How do we help the most vulnerable build on their own strengths? Families in Transition-New Horizons founder and president Maureen Beauregard and Moxy chef and owner Matt Louis join host Billy Shore for the second live episode recorded at the Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, NH, to talk about addiction, mental health, homelessness, and the role healthy food can play for those who are struggling. “When we look at hunger and homelessness, we need to look at the ‘why’ of it and stop judging and calling people names. Can we build on their strengths?,” asks Beauregard. Louis makes it point to use his strengths for good causes. “Always say yes. For whatever reason, the world has made [chefs] more popular then we should be. But it’s a very powerful place to be if you can harness that and use it the right way,” he explains.
Beauregard recounts her own powerful story of perseverance growing up in the foster care system and how it drives her work with Families in Transition-New Horizons. “I can remember what it felt like to be hungry, to be lonely, and it leaves such a hollow feeling inside,” she recalls. Louis applies the same values to his restaurants and the people who work for him. “How can I make their quality of life better while retaining them in what can be a very challenging industry?,” he asks.
Feel the emotion of this personal and heart-felt discussion that illustrates the impact we can have on solving hunger and homelessness.
Resources and Mentions:
· No Kid Hungry (nokidhungry.org): Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
· Matt Louis is the chef and owner of Moxy and The Franklin Oyster House in Portsmouth, NH. A New Hampshire native and a protégé of Chef Thomas Keller, Louis trained at The French Laundry and was part of opening team at Per Se in NYC. Returning home, he met restaurateur Jay McSharry and the two opened Moxy and The Franklin Oyster House to rave reviews locally and nationally. Louis is a James Beard Best Chef, Northeast, Semifinalist, 2015 and 2016, and three-time Food & Wine nominee as People’s Best New Chef. A New England rising star, Louis has also earned kudos from New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Boston Magazine, Yankee Magazine, WCVB TV5 Chronicle, WMUR TV, The Portsmouth Herald, NH Business, Gear Patrol, Business Insider, The Phantom Gourmet and more.
· Moxy is a modern American tapas restaurant focusing on smaller plates meant for sharing and taking inspiration from local farmers, culture and history. Moxy is tapas in spirit, energy, style of dining and service, but American in execution, products, and inspiration. The Franklin has been crafting a steadily changing, progressive menu using local sustainable ingredients from across the seacoast since opening its doors to the Portsmouth, NH, community in 2015.
· Maureen Beauregard is the President and founder of Families in Transition. She started the agency in 1991 working with five homeless women and their children and has grown the agency to where it is today, serving over 170 families and 180 children on each given night. She is responsible for oversight of all aspects of the agency, including programmatic, financial, fundraising, project development, and policies. Prior to Families in Transition, she worked with abused and neglected families as a social worker for the State of New Hampshire, Division for Children Youth & Families. Beauregard earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Child and Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire. She is a graduate of Leadership New Hampshire.
· Families in Transition-New Horizons provides hunger relief, emergency shelter, safe affordable housing, and supportive services to individuals and families who are homeless or in need, enabling them to gain self-sufficiency and respect. It is one of the largest homeless services organizations in New Hampshire with locations in Manchester, Concord, Dover and Wolfeboro. They provide innovative and effective interventions specifically designed to help homeless individuals and families reach beyond the cycle of homelessness to lead healthy and successful lives. Founded as a nonprofit organization in 1991, Families in Transition was formed as a response to the growing number of homeless individuals and families in Manchester and throughout the state of New Hampshire. FIT’s core principal is that having a home is a basic human right and is fundamental to becoming an engaged and contributing member of our community.