A place to go

Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter officials continue working to generate about $3 million needed to transform the Sacred Heart Elementary School at 35 Spring St. into a new facility to help the city’s growing homeless population.

Last week, officials with the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority awarded NSKS a $500,000 tax credit to help move the project forward. Executive Director Michael Reinke said his nonprofit organization hopes to have its new facility open by 2021.

“This is wonderful news,” Reinke said told our reporter of receiving the tax credit. “This is a critical piece for what we need to make this project happen.”

“This is all for people who are experiencing homelessness. This is for people who don’t to have a place to go,” he continued.

Reinke said the Spring Street location will act as a shelter that will provide more than 20 units for the homeless, with approximately 12 units for single women and 10 to 12 others for homeless families.

“These units will act as long-term housing,” Reinke said. “They can stay there as long as they need to.”

The building was leased to NSKS in October by St. Patrick’s Church, who entered into a 40-year agreement with the soup kitchen as a way to continue to serve the community.

While we applaud this endeavor and support its completion, it is unfortunate that such a facility is necessary in a city and region as wealthy as Greater Nashua.

It is quite a stark juxtaposition to know that a mere four-minute walk from this planned homeless shelter, there are apartments renting for as much as $2,000 per month. After a slightly longer walk, to the north side of the Nashua River, apartments are renting for as much as $3,500 per month, according to www.apartments.com.

We are not sure these examples of affluence and poverty within a relatively small area are anyone’s fault. Decades of globalization and automation have left those who lack college education with very few options to earn a living, while also leaving them more susceptible to drug addiction. Those who have graduated from college have far more options that give them a chance to avoid poverty and, therefore, addiction problems.

Nevertheless, the new homeless shelter is a worthy project that should be completed to help the less fortunate among us. We wish NSKS the best of success in accomplishing this goal.