CLAREMONT, NH- Boston-based nonprofit Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) has made a $2,500 “challenge grant” to New Hampshire’s Southwestern Community Services (SCS) to support its management of a public bus service in Newport, Charlestown and Claremont that serves many seniors, disabled and low income residents. POAH owns Sugar River Mills, a 162 unit senior and family affordable housing development in Claremont whose residents rely on the public bus service which was temporarily suspended for over a month when the previous provider could no longer afford to operate it. SCS stepped in to manage the service.
The POAH grant is intended to encourage other local businesses to contribute to this vital service for Sullivan County residents. SCS will be asking other potential community partners to match or exceed the POAH grant.
“At POAH, we believe that access to affordable and healthy housing is critical, but it’s only one part of the answer to addressing poverty, said Catherine M. Dunham, POAH’s Vice President for Resident Services and Community Improvement. “As part of our Community Impact initiative, POAH collaborates with community partners to remove barriers to financial stability which can include lack of access to public transportation. We were pleased to work with local, regional partners in New Hampshire to provide this assistance.”
SCS operates a “Deviated Fixed Route Bus service in Charlestown, Claremont, and Newport that allows for the buses to deviate off the established route pattern up to one half mile to pick up and drop off passengers. It also operates a Volunteer Driver Program funded by Section 5310 Federal Transportation funds primarily for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. General public requests are accommodated where possible.
"It was clear that reliable transportation is critical to the physical and economic well-being of the region,” said John A. Manning, CEO of Southwestern Community Services. “SCS was pleased to be able to resume public transportation services to local residents in Sullivan County. We thank the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, local community leaders and Sugar River Mills, for their financial support, without which we would not have been able to resume this service.” The bus service operates Monday-Friday except on federal holidays. For more information including schedules, fares and routes: http://www.scshelps.org/transportation.htm or call (603) 477-9423.
Southwestern Community Services (SCS), one of New Hampshire’s five community action agencies, has served the needs of Cheshire and Sullivan county citizens since 1965. www.scshelps.org