Welfare Department

Vicki Ayer
Welfare Officer
PO Box 67
Gilsum, NH 03448
603-762-4770 cell

Gilsum Welfare Guidelines 2022


Mission Statement

The position of Overseer of Public Welfare in Gilsum serves as the initial responder for those residents experiencing financial hardship or other related difficulties. While the budget available to the overseer is very limited, for use only in extreme situations at the overseer’s discretion, the overseer’s primary functions is to serve as an advocate in assisting and directing the client to find and tap into other more case-specific resources through outside agencies.

While dealing with the overseer in such capacity is free, any town funds expended on a client’s behalf is considered a loan subject to repayment by the client to the town. Additionally, if the client owns property the overseer is required to place a lien against such a property to insure eventual recovery of funds.
The overseer is a volunteer position, holds no set office hours, and is available by appointment only. The overseer is not able to deal with issues after the fact. Prospective clients must complete applications (available online and at the Town Office). All interviews are conducted under strict confidentiality and the client’s privacy comes first. Submitted applications and related documentation remain sealed.

Please email or call for additional information or to apply.

In addition to the application, you will be asked to provide the following documentation:

      • Social security numbers and photo ids
      • Documentation for children
      • Car registration
      • Rental agreement
      • Bank statements
      • Bills including rent receipts, utilities, telephone, cable, storage unit, doctor/medical bills, car, insurance
      • Paycheck stubs for the previous 4 weeks
      • Any other source of income including but not limited to tax return, child support, or gifts from family/friends
      • Documentation from other agencies such as DHHS, Fuel Assistance, Social Security, Unemployment
      • Medical notes when appropriate

If you are in need of long term assistance such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), foster care, disability grants, Medicaid, food stamps, and more, you may contact the New Hampshire Dept. of Health and Human Services, 603-883-7726



    • 2-1-1 is the number to dial for information about health and human services and organizations in your community.  Their website is www.211nh.org
  • NH EASY is the state website where residents can apply online for cash, medical, child care, Medicare Savings Program and Food Stamp benefits. Visit NH EASY at http://nheasy.nh.gov



Southwestern Community Services

Southwestern Community Services strives to empower low income people and families. With dignity and respect, SCS provides direct assistance, reduce stressors, and advocate for such persons and families as they lift themselves toward self-sufficiency.


State of NH Emergency Energy Assistance


Family Resource Guide

Published annually by the Rotary Clubs of Keene, it gives information about help that is available for young children, their parents and families. Topics covered include help with housing, getting clothing, furniture and household items, getting to places, finding free legal and financial help, staying healthy and warm.  Copies can be obtained from the Town Office.

Winter Heating Assistance

Having trouble paying for heat? These three programs can help:

    • State-wide Electrical Assistance Program (EAP)

Income qualified members of the NH Electric Co-op can receive discounts on their monthly electric bills ranging from 5-70% of their total bill. Apply through your Community Action Agency. (Keene 352-7512)

    • State Fuel Assistance Program (FAP)

Provides benefits to qualified New Hampshire households to assist with heating costs. Renters and homeowners are eligible. Apply through your Community Action Agency. (Keene 352-7512)

    • Project Care

Project Care is a charitable organization that provides payment assistance for NH Electric Co-op members in emergency situations. Applicants are eligible for Project Care emergency assistance only once in a 12 month period. Members should apply to the programs listed above before applying to Project Care. For program guidelines and more information, contact Member solutions at 1-800-698-2007.

Facing Foreclosure

The State has set up a new website to help residents address potential mortgage problems.  The website will help connect families with resources if they are concerned about losing their homes and includes contact information for housing counselors and other options to help people try to avoid foreclosure.  www.HomeHelpNH.org

Weatherization and Heating Assistance Programs

Stay Warm NH is a public/private partnership focused on expanding weatherization and heating assistance programs.  The NH Office of Energy and Planning, NH Department of Health and Human Services and NH Charitable Foundation are coordinating this effort with the help of dozens of non-profit organizations and private businesses.  Their phone number is 271-2155 and their website is website is https://www.nh.gov/osi/energy/programs/

Telephone Bill Assistance

New Hampshire residents can receive help in paying for their telephone service under two assistance programs offered by FairPoint to low-income households; FairPoint Lifeline Service and the Link-Up program. FairPoint Lifeline Service offers customers a monthly discount on their telephone bill. Lifeline savings could amount to as much as $8/month and almost $100/year. Through the Link-Up Program, qualified customers receive a discount of 50% (up to $30) off the cost of installing new service. Additionally, New Hampshire Lifeline customers receive a credit toward the federal subscriber line charge each month.

These assistance programs are available to low income customers. Your household will be eligible for the Lifeline and Link-Up programs if your household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty income guidelines, or if you or a household member are enrolled in any of the following assistance programs:
Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Low income home energy assistance, Section 8 housing, Supplemental nutrition assistance (SNAP), National school lunch/free lunch program, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF).

Lifeline customers can also request toll blocking, a service that prevents toll calls (such as long distance) from being made. Customers using this service can still use pre-paid calling cards or dial-around service to place long-distance calls from their homes.

For more information about Lifeline and Link-Up programs, please call your customer service representative toll free at 1-866-984-2001.


Home Healthcare Hospice and Community Services (HCS)

HCS provides comprehensive home health care and helping services to income eligible families.  Telephone 352-2253 or 1-800-541-4145. Their website is www.hcsservices.org

NH Medicaid Program

NH Medicaid is a federal and state funded health care program that serves a wide range of needy individuals and families who meet certain eligibility requirements. The program works to ensure that eligible adults and children have access to needed health care services by enrolling and paying providers to deliver covered services to eligible recipients. More information is at the NH Department of Health and Human Services. To apply, visit NH EASY.

Cheshire Smiles

Offers dental screenings and education to all children from preschool to grade 3 and offers preventative care and referrals to dental offices for those without routine dental care. Phone: 313-9988.

New Hampshire Healthy Kids

New Hampshire Healthy Kids provides access to affordable, quality health and dental coverage to uninsured children and teens in New Hampshire. 1 Pillsbury St, Suite 300, Concord, NH. Toll free: 1-877-464-2447.

Community Kitchen, Inc.

The Community Kitchen serves hot meals Monday through Friday from 5-6:20pm and brunch on Sunday from 11 – 12:00pm.  Take home boxes of food are available on Wednesdays from 12:30 – 5:30pm and Thursdays 11:30 – 4:00pm.  Delivery can be arranged.  The Community Kitchen is located at 37 Mechanic St, Keene.  Their phone number is 352-3200 and their website is www.thecommunitykitchen.org

Friendly Meals

Marlow Friendly Meals are held at Odd Fellows the first Tuesday of the month.  Coffee is at 11:30 and the meal is served at 12:00.   Anyone 60+ is invited.  Meals are free, with donations appreciated.  This program is provided by Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services.  Call Sharon Davis 446-7064 or Gerry Plotts 446-3490 with your reservation by noon on the Monday before.  Rides can be provided.

WIC Program

A program of Southwestern Community Services. A supplementary food program offering nutritious foods, nutrition education, breast feeding support and health care referral, to women with young children who qualify for the program. 63 Community Way PO Box 603, Keene, NH 03431. Phone: 352-7512 (ext. 4234) or toll free: 1-800-529-0005.

Food Stamps

A program of NH Dept. of Health and Human Services. Assists families in applying for food stamps if they are eligible. Office hours Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm. Keene District Office, 109 Key Road, Keene, NH 03431. Phone: 357-3510 or toll free 1-800-624-9700. Website: http://nheasy.nh.gov

The Salvation Army

Provides food assistance (food pantry) and assistance with clothing, small furniture, linens and other small household items through thrift store vouchers, as well as some other limited material and financial assistance. Offering other social, educational, recreational and religious programs for children and adults. Also counseling, information and referral services.

Website: http://nne.salvationarmy.org/keene.

Main office hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 2pm, 15 Roxbury Plaza, Keene NH 03431. Phone: 352-0607. Thrift store open Monday through Saturday 9am – 5pm, 132 Monadnock Hwy, Swanzey, NH 03446. Phone: 357-2207.

The Community Volunteer Transportation Company (CVTC)

CVTC is a nonprofit organization providing no-fee rides to residents of the Monadnock region without access to transportation through a volunteer driver program. Rides are provided to non-emergency medical/dental and human services appointments, as well as pharmacy, bank, post office, grocery store, farmers market, and food bank. CVTC serves all of Cheshire County and 11 western Hillsborough County towns. Get or give a ride: 1-877-428-2882 ext 5