About Us

Our History

Fair Tide was established in 1998 by a group of southern Maine and seacoast New Hampshire citizens who were concerned for their neighbors, family and friends who were homeless or living in temporary or substandard housing.

Accepting its first participants in May 2003, Fair Tide’s Transitional Housing Program helps participants achieve self-sufficiency by offering housing, individualized support services, and referrals to community services. Fair Tide also advocates on participants’ behalf at both the local and state government levels.

Our Mission

The mission of Fair Tide is to provide short-term affordable housing in a safe dignified setting for people who are homeless. With the help of the community, Fair Tide will provide advocacy, support and referrals to assist residents in their move toward permanent housing, financial stability and self-sufficiency.

Fair Tide is as strong as it is because of these generous funders:

   UWGS bw     Liberty_Mutual_logoRosamondThaxter

Fair Tide Staff:

mary fair tide homeless solutions

Our Executive Director, Mary Oplinger, has been with the agency since 2007. She joined Fair Tide as Program Director and has been instrumental in developing and implementing Fair Tide’s support programs. She served as interim executive director and in 2012 was named executive director.

In addition to her role as executive director, Mary represents Fair Tide on the steering committee of the Greater Seacoast Coalition on Homelessness, a local group of key stakeholders serving the homeless. Coalition goals in general are to support programming and initiatives designed to combine all area providers’ efforts to end homelessness.

Mary received a Bachelor of Science in Individual and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University. She has worked as a home visitor, parent educator and coordinator of family programs for the homeless.  Mary has passion for helping the underserved in her community. “I especially enjoy my work because I get to work in my community with people who need help and with those who want to give help to others,” she says.

barbara fair tide homeless soultions shelter kittery maineBarb Joined Fair Tide in July of 2010 as Director of Social Entrepreneurship. In addition to managing the day to day operations of the Fair Tide Thrift Store, Barb is responsible for developing and implementing online sales and social media marketing strategies to increase Fair Tide’s donor and volunteer base.

Having worked retail for more than 17 years, most of them spent at Kittery Trading Post, Barb expressed excitement at the opportunity to work for Fair Tide. “It is heartwarming to work in the nonprofit world where less is actually more,” she said. As for her vision for Fair Tide, she said she wants “everyone to become a thrift store shopper. I want Fair Tide to be the model for all thrift stores with a strong community based mission.”

Our Board of Directors

Doug Roberts, Chair
Owner, portsmouthnh.com

Dana Peters, MEd, MLADC, Vice Chair
Drug & Alcohol Counselor

Sharon McLaughlin, Secretary
MGH Charlestown Health Center

Kevin Gage, Fair Tide Program Graduate
Volunteer, Fair Tide Thrift Store

Jean Kerr
Editor, Northeast Flavor Magazine

Marjorie Foote
Director, Potamus Creative

Jody Record
University of New Hampshire

Debora Martin
Retired, US Environmental Protection Agency

Our Advisory Board

Brad Hirst, Pastor
Second Christian Congregational United Church of Christ

Wanda McDonough
Families First Health & Support Center

Charline Ludgate
Retired