No one should be hungry or homeless in our community.
The Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization providingmeals, emergency shelter, food pantry and advocacy to homeless and low-income men, women and families with children. The soup kitchen, at 2 Quincy Street, serves dinner seven days a week and breakfast five days a week.
Successes Amid Covid-19
- A single man came to our shelter in the spring, a casualty of a self-employed businessman having to close his business and losing his income. He stayed several weeks and then went on his way. He reached out to us recently. He was able to reopen his business. He’s earning a living again. He stopped in last week to give us a donation to thank us for being there when he needed help.
- One of the new, smaller projects of NSKS has been to place several shelter clients in housing as a gateway out of homelessness. The clients must be employed and be able to pay rent. Because of poor credit records, prior eviction records, and income ineligibility, many clients cannot secure housing on their own. NSKS stepped up, found an apartment, and negotiated with the landlord. Five Star Hotel Furniture in Nashua helped us furnish the apartment, so it looks great! During this pandemic, the apartment has given several clients a pathway out of the shelter. The response from clients eligible for the apartment has been phenomenal – they are so appreciative!
- A client came to our Employment Advocate looking for help with their resume. It needed to be rewritten and look more professional. The client recently wrote Donna: “I want to say thank you and to say that after we met, I applied for a position in the school district of Nashua and have been working there since. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me. I will never forget your help and I hope one day I can repay you. In the meantime, I am trying to learn as much as I can to be able to help others.”
- Many people were, and still are, making the difficult decision to stay at home during COVID-19. NSKS has coordinated with the United Way of Greater Nashua to deliver fresh produce to 8 various locations, Monday – Friday. From March – July we have distributed over 25,500 pounds of fresh fruits & vegetables!
- In July, we received city approval to erect tents in our parking lot to provide outdoor dining, per COVID recommendations. Our clients appreciate having a place to eat their “To Go” hot meals we serve for both Breakfast and Dinner.
Executive Director’s Blog
The other day, I had a chance encounter with one of the local Nashua clergy and he started talking about the difference between this year and 2008, what we previously referred to as the “Big Recession”. Twelve years ago, he was working in a suburb outside of Boston. In his congregation were people of considerable means. I don’t know what significant wealth would mean to you, but it is safe to say such families were not scarce on Sunday morning worship. When the recession hit, the first thing he heard was “batten down the hatches!”, “eliminate mission!” “we need to ensure we can make it!” The contrast with Nashua was striking. Here, when the pandemic hit, his congregation said, “Let’s take care of mission first!” “If we make sure we help the community, we know we can figure out things internally!”
The contrast between the two congregations struck a note with me. I have lived across the country and in large cities as well as small towns. Nashua has a generous spirit which is not evident everywhere. You may have noticed how we have been, with the help of others, setting up 16 mobile pantries and increasing our food assistance to ten local area schools. This would not have been possible without you. When the crisis really began to hit, all of the staff were wondering how we were going to make it work. The answer of course was through the support of our community. Thank you! We can not say it enough and we will need to keep on saying it in the months and years ahead. We consider ourselves lucky to have so many who “have our backs” and for that we say “Thank you!” again and again.
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