Dear Friends and Supporters of Our House for Girls:
It is with great sadness that the Board of Directors of Our House for Girls announces that we will be closing our doors at the end of June 2012. This past week, the board and staff made the difficult decision after determining that it was financially impossible to remain open any longer. Our agency has been struggling to operate at a sustainable capacity since last summer, when the NH Legislature enacted legislation that nearly eliminated all of CHINS (Child in Need of Services) funding for youth at risk.
Over the past year, we engaged in a strategic planning process to build our administrative capacity, expand our funding sources and explore various operational scenarios. We re-engineered our residential service model to accommodate shorter stays, developed more pragmatic goals for the girls and their families, and implemented new behavior management strategies. Our proposal to develop day programming for at-risk adolescents, as a supplement to residential services, was favorably received by state officials, but no funds could be made available to move these plans forward.
State budget cuts and a shift in policy at the state level have resulted in a troubling phenomenon of girls’ residential programs closing in NH (four programs in the past three years). With Our House for Girls closing, the options for gender specific programs for girls are nearly non-existent in NH. We wish these closings were a result of the lack of need for such programs. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Schools and community resources will have to attempt to provide services, formally provided by programs such as ours, for girls in need of intensive services.
So, while 2012 marks our 35th year of success; working with nearly 700 NH girls and their families, sadly, it also marks our last year of providing vital services to at-risk adolescent girls and their families in NH. As we bring our program to its end, we would like to thank you, our loyal supporters, for thirty-five years of a successful and worthy endeavor. We end our journey with a strong sense of pride in our history and our accomplishments. With your help, Our House for Girls has made a real difference in the lives of many girls who are living their lives as responsible, productive citizens.
For those of you who have made recent contributions to Our House for Girls, please know that your generosity will be responsibly and thoughtfully used throughout our transition process as we find appropriate placements for the few girls left in our care, close the house, maintain and organize records, and recognize our wonderful staff, who have continued to work diligently under some very difficult circumstances. Any remaining funds will be gifted to an organization that specifically aids teenage girls and carries on a similar mission.
Thank You to our Corporate Sponsors