The Welcome Mat February

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The Welcome Mat
Newsletter of the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter
February 2019

HOPE’S LETTER
A new guest at the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter in Peterborough is a mother who has two children. She is very grateful to be at MATS, to be in such a safe and wonderful place. Being at the shelter is giving her “time to finish college” which she does online except for one class she needs to attend weekly. She will need to do an internship also and does have a car which helps her get to these sessions. Having a degree will offer her the opportunity to find a job in her chosen field and thereby to better take care of her outstanding bills and her family.
I was very impressed by the solid values that this mother exhibits. She loves cooking for her children because she cares about what they eat and wants the food to be healthy. They all go outside every day and take walks, sometimes long ones. The children love Susan, our Program Manager, so they have to plan an extra five minutes whenever they go out to allow time to stop by her office to see her.
Our guest couldn’t say enough about Susan who is assisting her with budgeting, to find housing, to straighten out her line of credit, to rebuild her self-confidence and is “just very supportive” in many ways. Susan has pointed her in the right direction for whatever assistance she needs including finding help with a court matter regarding a former relationship. Moreover, she added that Susan “is understanding, fair, hard-working and available any time she is needed”.
The family is very appreciative of the wonderful Christmas that was provided by the Peterborough Garden Club. It was totally unexpected, this mother told me, and it made their holiday especially happy. She wishes to thank the Garden Club for all they did.
This woman is someone who has always found it hard to ask for or accept help from others, but clearly, appreciates her time here while she works to get her and her family’s life back on track. I found our guest’s love for her children heartwarming as well as her motivation to “be on with life”. I have no doubt that she will succeed, and we all wish her well, indeed!
Susan told me that MATS has received many wonderful donations recently. We thank those who responded with offers for a bed we requested recently; we were
able to acquire a complete set that will help another guest (whom I wrote about a few months ago) who is able to move into her own apartment with her family now. Additionally, we received a wonderful grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and another person has donated a very good car – everyone at MATS is so grateful for these donations! Thank you to all for these gifts that help MATS continue its mission offering care to our neighbors who are less fortunate.

Hope Pettegrew is a volunteer at the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter in Peterborough.

WISH LIST
always, a reliable car
gas cards
pampers (various sizes), night pullups, and wipes
feminine products
gift cards from local businesses that our guests can use when they need certain items many of which are not covered by food stamps
If you have items to donate, please call MATS office at 924-5033 and leave a message for Susan. Or mail items (if you can) to PO Box 3053, Peterborough NH 03458. Thank you!

JANUARY MATS FACTS:
We had 13 families contact MATS
3 single people
6 community members or agencies
The River Center contacts / prevention: 6 contacts

THANK YOU!
Walmart Giving
We are excited to announce that Mondanock Area Transitional Shelter (MATS) received a grant from Walmart Giving – many thanks to our Keene Walmart! We can’t wait to to help our guests achieve self-sufficiency with reliable transportation.

THE PEOPLE WE SERVE:
Puddles in the Parking Lot
I watch my kids splash, muddy and squealing. In this moment they are happy and carefree, and I’m just thankful I have a tub to throw them in when they’re done playing in puddles. Such a simple thing, splashing in puddles, but not something I could allow them to do if we were living in our car instead of staying in transitional housing. Every kid should be able to splash in puddles without worrying about getting cleaned up and warm.
We were renting a house when our landlord was foreclosed on. The bank held an auction and a local real estate developer bought it. They immediately evicted us despite our lease and good payment history. Because if you do not own property you have no right to a home.
Could you find yourself somewhere to live with no money, on 30 days notice? Our rent was 45% of our income, and with a car that was always in need of repair we had no savings to move. No one in my family had space for us to double up with, or money to lend us. We found ourselves facing homelessness as a family of six in the worst February in recent memory.
Luckily, we found a place in transitional housing. But that does not solve the problem, it just provides stability to give you time to react to the situation with something other than panic. Even when I had saved up enough, it took months to find a place to live. With poor credit, four kids, and rent that would be half of our income, most landlords had plenty of better options to choose. Eight months later we finally found a landlord with a little compassion who looked at our references and not our credit report. But we are still as vulnerable to homelessness as we were, we are just one disruption away from having no good options.
– Melissa F, resident Shelter from the Storm transitional housing 2015
http://www.matsnh.org/people-we-serve

DID YOU KNOW?
The number of poor, renter households experiencing a severe housing cost burden decreased in only 3 states (ME, AK, and ND) since 2007.

YOU CAN HELP
MATS has online giving. We use the PayPal cart to facilitate secure credit card payments, you don’t have to have a PayPal account. You can make a one-time donation or a recurring monthly donation at www.matsnh.org/mats-donate

Support MATS with Amazon Smile: Visit http://smile.amazon.com. You will be prompted to select a non-profit to support. We are listed as Monadnock Area Transitional Sheltering. Shop as normal, starting from smile.amazon.com, and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to MATS.

Donate. We use the PayPal cart to process donations. You may use your credit card or PayPal account.

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