Compass House

From left, Carmen Lorentz, executive director of Lakes Region Community Developers; Jacqui Abikoff, executive director of Horizons Counseling Center; and Daisy Pierce, executive director of Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region stand in front of the future home of Compass House, 658 Union Ave. in Laconia. (Courtesy photo)

LACONIA — Lakes Region Community Developers, Horizons Counseling Center, and Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region are partnering to create Compass House, a group home for women in recovery. Compass House will be located at 658 Union Ave., and will accommodate up to eight women at a time. 

LRCD will renovate the building, which previously served as its headquarters. Horizons will operate Compass House with support from Navigating Recovery. Renovations are underway by Martini Northern. Construction is scheduled to be complete early this winter. 

Compass House will provide a congregate living environment for women who have completed a residential treatment program for substance use disorder. Guests at Compass House must have a household income below 80% of the area median income. Horizons plans to start accepting applications for Compass House this winter. 

“This project is a great example of the work we seek to do under our expanded mission,” said Carmen Lorentz, LRCD executive director. “We have almost 30 years of real estate development experience, and we are pleased to put this expertise to work to meet a wider range of housing and community development needs in the region, in partnership with other organizations.” 

“Many women in recovery in our community, especially women of low income, do not have access to a safe, affordable, and supportive housing option,” said Jacqui Abikoff, executive director of Horizons Counseling Center. “Compass House will fill this long-standing gap in recovery supports in the Lakes Region.” 

Each guest at Compass House will be paired with a trained recovery coach from Navigating Recovery. The guest will work with her coach to create, follow, and update a recovery wellness plan to serve as a roadmap as she moves toward independent living.

“When a person in recovery lives in a supportive environment like Compass House, she is much more likely to stay in recovery,” said Daisy Pierce, executive director of Navigating Recovery. “Compass House will help us ensure that women in recovery in the Lakes Region have access to this critical recovery support.” 

Financing for Compass House is provided by New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority with a special appropriation from the New Hampshire Legislature to the state’s Affordable Housing Fund in 2017, specifically to increase housing options for people in recovery from substance use disorder or those experiencing a mental illness. The New Hampshire Women’s Foundation also provided a grant for furnishings at Compass House.

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