Evernorth Rural Ventures closes $7.1 million New Markets Tax Credit

Investment to expand Hundred Nights Emergency Shelter and Resource Center

Evernorth Rural Ventures, a subsidiary of Evernorth, announced in a recent press release the closing of a $7.1 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investment to construct a 15,180-square-foot,  48-bed emergency shelter and resource center in Keene. The new facility is nearing completion and will allow the nonprofit Hundred Nights, Inc. (HN) to centralize, consolidate and increase their shelter and resource center to better serve low-income individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Hundred Nights, Inc. is a year-round emergency shelter and resource center provider that helps individuals and families in Cheshire County become independent, self-sufficient and in a better position to secure affordable permanent housing. In 2022, the agency provided 13,280 nights of shelter to 259 unique shelter guests, including 14 veterans, 27 children under age 18, 26 youth between ages 18 and 24, and 29 seniors over the age of 55. An additional 296 unique visitors utilized the resource center, which operates daily to serve the community with a variety of services, programs, and basic needs.

Located at 122 Water Street, the shelter and resource center services will be housed under one roof and within walking distance of key partners and services. The new design includes expanded resource center space, women’s dormitories, men’s dormitories, private rooms to accommodate families, public restrooms and showers, a commercial kitchen to offer meals, and a courtyard and gardens.

“The new facility will allow us to provide safer, more appropriate and adequate emergency shelter and wraparound services to men, women, and children in southwestern New Hampshire, who come to us from all types of backgrounds and with a wide range of needs,” says Mindy Cambiar, executive director of Hundred Nights. “Receiving the New Markets Tax Credit financing allows us to accomplish everything that’s needed in the new building to help us better serve our community.”

The site of the new shelter and resource center on Water Street is in a redeveloped complex that has become a vital economic component for downtown Keene. The Southwest Region Planning Commission, Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, and the city of Keene worked together to clean up and develop the land through the downtown Keene Railroad Land Development Project. Over $40 million has been invested in redevelopment of the Rail Land Development Project, including Evernorth Rural Ventures’ investment to expand the Monadnock Food Co-Op.

Hundred Nights sourced $7.1 million to construct the new facility and cover the expenses of the NMTC transaction. Funding sources are comprised of Evernorth Rural Ventures’ NMTC equity through TD Bank, HN’s capital campaign, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp (MHIC), the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority’s Tax Credit Program, HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program, and the State of New Hampshire. Evernorth Rural Ventures’ below-market NMTC financing filled a critical gap to make the new shelter and resource center viable. DEW Construction is the general contractor.

“Hundred Nights is an important asset of the community and Evernorth Rural Ventures is proud to be a partner in the emergency shelter and resource center,” says Beth Boutin, vice president of Evernorth Rural Ventures. “We are pleased to bring our New Markets Tax Credit resource to not only safely support more families and individuals experiencing homelessness in Keene but to also create a permanent home for the important work of Hundred Nights, the organization.” Boutin continued, “Evernorth is pleased to use our NMTC resource as a vehicle to bring more housing options to the communities we serve.”

Construction began in May of 2022 and the new emergency shelter and resource center is expected to open and begin accepting guests in the next few weeks.

Categories: Health, Real Estate & Construction