Homelessness has always been an issue for many citizens in this country, and New Hampshire is no exception. But one organization is doing what it can to assist those suffering from this issue and recently sought out some financial help from the town Budget Committee during their latest meeting on Jan. 18.
The organization, Isaiah 58, is based out of Hampstead and works to provide housing alternatives and supportive services for both families and individuals in need of housing options. Created as a private organization by its president, David Yasenka, who was also the former pastor of Triumphant Cross Lutheran Church in Salem, the group accepts help from everyone social workers to business men to educators and so on, as long as they want to help eliminate homelessness.
But, like any charity, these efforts do not come cheap, which is why its treasurer, Robert McDonald, came before the committee seeking two thousand dollars to assisting their work.
The group is thinly staffed and has primarily been funded in the past through contributions and an annual charity benefit in the fall. However, as the demand for their assistance grows, these contributions only go so far, which is why they have been recently going to various towns for assistance, having already given presentations to the likes of Sandown, Hampstead and Salem, as well as Derry in the near future.
McDonald noted that they have already been seeing a positive trend relative to their fundraising as of late, and also recently received a grant from the Alexander Eastman Foundation, a community health care grant making foundation. The charity also assists with food and medical issues, but housing is still their primary concern.
“In some cases, we can step in and supplement an individual’s contribution to housing to try and get them through a difficult situation”, McDonald noted.
But while their work is noble, McDonald ran into some problems with Committee Chair Tim Siekmann. Siekmann noted that the McDonald has already missed the deadline for charity applications in Londonderry and worried that making an exception now would set a precedent for other charities. Furthermore, allowing them to join in now would force the town to take money away from other applicants in order to meet the needs of Isaiah 58.
“I don’t want to open that Pandora’s Box”, Siekmann stated.
None the less, Siekmann still appreciated what McDonald’s group does, as it has already helped out eight Londonderry families, and will instead put them up for consideration in the following fiscal year.