The Home for Little Wanderers is opening Unity House, a new community based group home in Keene, NH, serving youth ages 14-18, who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. The program is the first of its kind in the Granite State, and offers a safe, supportive living environment with 24-hour staffing for up to eight youth, while they prepare for family reunification, independent living, secondary education paths and future self-sufficiency.
Contracted by the New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth, and Families, Unity House builds on the success of The Home’s Waltham House, a specialty group home designed specifically for LGBTQ+ youth that was among the first of its kind in the nation when it opened in 2002.
Unity House will mirror Waltham House’s very successful model for delivering high quality community based group care for LGBTQ+ youth for over 20 years, sharing the belief that all youth deserve to live in an environment in which they feel safe, respected, supported and cared for.
“For many years, our Massachusetts-based program has served clients from New Hampshire,” explains Vice President of Community Services, Matthew McCall, LCSW. “The opening of this program will allow us to support New Hampshire kids in New Hampshire, keeping them closer to their communities, their families, and their future surroundings for their adult lives.”
New Hampshire continues to see statistically high rates of discrimination and violence toward youth in the LGBTQ+ community. Studies have shown that students are experiencing verbal and physical harassment, as well as physical assaults, based on their gender identity, expression, or sexual orientation at significantly higher rates than their straight, cisgendered counterparts. Many youth at Unity House will have experienced difficulty—at home, school, within the community or in placement. This LGBTQ+ residential program will offer an array of educational, vocational, and mental health services to support youth as they live, grow and build skills needed for the future.
The projected opening for Unity House is September 18th.