Outreach center aids Derry's needy
By HUNTER McGEE
Union Leader Correspondent | July 24. 2014 9:14PM
Rockingham Community Action assists residents in the Derry area through a variety of programs, from fuel and utility assistance to weatherization and financial advice, said Patte Ardizzoni, Rockingham County administrator for Southern New Hampshire Services.
A newly released report shows that the center at 9 Crystal Ave. provided fuel assistance for almost 1,900 families to help heat their homes in the past year. Also according to the 2013 annual report, 361 Derry area residents have received assistance in Women Infants Children Supplemental Nutrition and 36 preschoolers have come through the Head Start program. In addition, 77 local residents have been helped with security deposits and/or rent or utility arrearages in the homelessness prevention program, Phil Grandmaison, a special projects coordinator with Southern New Hampshire Services, wrote in an email.
Making the trip to Salem could be a challenge for some Derry residents who were already struggling financially. And not having a center in town can be especially difficult for elderly people, Ardizzoni said.
In addition to fuel and crisis assistance, the new facility was designed to offer a Head Start program and a number of other services, including WIC and Workplace Development. Struggling residents now have a place to go to where they can sit down and talk to staff members about their immediate needs.
Some residents who aren’t in desperate need are also being helped by the center, she said. Instead of needing fuel or other assistance, they might just need help with their taxes or some financial advice.
For more information on Rockingham Community Action, go: http://www.rcaction.org/index.php?page=about-us.