The Welcome Mat
Newsletter of the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter
Several years ago, a booklet was published by The Way Home in Manchester – a place that offered assistance to people who were homeless there. The book, entitled UNDER THE BRIDGE, was filled with stories and poems written by many of those people. Here are a few examples:
When I Was a Kid
When I was a kid I wanted to be
A policeman, a fireman, an Army man.
I was young and innocent, fluttering through
Life like a butterfly on a warm summer day.
I’d cry at horrible things
A dead squirrel on the side of the road
An argument between my parents.
A fight on the street. A skinned knee.
The world was a big place and I felt
I wasn’t selfish; a bag full of penny
Candy could satisfy me…plus I’d share
It with anyone.
What happened? Did someone or something
Catch me and touch my delicate wings?
The only time you can cry is in the rain,
They can’t see your tears or your pain…
…that way nothing has to be real,
That way you can deny what you feel.
Your heart bleeds like a leaky faucet
As you hide your skeletons in the closet.
Your home is where you feel safe and secure
Your home is untainted and pure.
A kiss from the wind chills your bones,
These streets are so cold and no matter who
You’re with, you’re always alone.
Streets of Fog
So straight and cruel
I commence to duel.
A wallet full of money
I do not have
Even a kind word
Is better than salve
Keep me walking, Lord
With hunger as sharp as a sword.
A guiding light
Of the early dawn
Keeps me hoping
Maybe today or hours soon
The food I taste will be from
My own spoon.
We are fortunate to have a place for people who experience homelessness in our area – the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter in Peterborough. Also, we are fortunate to have our hard-working, dedicated and compassionate Project Manager, Susan Howard, who assists them however she can. Recently she has been available at the shelter as much as possible even as she dealt with her grief over the unexpected death of one of her sons.
Steve had just returned from Afghanistan where he served more than one tour of duty. He earned many honors while in the Army and was honorably discharged last year, but he stayed on in Afghanistan as a guard working for the US government. He came home a couple of weeks ago on a month’s leave. I wish to acknowledge both Steve and his mother by suggesting that readers consider a donation to MATS in Steve’s memory and thereby to honor Susan as well. Thank you.
Hope Pettegrew is a volunteer at the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter in Peterborough.
Thank you to C & S Wholesalers! –
MATS was awarded a Mini Grant from C & S Wholesalers
C & S Wholesalers Mini Grants:
To effect positive change in our communities and to develop relationships with local nonprofit organizations, C&S launched the Mini Grant program in 2002.
Through Mini Grants, C&S invests in local good works by donating funds or modest amounts of food. We focus on “our backyard” and accept requests from community groups that are located within 20 miles of where we do business and where most of our associates live.
What we give is determined by local needs, with consideration around statistics including poverty, high school graduation, literacy, and hunger rates.
C and S Wholesalers
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!
DID YOU KNOW?
Transitional housing capacity decreased in all but three states (HI, WY, and AK) since 2007.
MATS SUCCESS STORY:
May 2013 – “I can’t give up on my dreams”, a resident at the Monadnock Area Transition Shelter (MATS) announced with determination when we spoke with her recently. “Now that I have shelter for myself and my child, I feel that I am moving in the right direction”.
When she could no longer stay with a family member, this enterprising young mother went online and found MATS.
A few years ago, our guest realized that her dream was to be a nurse. “I love helping people.” Again she turned to the Internet, and learned of a program that would help her reach her goal — the Health Professional Opportunity Program. Through it, she has obtained a scholarship that will pay for her schooling as well as her child’s day care. The child’s father has also assumed some parenting responsibility and is giving her financial support.
Still, our guest knows that achieving her goals won’t be easy, but she is committed to providing a brighter future for her child. She will earn her LNA this summer while also retaking some science courses even though she did well in them years ago. In the fall, she will work part-time and begin her Associates Degree in Nursing. Following that, she will continue towards her full R.N. degree. Her long-term goal is to own her own home someday.
Clearly, this young woman is extremely motivated, and she is also very appreciative to be at MATS. She told us that our case manager has been a great help to her, assisting her with thinking and organizing her thoughts about her future and being “more like a good friend”.
Originally from New Hampshire, our guest has lived in other states when her family relocated during her youth. Having attended a fine arts high school, and further studied the arts at a community college, she plays flute as well as likes to sketch. She volunteers at her church.
We cannot say enough about this delightful and very wise young mother, and know that she will do well as she pursues her dreams. Her cheerful personality and self-confidence will ensure that she is a wonderful nurse. Certainly her beautiful smile will make everyone in her nursing care, or anyone she meets along the way, feel much better. We wish her a happy and fulfilling future.
FEBRUARY MATS FACTS:
We had 5 families contact MATS
4 single people
5 community members or agencies
The River Center contacts / prevention: 6 contacts
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.