Member Profile

LISTEN Community Services

Almost fifty years ago, LISTEN was founded as Lebanon in Service to Each Neighbor. The organization was initially designed as a cooperative to unite low-income people in Lebanon to advocate against poverty. The original group banded together to represent common interests like promoting affordable housing, responding to code complaints, representing tenants, and expanding access to fresh produce. Since that time, LISTEN has provided vital assistance to thousands of low-income people in the Upper Valley community who are struggling and need help. 

Today, LISTEN’s mission is to provide services and support to meet the critical needs of Upper Valley individuals and families. Our service coordinators speak every day with individuals and families who are unable to make ends meet. We connect them with a variety of resources, and make sure that those who are the most vulnerable—seniors, families, people working two or even three jobs—can stay in their homes, have heat and electricity, keep food in their cupboards, and more. By addressing so many crucial determinants of their well-being, we improve their health, resilience, and ability to achieve independence. Simply put, we aim to ensure they are not simply surviving―but moving forward to rebuild and thrive in the long-term. 

This past year, LISTEN provided:

  • 32,327 people who faced food insecurity with a free, warm meal through our community dinners in White River Junction and Canaan.

  • 4,497 people with personal care items and shelf stable food and produce through our food pantry in Lebanon.

  • 3,318 people with thrift store vouchers worth $130,000 to purchase clothing, furniture and household items at our four stores in the region.

  • 2,049 people with heat to stay warm during the coldest months.

  • 493 people with financial aid to avoid eviction from their homes.

  • 275 youth summer camp scholarships to over 40 local camps.

  • 489 holiday baskets of gifts for families and seniors at Christmas time.

  • 167 children with backpacks and supplies to kick off their school year.

In addition, we help with budget counseling, meet special client needs such as gas cards and auto repairs, and offer representative payee services to help people with health and cognitive barriers maintain their independence.

In response to all of these services, LISTEN’s clients report that we help to address their many financial burdens, sustain and improve their physical safety and mental well-being, and create a stronger sense of social connectedness within their family and community. 

This past year, LISTEN provided a record number of services to community members right here in the Upper Valley. This included a 52% increase in demand for help with critical resources, like heating fuel and electricity, and a 40% increase in visits to our food pantry. Today, we are facing triple digit increases in the number of people who are asking for help.

LISTEN does not receive any federal or state funding. Instead, we increasingly rely on the generosity of our greater community for the resources we need to respond quickly and deliver critical assistance to people across the Upper Valley and twin states. In the past, local town governments and many faith-based organizations have given small grants to support our services. This assistance has become more and more infrequent in the past decade.

For more information about LISTEN, please visit our website at www.listencs.org , give us a call at (603) 448-4553 , or email us at Info@listencs.org.

Posted on: Thursday, February 27, 2020

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