Kuster Welcomes Northern Border Regional Commission Grant for Friendship House in Bethlehem
(Concord, NH) - Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) is applauding the Northern Border Regional Commission award of a $150,000 grant to help redevelop the Friendship House treatment center in Bethlehem. The grant, awarded to AHEAD, Inc. (Affordable Housing Education and Development), will support the construction of a new 32-bed facility to help expand services at the Friendship House, the North Country’s only short-term residential and outpatient treatment program.
“As the only residential treatment center in the North Country, Friendship House is a centerpiece of the treatment and recovery network throughout the region,” Kuster said. “This new facility will enable the Friendship House to reach more people in need and build upon the exemplary services it provides. I thank the Friendship House, AHEAD, Tri-County CAP, and the North Country Health Consortium for coming together to help provide treatment to those in need, and I applaud the Northern Border Regional Commission for supporting this critical project.”
"The NBRC Federal-State partnership supports projects that are critical to each State's economic needs,” said Mark Scarano, co-chair of the NBRC. “Friendship House is a great response to the North Country's real need for a local recovery center."
“We are so grateful to the Northern Border Regional Commission for their support for the new and improved Friendship House,” said Mike Claflin, Executive Director of AHEAD. “With their help, we will be able to build a modern residential facility that will meet the needs of our community, allow us to expand our programs, and help bring an end to this devastating opioid epidemic.”
Earlier this year, Tri-County CAP, the North Country Health Consortium and AHEAD announced that AHEAD will purchase the Friendship House and lead the construction of a new building, and the Health Consortium will take over staffing and operations. Congresswoman Kuster, the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End the Heroin Epidemic, has worked to bring increased federal funding to address the opioid crisis in the North Country and throughout New Hampshire. In May, she visited the Friendship House to discuss its future and the importance of expanding substance use treatment services throughout the region.
In total, NBRC awarded more than $8 million in grants to projects throughout the commission’s service areas in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and New York. The grants announced today will support projects Kuster has long championed, including the redevelopment of two historic city-owned buildings in downtown Claremont, and improving water infrastructure in Bethlehem, Colebrook and Whitefield, among others.
Created by the 2008 Farm Bill, the Northern Border Regional Commission is a Federal-State partnership that is comprised of a Federal Co-Chair and the Governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. The Commission was established to organize federal funding towards specific State economic and community development projects in rural parts of the Northeast. The investments made by the NBRC have the direct impact of creating jobs, supporting community-oriented projects and attracting private investments that will help organizations and municipalities meet their funding objectives. Last month, Congresswoman Kuster introduced the Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation that would continue funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) and extend its authorization for five years.