125 youth to access the center each year. 

In addition to the Drop-in Center, Waypoint provides street outreach in areas youth are known to congregate and provides crisis response. Services are designed to assist youth in leaving the streets, making healthy choices, and building trusting relationships. 

Waypoint provides street-based outreach in Rochester, Dover, Portsmouth, Exeter, and Hampton - the five most populated communities in the service area and areas which are known to have larger numbers of youth experiencing homelessness. In the remaining greater Seacoast area, Waypoint provide services via a Street Outreach Van, in areas youth are known to congregate, such as train stations and parks, allowing for outreach in the less-populated communities.

The funds donated are approved by the Wentworth-Douglass Community Benefit Funding Disbursement Committee and are not raised through any public or private donations.

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