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Fundraising breakfast held to support families dealing with homelessness

Families in Transition breakfast held for first time in 3 years

Community leaders gathered Tuesday morning in Manchester for a fundraising breakfast to help families struggling with homelessness.

The Families in Transition fundraising breakfast was held for the first time in three years. Board Chairman Roy Tilsley said the event is critical to the organization's efforts.

"Providing housing to families and people that need housing and to provide emergency shelter to over 100 people a night," he said.

The organization has housing on Belmont Street in Manchester that provides not only long-term shelter, but also offers programs to help people deal with other issues.

"We have generational poverty. We have generational homelessness," said Maria Devlin, president and CEO of Families in Transition. "And we're here to make sure people have an opportunity to really find the stability that they need."

The fundraising breakfast helps provide food, something workers described as a growing need. The organization used to feed about 500 families per month. Now, that number is up to 900.

Food pantry workers were stocking shelves Tuesday, getting ready for the Thanksgiving rush. The pantry is designed to let shoppers pick out their own items, something that Families in Transition believes is a more dignified approach than simply handing someone a box of food.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, said it's all about changing people's lives.

"The ability to have a secure and safe place to live, which means they can hold down a job they can send their kids to school," Shaheen said.