The Welcome Mat
Newsletter of the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter
Susan Howard, the Program Manager at the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter in Peterborough, has given me statistics for last year which indicates that the shelter was full very steadily. We do have times when people are waiting for an apartment to be repainted between guests or have electrical upgrades, and when complete, they can move right in.
Last year, we served seven families in our four apartments – these families were comprised of eight adults and sixteen children; nine of the children were six years of age and younger.
Susan also received 264 calls from people looking for shelter including inquiries about resources they needed; some of the calls came from community members while some were from other agencies.
One day a week, Susan is available at The River Center on Vose Road. While there last year, she helped an additional 124 people, some of whom were able to prevent becoming homeless because of her assistance and advice. Susan also stays in touch with many of our former guests from the shelter. During 2018, she contacted fifteen previous guests/families and learned that they are all doing well. Isn’t that wonderful?!
During 2018, two different people donated their no-longer-needed cars to MATS. This is so important because most of our guests have lost their vehicle for various reasons; maybe they could not afford to fix the car and without transportation, they might have lost their jobs when they couldn’t get to work.
People in our area have been very generous in donating their Shaw’s Saver Stamps, a large box of which were saved at TRC and given to MATS. This year’s offering was for Luminarc Storage containers and Susan was able to buy over twenty containers of varying sizes with the donated stamps. This represents a value of about $300.00. This is a wonderful program that Shaw’s offers each year and we are very grateful to the store for how it helps our guests.
Other organizations were also extremely helpful last year. We received brimming Christmas baskets for each family at the shelter from the Peterborough Garden Club. And at Thanksgiving, dinners were provided for each family from the Divine Mercy Church; Susan was able to put the needs/wishes of our children on their Tree of Hope at Christmastime too. Community members donated gift cards for groceries which our guests could use, and two organizations held fundraisers for MATS: Bodyworks at Depot Square Yoga Studio and Marybeth Hallinan’s Music Studio. We are so very grateful for all of these blessings, and everyone at MATS can’t thank the people responsible enough.
In spite of the rain, we had a wonderful turn out for our annual Candlelight Vigil on the Winter Solstice in December; the Vigil seems to increase in numbers each year. And the Stone Soup supper held at the Peterborough United Methodist Church following the Vigil was delicious and plentiful. Two other churches also provided soup for that event: Union Congregational Church and All Saints Church. We are so fortunate to live in such a giving community. Thank you all very much!
A Special Note: A former MATS Board member, Kathy Mottau, died in December. Kathy was very dedicated to the MATS mission and she will be sorely missed. Our condolences to her family who requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to MATS.
Hope Pettegrew is a volunteer at the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter in Peterborough.
always, a reliable car
pampers (various sizes), night pullups, and wipes
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!
DECEMBER MATS FACTS:
We had 5 families contact MATS
5 single people
8 community members or agencies
The River Center contacts / prevention: 5 contacts
Many thanks to Chris Justice with BodyWorks at Depot Square, LLC, they raised $817 for MATS at their solstice yoga session!
We had 45 people attend the Vigil and Stone Soup Night. We received some items and donations of $335! Thank you to everyone who attended. Also thanks to the churches who organized Stone Soup: All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Peterborough United Methodist Church, and Union Congregational Church, UCC.
THE PEOPLE WE SERVE:
One day my boyfriend came home to tell me he was moving out of state. This left myself and my two children with two weeks to find a place to live.
I could not afford the rent on the apartment we were sharing. I was blindsided by his decision. Between the emotions of my relationship ending and the fact that we would soon be homeless, I was totally overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I didn’t have the money to rent another apartment, never mind find one.
I couldn’t believe we would soon be homeless; I worked full time. How could that happen.
I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t think straight. I felt frozen by fear. I felt that my life was over.
My children would have to go live with their dad. I would be sleeping in my car. How would I keep my job?
What would I do without my children with me? They are my life and that would be devastating to them and me. They would have to switch schools. I didn’t have any family to help. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn.
Then a friend told me about MATS. Desperate for answers, and help, I called.
MATS became my safe haven. With the help of MATS I was able to keep my children with me, they were able to stay in their school. I was able to keep my job. I was able to find community resources that I needed. I was able to save money for a security deposit and first month’s rent. I found an apartment that I could afford on my own.
I am very grateful for MATS assistance. My family would not be where we are today if I did not make that call.
– Submitted by a resident of MATS 2016
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.