As unsettling as the past few months have been for everyone, most of us have a secure home in which to shelter with our families. In fact, the very idea of “home” has become a potent symbol of security as we practice social distancing, work from home, and home-school our children. But in our community, not everyone has a home, and the now-urgent problem of homelessness remains persistent in the Monadnock Region
MATS is responding to meet the needs of adults and their children who are homeless during this pandemic. Amidst the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, MATS is addressing several urgent needs:
- helping adults and their children understand what they can do to keep everyone safe,
- making sure everyone has enough food,
- ensuring the children receive their education,
- ensuring the adults understand how to apply for Care Act benefits
- connecting people in the community with resources
#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity, set to take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. The day is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.
At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on. It’s a day for everyone around the world to stand together and give back in all ways, no matter who or where we are.
Prior to the pandemic all of the adults at the transitional shelter were employed or planning to complete their education. Most were on wait lists for subsidized housing. All the children were enrolled in school or daycare. In addition, our program manager provided weekly offsite community outreach to help connect people with resources.
At this time all of our guests are out of work. All of the housing lists are on hold.
In early March all guests and our program manager were quarantined for 2 weeks. During that time we continued to provide all the support that was needed. Thankfully, everyone has remained healthy. The MATS program manager worked 24/7 to make sure that everyone had enough food – collaborating with the Peterborough Food Pantry, Conval’s End 68 Hours Hunger program – providing gift cards to local grocery stores. She collaborated with school districts to make sure children had the tools they needed for learning at home. She helped each of the guests apply for Care Act benefits, a daunting experience for most people. She assisted community residents who called frantic with questions about applying for these benefits.
What now? MATS is doing what we’ve done for the past 30 years– provide safe and comfortable housing for people who are homeless. Provide connections to resources such as job training, childcare and counseling so that when they leave MATS, they have the day-to-day skills and support they need to avoid recurring homelessness. Our program manager is our hero. She ensures that MATS will be here for 30 years and beyond.
Donate here: http://matsnh.org/mats-donate/
Donate to the Facebook fundraiser: https://www.facebook.com/donate/858988484621931/10219586348962749/
People can show their generosity in a variety of ways during #GivingTuesdayNow, whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes, every act of generosity counts. The global movement will emphasize opportunities to give back to communities and causes in safe ways that allow for social connection even while practicing physical distancing.
“As a global community, we can mourn this moment of extreme crisis while also finding the opportunity to support one another. We each have the power to make an impact with acts of generosity, no matter how small, and to ensure the sustainability of organizations and services that are crucial to the care and support of our communities,” said Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday. “#GivingTuesdayNow is a chance for us to stand united and use grassroots generosity to show that we are all in this together, beginning to end. Even as many face financial uncertainty, generosity is not about size. From calling an elderly neighbor to chat to offering translation help; from showing gratitude to our healthcare workers to donating to your local food bank, every act of kindness is a beacon of hope in this crisis. We all have something to give, and every act of human consideration and kindness matters.”
For more details about the GivingTuesday movement, visit the GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday) or follow @GivingTuesday and #GivingTuesdayNow on Twitter. For youth interested in joining the movement, visit GivingTuesdayKids.org for inspiration and project ideas.
About Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter (MATS):
Founded in 1991 by concerned citizens, the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter (MATS) is a transitional shelter for individuals and families who are homeless. They are run by volunteers from local communities and a part-time Program Manager. MATS serves the towns of the Greater Monadnock Region, including Antrim, Bennington, New Ipswich, Jaffrey, Keene, Peterborough, and Sharon. They also accept referrals from other shelters throughout the tri-state area.
Their safe, temporary shelter consists of 4 apartments. Through their Program Manager and board members they also offer our guests assistance with finding agency and community resources and with transportation, health, childcare, legal, housing and employment issues, as well as guidance in setting and reaching goals.
Every MATS guest that completed the program in 2019 has moved on to permanent housing.
The Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter’s mission is to provide transitional housing, support and referral services to people who are homeless; to educate our community on issues of homelessness; and to advocate for solutions.
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eight years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. GivingTuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity and equity around the globe.
#GivingTuesdayNow is organized by GivingTuesday, in partnership with its global network of leaders, partners, communities and generous individuals. GivingTuesday is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter