Fellowship Housing Opportunities is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in downtown Concord, NH that is dedicated to promoting recovery from mental illness as a provider of high-quality, affordable housing, and client-centered behavioral services.
The organization, originally named “Opportunity House”, was founded in 1966. During the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1960s, a group of community leaders came together to ensure those integrating into the Concord community from New Hampshire Hospital felt welcome and supported throughout their transition. The early years of the organization comprised of two “halfway houses”, offering safe and supportive settings for those living with mental illness making difficult transitions into the community. Although these programs closed due to funding issues in the 1970s, the organization remained active.
Fellowship Housing has been the local leader in developing housing for people living with mental illness. We have an impressive portfolio of projects that has brought diversification to our housing offerings and revenue streams, and has allowed us to thrive financially. Our housing development has been intentional and cautious yielding well-planned growth and partnerships with investors.
In 1980, an application to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a Section 202/8 Demonstration project was applied for by mental health advocates. It was approved for the purpose of establishing a group home in Concord for people with mental illness in need of daily support and supervision. Fellowship House, Inc., a non-profit corporation located on Chesley St., began providing housing and residential services to 10 people with mental illness in June 1984. This program’s capacity was increased to 12 beds in 2007. In 1988, an application was submitted to HUD and approved for a Section 811 project to form Fellowship Apartments, Inc., a permanent supportive apartment complex for 12 people with mental illness. This six-unit building, which opened in 1993, is located at the corner of Allison and Badger Street.
In 1996, a second HUD Section 811 project was approved to provide housing to eight people in six units on Washington Street. Another non-profit corporation, Washington Court, Inc., was developed and the six-unit project opened in September 1998.
Funding for a third Section 811 project was approved in 2001 resulting in the founding of the Fayette Street Project, Inc. This project, which officially opened in 2004, is capable of housing seven people in five units.
Fellowship Housing purchased a three-family home on Jackson Street in Concord in 1996 in a “bargain sale.” After 15 years of renting these units on the open market, Fellowship Housing applied to NH Housing Finance Authority for funding through its Special Needs Housing Program to convert the building into five units for our core population. The Jackson Street Project was completed in November 2013, and attained full occupancy in April 2014. Early in 2001, Fellowship Housing Opportunities, Inc., entered into a purchase and sales agreement with another non-profit entity to buy an eight-unit apartment building utilizing a combination of Community Development Block Grant dollars, private grant dollars and a commercial loan. This project, located on South State Street, has been fully operational since the summer of 2002, and provides housing to our core population.
In 2004, Fellowship Housing was asked to consider purchasing a building on the corner of Pleasant and N. State Street. It consisted of administrative offices on the first floor, eight units of housing on the second and third floors, and an unfinished lower level. Utilizing a combination of Community Development Block Grant funding, tax credit sales through the NH Community Development Finance Authority, and NH Housing Special Needs dollars, Fellowship Housing rehabbed the upper floors, added a first-floor handicapped unit, redesigned the administrative space and created a useable working environment in the lower level. The Pleasant Street Project provides housing to 11 people in 9 units and is the administrative home of Fellowship Housing.
Today – with over 60 renters and numerous others benefiting from our behavioral health services – Fellowship Housing is an agency well poised to continue to be a primary source of decent, safe, high-quality housing and support to people recovering from mental illness.
Recognizing our tenants’ needs for in-home supportive services, Fellowship Housing in partnership with Riverbend Community Mental Health, began offering Outreach Services to residents in our housing projects. Initiated in 2000, these services have grown into an essential component of our housing program. It is an important part of people’s ability to live well in the community and has been extended to others within the community, as well.GIVE