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Apr 7, 2017 4:11 PM

Sununu targets 'onerous rules' at tour of Lydia's House of Hope shelter; kicks off addiction summit


SOMERSWORTH – Gov. Chris Sununu says he wants to “break down” what he calls “onerous rules and regulations” that keep some worthy New Hampshire programs from building.

Sununu made his comments after touring Lydia’s House of Hope, a newly opened facility that offers transitional housing for young mothers and their children. The facility is named after a Lydia Valdez, who died in 2013 at the age of 10, after a valiant battle against cancer.

Theresa Tozier, the executive director of Lydia’s House, said her goals is to help break the generational cycle of poverty, one family at a time. The facility trains and equips homeless families with the skills they need to become self-supporting.

The facility is funded through donations. Tozier said “the one reason we did not get federal funding was….because of too many string attached.”

Sununu lamented that “a lot of the public funding comes with so many strings attached, so many restrictions, that doesn’t allow a great program like this to have flexibility. That’s one of the roles that I see as governor, within our state to break down a lot of those onerous rules and regulations that keeps great programs from moving forward, great programs from thriving in a system. They’re providing an incredible service, not just to this neighborhood and this community but to all the other surrounding communities.”

The governor added that “the state and the federal government really need to open themselves up, provide that flexibility in the funding not just to give these folks a foundation, but long term security in providing resources that benefit so many people.”

Earlier in Dover, Sununu kicked off a daylong summit on addiction in New Hampshire.

At the day-long event, organized by the Opioid Task Force for Strafford County, the governor once again urged that substance misuse prevention efforts not only increase in the state’s schools, but also in the workplace.

The former CEO of the Waterville Valley Resort said the ski area was “winging it” when it created a “buddy system” to match workers with suffering from addiction to colleagues in recovery. The governor added that he hopes businesses nowadays will take on the crisis in a more formal way.

Gov. Chris Sununu tours the kitchen facility at Lydia's House of Hope in Somersworth, on April 7, 2017

Gov. Chris Sununu with Lydia's House of Hope executive director Theresa Tozier, in Somersworth on April 7, 2017

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