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For the First Time, Again: In-Person Office Hours, In A New Location

BCNH case managers sitting in the office
Alli Fam
/
NHPR
Case managers Indira Acharya, Eric Irakiza, and Mohammed Mustak Arif at the BCNH office this morning.

Building Community in New Hampshire supports refugees and other new Americans in the Granite State by helping them with everything from employment, to deciphering bills to getting a driver's license.  Today, their location in Manchester reopened for regular office hours. 

Throughout the pandemic, case managers at Building Community in New Hampshire (BCNH) have kept helping families on the phone and meeting up with them in person. 

Now, Eric Irakiza and others are trying to spread the word that the office is open, for the first time, again. Some of that work is still virtual, though.

“So the way I do it,” Irakiza explains, is “I send an email to the pastor, we have like five churches in Manchester that are African. And I say, "Hey, can you help me to just announce in BCNH in Manchester is opening on Wednesday?"

One other challenge is to make sure that people realize the office has a new location, so they don’t show up at the old building. 

But, Irakiza says the announcement has already paid off. Today he's meeting with four clients, both on and offsite. 

Even pre-pandemic, Irakiza's job  was never confined to the office. But on a personal level, Irakiza is glad to be spending more time there. He’s looking forward to exchanging stories and tips with colleagues and being less distracted by his kids at home.

If you're planning to do something for the first time again, we'd love to help share your story. Send an email about your plans to voices@nhpr.org, or leave us a voicemail at 603-513-7790. Click here for more details on how to participate.

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