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August 20. 2014 7:39PM

Harbor Homes of Nashua receives funds to expand mental health services

Harbor Homes of Nashua, a non-profit organization providing housing, healthcare and supportive services to those challenged with homelessness and/or mental illness, was one of only four organizations in New Hampshire to receive a generous grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Approximately $55 million, which will finance a total of 221 awards, will be available through the fiscal year 2014 Affordable Care Act Mental Health Service Expansion program.

“We are so grateful for this grant. Integrating medical and behavioral services reduces the stigma of receiving care for a mental illness, improves access to services, and improves the efficiency of the care, as it enables all providers and patients to work together as a team,” said Carol Furlong, vice president of operations at Harbor Homes.

The timing could not be better for this infiltration of funds for Harbor Homes. In October 2014, the agency will be opening its newly rehabilitated, state-of-the-art, Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center, which will be expanding its services to meet the critical healthcare needs of the individuals and families it serves: those who are homeless, uninsured and/or low income. No one is turned away regardless of their ability to pay for services.

Thanks to the newly awarded HRSA grant, the Center will be able to significantly expand its current, crucially needed mental and behavioral healthcare services. In addition, the Center will be offering expanded primary and preventive health care services, along with new assistance such as dental care, vision and audiology services, respite care, and a number of other benefits for its clients, including incentive programs to promote better health outcomes.

Mental illness plays a major part in the complex set of factors that lead to homelessness, and is a vital component of the services needed to create sustainable, productive lives for our most vulnerable community members.

The goal of the HRSA funding is to expand mental health services and increase the coordination, collaboration, and integration of primary and behavioral health care services at existing health centers. Harbor Homes will be able to use these new funds, made available through the Affordable Care Act, for efforts such as hiring new mental health professionals, adding additional behavioral health and substance use disorder services, and employing team-based models of care.

Harbor Homes, one of the six agencies that comprise the Partnership for Successful Living, provides a multitude of wrap around services to individuals and families who are challenged with the complex circumstances of homelessness and/or mental illness. It has been carrying out this mission for over 30 years, and with laudable success.

To learn more about Harbor Homes and the Partnership for Successful Living, go to nhpartnership.org.


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