Southwestern Community Services
President Lyndon Johnson began waging war on poverty.
That same year, Southwestern Community Services was created and joined in that fight. We have fought hard over the years and have won many battles through our efforts as advocates for those in need.
It wasn’t long before we were distributing surplus foods, administering Head Start, and operating Neighborhood Youth Corps, homemakers’ programs, and VISTA Outreach programs. We became home to Legal Assistance, food co-ops, food stamps, work incentive programs, and others. The development of various energy programs came later: Heat Emergency Loans and Fuel Assistance programs kept folks warm; the Weatherization program kept them safe and dry. WIC helped their children stay healthy. New Hope New Horizons provided supported employment and day services for developmentally disabled individuals.
Housing programs also played a large role in our history. Folks were able to stay in their own homes with the help of Housing Rehabilitation program and Lead Paint Abatement, and we helped others to buy homes through First-Time Homebuyers’ programs and HOPE 3. Families could find and afford housing with the aid of a Housing Security Guarantee program. Additionally, affordable housing units became available, accommodating seniors as well as families. Folks without homes were able to find shelter at five different sites located throughout Cheshire and Sullivan counties.
A more recent endeavor was the addition of the Workplace Success classrooms located in both Cheshire and Sullivan counties.
For a brief moment, in 1999, we were television stars when the Drewsville Mansion rehab project was featured on Restore America with Bob Vila.
Following the devastating floods of October 2005, SCS implemented Operation Flood Recovery. The relief efforts offered by this program helped individuals in 32 towns throughout the Southern New Hampshire area.
Many changes have taken place over the years. Through it all, we have worked tirelessly to keep pace with the constantly changing needs of our low-income friends and neighbors. The fight is not yet over; we will persist in our pursuit of waging war on poverty. As we do so, we look forward to the many challenges that await us.