Word on the street is this Spring Dinner is the talk of the town.

Emily, of Fair Tide, gives us the inside skinny on this local organization and its upcoming FUN-draising dinner.

So, Emily, tell us about Fair Tide.

Fair Tide was founded in 1998 by a group of local citizens who recognized the growing issue of homelessness in our community. These committed locals spent the first five years raising funds to purchase and renovate a house in the Kittery Foreside, which they turned into housing for the homeless. The house is still owned and operated by Fair Tide today.

The organization’s mission is to provide housing and supportive services to individuals and families who are homeless on the Seacoast. We work to move people from homelessness into long-term housing—and keep them there—while expanding options for affordable housing through new development and partnering with landlords and property owners.

How does Fair Tide operate?

As a nonprofit organization, it is overseen by a board of directors consisting of local volunteers committed to Fair Tide’s mission. We also operate a thrift store, which is run by a seasoned manager who also helps with marketing and events.

Tell us about the thrift store!!

The thrift store provides low-cost clothing and housewares for the community and volunteer and job training opportunities. It is also a gathering hub and helps to provide much-needed funding for programming and growth. Each time people donate to the thrift store or purchase an item, they are helping Fair Tide achieve its mission. All profits from the store go directly to supporting the mission.

For you, what is the most rewarding part of working for Fair Tide?

By far, the most rewarding part is watching the positive changes that occur when someone is provided with stable housing. Many of us take for granted that we know where we will lay our heads each night. Once we help move a household into a permanent living situation, they can focus on overcoming other barriers they may be facing. We see people stabilize their physical and mental health, further their education, move up in jobs, become valued members of the community, and thrive in ways that are not possible if you are homeless. Seeing the life-changing impact Fair Tide has on people will never get old, and it keeps me especially motivated even during the difficult times.

We hear the Spring Dinner & Auction is the talk of the town… 

This year marks our fifth annual Spring Dinner and Auction at Fair Tide. It’s our big fundraising event of the year and it will be hosted at the Blue Mermaid Island Grill in Kittery on March 20, 2019. The evening begins at 5:30 with drinks, appetizers, and music by the Seasmoke Trio, followed by a three-course dinner and short program. The night concludes with a live auction. Over 50 local businesses are contributing in-kind, allowing the money raised to go directly to furthering our mission. Tickets are available on our website, or in the thrift store at 15 State Road in Kittery.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Here on the Seacoast, homelessness may often be invisible, but it does exist. With extremely low vacancy rates, increasing housing costs, and stagnant wages, there are a growing number of households losing their housing with nowhere to turn. Fair Tide is working to be a larger part of the solution, and we welcome anyone who is interested in playing a role to reach out and contact us.

Thank you, Emily! We appreciate learning more about Fair Tide and look forward to the spring dinner!