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First of its kind: Easterseals NH Breaks Ground on Military & Veterans Campus

15-Acre Campus Opens in early 2025; Governor Sununu Joins Celebration of Public-Nonprofit Partnership to Serve Veterans, Military Members, and Families

FRANKLIN, NH – Affordable housing, continuum of care, retreat center, and therapeutic recreation are the centerpieces of an unprecedented effort to serve those who have dedicated their own lives to service. Joined by veterans, military members, families, Governor Chris Sununu, and dignitaries from around the state, Easterseals NH broke ground for its new Center of Excellence, designed to offer a wide variety of support services in one pristine location. The Military & Veterans Campus in Franklin, NH will be operational in just over one year, and planning is underway to move into a second phase designed to expand the list of available supports and programs for veterans and their families. 

During a special dedication, Governor Chris Sununu praised the state’s lawmakers for supporting this critical investment for a population of Granite Staters who deserve the best of our efforts. Easterseals NH was awarded $23M from the State of NH through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF) to develop the campus and its programs. 

“With the groundbreaking of the Military and Veterans Campus, New Hampshire is setting the gold-standard for care to our veteran community like never before,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “With the health and wellness of America’s heroes as the vision behind this campus, we have taken a 21st century approach to at long last build a campus with all-encompassing supports and services in one central location. Today marks a transformative moment in New Hampshire’s approach to veteran care.”

“We stand here energized by the broad support we have received, and we are mission ready,” says Maureen Beauregard, President & CEO of Easterseals NH. “It is truly humbling to see the strong and invested support from the veteran and military community. Your voices and your input have helped us shape the vision and design of this campus. Thank you for both your service to our country and to this project. “

The first-of-its-kind center of excellence for veterans, military members, and their families will include affordable housing, hub of services, retreat center, and therapeutic recreation opportunities.

“As a 22-year Air Force Veteran, I could not be happier to welcome Easterseals New Hampshire to our city to develop what I am confident will be a Veteran and Military Campus that will set the standard and model of care for all Veterans,” says Franklin Mayor Jo Brown. “The citizens of Franklin join me in welcoming Easterseals and all veterans and military members to our city.”

Additional funds will be raised to complete the retreat center, build the multipurpose therapeutic recreation building, military-themed playground, makerspace, and outdoor performance stage. Easterseals NH is committed to completing the project and collaborating with stakeholders, partners, the State of NH, and the public. This has included seeking robust and thorough feedback from the community process, such as creating a Campus Taskforce, attending local and regional site visits of high-quality military and veteran programs, conducting interviews and outreach with state officials, nonprofits, and other providers, creating, distributing, and analyzing surveys sent to providers and members of the military and veteran community and more. This has been a community-wide conversation, and the input is feeding the final plans for the campus.

The first phase of the project, construction of the affordable housing for veterans, hub of services for veteran service providers, and portions of the retreat center, begins in October of 2023. The completion of the first phase of the project is in early 2025.

“New Hampshire has one of the highest per capita populations of veterans in the country, so we know the need for access to programs and housing is high,” says Andy MacWilliam, Chair of the Board of Directors for Easterseals NH. “We are confident with the support of our statewide community, the nonprofit sector, private businesses, and citizens that we can raise the remaining funds needed to fully complete this incredible campus. The Easterseals NH Military & Veterans Campus will change lives, support families, and offer a much-deserved way of saying thank you to all who have served or are serving in the military today.”

About Easterseals New Hampshire
Since 1936, Easterseals New Hampshire has provided exceptional services to ensure that all people with varied abilities and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work, and play in their communities. A leader in social services for individuals with disabilities and those underserved by traditional programs, Easterseals NH employs 1,400 individuals and provides essential services and supports to more than 19,000 people annually. Our core programs include autism, early intervention, child care, housing, camping and recreation, residential and educational services, substance use treatment, transportation, senior, employment, and community-based services. Easterseals NH is a community of care for all ages, for all abilities, for life. 

For more information, visit eastersealsnh.org or follow us @EastersealsNH on Facebook.