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General In the News

A Mission to Build Communities

By Will Arvelo

Originally published in NH Business Review | January 29, 2024 by Paul Briand

Will Arvelo and his rescue dog, Piper. Seen here in some of the transitional housing available at Cross Roads House. (Photo by Paul Briand)

All through his professional journey here in New Hampshire — as community college president, as state economic policy wonk, as director of transitional and emergency shelter for the homeless — Will Arvelo has had one purpose: create community.

“The thing that I always have reflected on as both a kid and an adult is how do we improve community, improve the lives of individuals and families, so that we can create better communities?” said Arvelo.

On becoming part of Cross Roads House …

“Here, it comes back to the individual and families,” he said. “How do we serve somebody who’s going through a really difficult time in their lives, get back to a sense of stability and normality through the process of working with them, housing them, feeding them, and eventually providing the case management and the wraparound services that allow us to get them to stability and eventually on to housing and back into the community.”

Arvelo doesn’t buy into the notion that individuals, no matter their circumstances, should ultimately be responsible for improving themselves.

“I’ve always had a problem with that notion. As human beings, we’re not set up to exist on our own,” he said. “We’re part of families, we’re part of communities, are part of a broader society. What that means is that we’re complex, and we succeed and we fail. The notion of the individual standing alone and figuring it out is, to me, completely off base. We are best when we learn to work together as a family unit or as a community.”

Read the full article HERE.

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