The Welcome Mat
Newsletter of the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter
In This Newsletter:
Looking for a Car
The coronavirus has been a very different and difficult experience for our country and the world. For the young mothers and their children at the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter in Peterborough, it has been surreal. Each of the mothers has lost her job and with no daycare available, one can’t even think about finding a job right now. Essentially, even when this situation is over, each of these families will be basically starting over again as will so many of our country’s citizens.
At the beginning of the pandemic, some people at the shelter did not take the virus seriously and did not wear masks. Eventually, one of the guests had symptoms that required being tested and, though thankfully it was pneumonia instead of the virus, all of the families were quarantined for two weeks as a precaution. Everyone has been doing a lot of cleaning on a more regular basis – with disinfectants to be sure; the children are helping with that too while learning a valuable lesson about cleanliness.
Three problems that have arisen at the shelter during this pandemic, and which most of us never thought would be a problem, are: first) what about the future of child care? This is the biggest question right now and it is the most important element for everyone everywhere to find the answer to before they can move forward; second) MATS has never had internet hook-up available in each apartment even though the guests brought their TVs so their children could watch videos. When someone needed to find a job or improve the one they had, she went to The River Center on Vose Farm Road to use the internet there regarding a job search; third) no internet meant the children weren’t prepared for our schools to close. In order for them to do their school work on line, the district has generously provided the necessary equipment for them to use until the end of the school year.
In the past, there has been a box provided at Steele’s where people may leave hygiene items, especially those for women. As of this writing, the store will be open daily and people can again place the items there during regular hours.
One guest found housing in Keene and was all set to move when our Governor decreed the stay-at-home order; thankfully, this family will be able to move in June now. They will have an apartment with a washer/dryer hookup though they do not have those items. If anyone has a reliable set, please consider donating them to MATS for this family by calling 924-5033 and leaving a message for Susan Howard, our Project Manager.
Even though Susan is not holding her regular business hours at The River Center during the pandemic, people may call her for assistance with resources and services that might prevent them from becoming homeless – and many have done so already. The MATS office phone number is 924-5033 and Susan is always ready to help where she can.
Hope Pettegrew is a volunteer at the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter in Peterborough.
Many thanks to Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs who donated eggs to MATS through Hazel the Gleaner!
MATS has received a generous bequest. Learn more about how you can help.
Join us for a Pizza Night Fundraiser – Let’s raise some dough!
On Tuesday, June 9 Orchard Hill Breadworks will be having a pizza night, with 10% of sales going to MATS
Cheese, meat special, and vegetarian special pizzas, and gluten free
Also green salad, cookies, and brownies
Order at the Orchard Hill Breadworks site
10% of sales will be donated to MATS
You can help by sharing the event!
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/235622111069472/
PDF Flyer: https://matsnh.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Pizza-Night-Flyer-2020.pdf
Together, we can build a community in which everyone finds a home.
Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter (MATS) Responds to Urgent COVID19 Need with Shelter and Support for Families in Transition, Joining NH Gives in Day of Giving and Unity
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
At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together. 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 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.
Your contribution makes it possible for MATS to help our guests survive the critical weeks and months until they can reestablish an independent living situation and return to self-sufficiency.
Together, we can build a community in which everyone finds a home.
Some facts about homelessness;
• the average age of someone who is homeless is 9;
• median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in NH is $1,1157 per month;
• a person needs to earn $20.50 an hour to afford that rent.
One of our guests is seeking a reliable vehicle for under $3,000. You can contact the MATS office and leave a message at (603) 924-5033 if you have any tips.
always, a reliable car
working washer and dryer set
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 the MATS office at (603) 924-5033 and leave a message for Susan, or leave them in the Collection Box at Steele’s. OR mail items (if you can) to MATS, PO Box 3053, Peterborough NH 03458. Thank you!
COLLECTION BOX AT STEELE’S
There is a permanent box at Steele’s where people may leave wish list items for MATS. See above for items.
Thank you so much to Steele’s Stationers for hosting our box!
100% SUCCESS RATE!
Once again, 100% of our guests who completed the MATS program in 2019 have moved on to permanent housing!
*We do this without money from the state or federal government – we rely solely on donations and grants.
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
You can shop at Amazon and support MATS: 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.
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