2018 Project – CRISIS CENTER OF CENTRAL NEW HAMPSHIRE
Originally established in 1978 as The Rape and Domestic Violence Crisis Center, CCCNH provides services to victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, stalking and child abuse. CCCNH’s mission is to empower individuals to make positive changes in their lives and become independent members of their community through services, including a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, court advocacy, hospital advocacy, forensic interview support, community education, legal referrals and support groups. CCCNH served 1,184 people, answered 4,950 hotline calls and provided 2,991 bed nights in 2017 alone, but the demand for shelter is high, and CCCNH was forced to turn away 319 women and children last year due to capacity limitations.
CCCNH’s building is nearly 120 years old, and had outdated systems and an inefficient floor plan, suited for a family of four instead of an emergency shelter that regularly houses 13 women and children with office space for all of CCCNH’s staff members. Upon completion of Building on Hope’s renovation, which ended up being a gut of most of the building, the shelter’s capacity has nearly doubled from four bedrooms with 13 beds to seven bedrooms with 23 beds. A total of 17 rooms were renovated and the house was equipped with a brand new security monitoring system, mechanical system with heat and air conditioning, windows, exterior siding, interior flooring, and is now wheelchair accessible with a lift on the porch and an ADA-compliant kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Most of the rooms in the house are bedrooms for survivors furnished with serene colors, new bedding, custom shelving, desks and storage space.
Examples of the room transformations include:
Living Room and Dining Room – Originally two separate rooms, the walls between the rooms were removed for an open-concept area between the kitchen and living room, which allows mothers to keep an eye on their children while preparing meals in the kitchen. All furniture throughout the living and dining space is new, including the TV, DVD player, WiFi-enabled printer and custom designed six-phone charging station. The open floor plan allowed for increased and separate eating spaces for residents, a food pantry area with family storage units and a small, shared working station.
Common Areas – Prior to the renovation, common areas were cramped and unorganized or used for meetings. Now, the house has two areas solely dedicated to two different groups. The room designated as the playroom was more of a catchall for random furniture, since it’s also a pass through area to the upper floor. Given the foot traffic coming through, keeping toys collected, stored and organized was a priority; resulting in the installation of a series of custom built-in shelves, along with a homework and drawing station, to keep items off the floor. Now kids staying in the shelter have a play room stocked with toys and ample storage and shelf space where they can play, get creative and relax in a space meant just for them. For women in the shelter, in addition to the “boho retreat” balcony space just off the playroom, there is now a room furnished with plush couches, a speaker system and chic decorations to escape and relax outside of the bedrooms they share with their kids.
Kitchen – The kitchen was one of the most drastically upgraded changes in the house. Prior to renovation, the kitchen had an outdated, four-burner stove, minimal cabinet and refrigerator space and no seating. The new kitchen has been equipped with an eight-burner Thermador stove with a commercial-grade ventilation hood, island counter with bar stool seating, three commercial-grade refrigerators, ample storage areas and open shelving for easy access.
With the exception of one small office dedicated to an on-site staff member, all space in the house is designated for survivor use. Building on Hope’s renovation allowed CCCNH to move its staff office to a separate location and begin operations at its new Center for Survivor Support, an expansion plan CCCNH believed was years away from reality.