The mission of Hundred Nights, Inc. is to provide shelter and crisis related services to the displaced or homeless.
Our goal is to collaborate with and enable the community to see, hear and support those among us who are equally deserving of dignity but who currently lack the means to live independently.
Our vision is a community whose members, regardless of means, are equally valued and supported.
- Success Stories
- Board of Directors and Staff List
- Organizational Description and History
- Our Services
- Governing Documents and Financial Forms
“Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.”
In preparation for opening the Hundred Nights Shelter on November 11, 2019 to anyone in need, the staff has set up orientation sessions for anyone interested in volunteering this coming winter season. We need dozens of people to help with the intake process from 6:30 pm to about 10:00 pm, daily. Intake volunteers greet people coming into the shelter, work with guests to fill in forms, make copies of paperwork, help distribute snacks and personal care items and engage in conversation and board games with people. We are also looking for volunteers to spend time helping in the resource center daily. Please call if you would like more information.
The training sessions are scheduled at the following dates and times:
Tuesday, October 29 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturday, November 2 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Tuesday, November 5 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturday, November 9 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
The training sessions will be held upstairs in the conference room at Hundred Nights, Inc., 15 Lamson St. in Keene. If you are interested in helping out over the winter season as a Shelter Volunteer, please call us at (603) 352-5197 to sign up for an orientation. The staff is also willing to do orientation sessions with interested individuals or groups on an as needed basis. Many hands make lighter work!
Also see our Facebook event
Spring Has Sprung? Shelter Update…
It may not seem like it yet since the temperatures are hardly Spring-like and it’s currently even snowing again (aaarrggghhh), but the calendar says it’s Spring. There are telltale signs for sure. Daffodils, tulips and crocus are peeking through the soil, albeit in some places also through the snow so there is hope that warmer temperatures and sunny days are fast approaching. We remain very busy here at the shelter since we pushed our closing date forward due to the extreme weather! Our original intent was to have April 15th as the last night of shelter — in fact we even had a “Last Night Party” on the 15th with special snacks! But today, on April 16th, the wind is howling, the snow is blowing and we hear that rain and sleet will be with us all week! We will be officially open through the weekend of April 22. The Open Doors Resource Center is open year-round as usual from 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday and weekends from at least 4 pm to 6 pm. A light breakfast and a full lunch is served daily and on weekends dinner is served.
Here are some of the statistics from the 2017/2018 winter season:
|October 15, 2017 to April 15, 2018||Shelter||Resource Center|
|# of People||171||458|
|# of Bed-Nights Shelter/Visits to RC||3,603||6,572|
|# Under age 18||13||25|
|# Over age 55||19||56|
|# who received professional foot care||98||–|
|# of haircuts provided by The Barbery||–||42|
|# of pairs of socks distributed||925||–|
|# ID’s/birth certificates purchased for people||–||19|
|# of successful Food Stamp Applications assisted with||–||5|
|# of people assisted with housing applications||–||35|
|# of People referred to other agencies/services||171||458|
As we wind down our overnight season we want all of our dedicated volunteers to know how thankful we are that you have been here for us. From Intake and Overnight volunteers, people who donate food, supplies, clothing and money, Friends of Hundred Nights, Board members and everything in between we just couldn’t do it without your support.
October 15, 2017 to April 15, 2018
- At the Open Doors Resource Center 527 unique individuals visited the Center 11,763 times
– 335 guests were male, 192 were female, 17 were under age 18 and 18 were veterans.
- Assistance was provided to fill in applications for new services. As a result 6 people received food
stamps, 4 signed up for Medicaid, 5 received Safe-Link phones, 9 received Birth Certificates,
4 received duplicate social security cards, 16 received new ID’s from the DMV, and 88 referrals were
made to other agencies
- Hundreds of personal care and clothing items were distributed
- 17 tents and 25 sleeping bags were distributed
- 54 free haircuts were provided by a local barber
- An average of 2 loads of laundry were done each day for guests
- Over 4,500 weekday lunches and weekend and Holiday dinners were prepared and served
- Total Volunteer Hours for RC Programs and dinners = 3,240
January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015
- Overnight shelter was provided between December 1, 2014 and April 15, 2015. 152 unique individuals received 3,008 bed-nights of shelter during that time. 107 of those guests were male, 45 were female, 6 were under the age of 13, and 9 were veterans. 128 of our guests, 84%, had an income of less than $10,000 annually.
- A “Healthy Feet Program” for our shelter guests was offered one night a week, due to the plentiful donations received of warm socks, medicated foot powder, Epsom salts for foot soaks and winter footwear. Thanks to a wonderful volunteer, RN Lisa Clouet, foot soaks, massages, bandaging and nail care were provided with a smile. She was a very popular volunteer! 36 of our guests made use of this vitally important service 97 times over the course of the season. And, 742 pairs of socks were distributed!
- Hundreds of coats, hats, scarves, gloves, other warm clothing, hand and foot warmers and personal care items were donated, which greatly benefited our Shelter guests, by keeping them as toasty as possible while facing the elements.
- Staff assistance was provided to fill in applications for many services. As a result 15 people received food stamps, 7 were signed up for Medicaid, 6 received a Safe-Link phone, 4 have moved into permanent housing with 2 more about to move in, and 67 people were referred to other agencies.
- Over 115 people volunteered at the Cold Weather Shelter this last winter – doing Intake in 3 hour shifts, staying Awake Overnight 8 hours a night, doing endless laundry and cleaning – Total Shelter volunteer hours = 3,217!
January 1, 2015 to April 30, 2015
- At the Open Doors Resource Center 308 unique individuals visited the Center 4,389 times – 207 guests were male, 101 were female, 10 were under age 18, 8 were veterans
- Assistance was provided to fill in applications for services. As a result 5 people received food stamp 3 signed up for Medicaid, 3 received Safe-Link phones, 6 received Birth Certificates, 10 received new non-driver’s ID’s from the DMV, and 58 referrals were made to other agencies
- Hundreds of personal care and clothing items were distributed
- 8 tents and 10 sleeping bags were given to those in need of them at the end of the shelter season
- 10 free haircuts were provided by local barber, John Magyar, once a month
- An average of 2 loads of laundry were done each day for guests of the Resource Center
- 1,345 Tailgate and Open Mic Dinners were served on Saturday and Sunday evenings
- Total Volunteer Hours for RC Programs, Tailgate and Open Mic Dinners = 1,345
January 1, 2015 to April 30, 2015
Keene Sentinel Editorial, April 15, 2018
The Hundred Nights shelter will “officially” close for the winter season in a day or two, and it’s fortunate it’s stayed open this long, given the poor prognostication powers of a certain Pennsylvania groundhog Feb. 2.
Despite the unusual length of this winter season, Hundred Nights has had fewer guests than a year ago. That’s not because demand is down — the shelter has been at capacity virtually the entire winter — but because the city has clamped down, making clear the shelter would face repercussions if it takes in more clients than it’s licensed for. (Hundred Nights would like to add that we agree with their reasoning – which is why we need a bigger space.)
Since Hundred Nights’ unsuccessful request for a variance to move into a larger space on Rear Washington Vernon Street last May, an effort mainly thwarted by opposition from neighboring property owners, it’s become apparent there’s a growing discomfort in Keene for the shelter’s clientele, that at times borders on anger.
We’ve seen it when drivers at key intersections roll down their windows not to offer help to those asking for money, but to hurl insults at them. We saw it in social media posts after one familiar downtown panhandler won a lottery prize. It’s been made clear in letters and columns on our pages, and it was very evident in the public discussion last year regarding the proposed Hundred Nights move.
Surely there are several factors behind this resentment. From some, there’s a clear message that panhandlers could find regular jobs if they really wanted to, and that the homeless seen on the city’s streets could rebound if they were willing to play by the rules of conventional society — and there’s some truth to this. Perhaps seeing street people is off-putting because it reminds us how close to that edge we are ourselves. The prospect of being approached and asked for money may lead to guilt because we don’t help as much
as we really could, or it might trigger a fear of being confronted, or even accosted.
And maybe some people in the region just aren’t as compassionate and empathetic as we’d like to think they are. Whatever the cause, the dynamic is clear, and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Hundred Nights may wrap up its winter season this week, but that doesn’t mean it will be empty.
The shelter and drop-in center, like other agencies, offers help year-round in various ways to those who need it most. If you see its clients and think they’re “not like us” — that the issues in their lives are far different from those you face — consider who will remain in the shelter once its season is done.
According to director Mindy Cambiar, while some clients are moving on to couch surf or head elsewhere, and others are looking to set up camp somewhere in the woods or another quiet place during the warmer weather, a few stragglers will stay behind because they physically can’t leave. They’re too sick.
This is an aspect of the area’s homeless population few ponder day to day. When Cambiar and her staff and board say their clients are just like everyone else, they don’t mean in terms of habits and circumstances, though that’s sometimes true. They mean the people they help also face the same issues everyone else does. That includes the same health problems we’re all subject to: heart conditions; allergies; infections; cancer.
There is a safety net in place to help the most-needy get medical help, but it has limits. Even those with more robust health insurance plans will reach a point where they’re told they must convalesce elsewhere. Most of us return home to be cared for by relatives, perhaps with some assistance from a visiting nurse or aide.
But if they didn’t have that option, where might they go? Even the county nursing home, which exists to care for the elderly and infirmed, has limited space, capped by law. Most of us have, unfortunately, had someone in our lives touched by a serious, debilitating, even terminal illness; someone who had to be taken in and cared for. It’s a common occurrence.
So, the next time you’re thinking of “those people” — the ones served by Hundred Nights, The Community Kitchen, Southwestern Community Services and other agencies — picture such a friend or relative, if they didn’t have that caregiver at home or the resources to be placed in a nursing home or rehabilitation center.
Where would they be? And how would you think of them?
*From the Spring 2018 Newsletter