We've turned to GiveSendGo to help us keep our small, independent shelter open for people experiencing homelessness. Who are we? We're a group of regular local citizens working to keep the torch going, lit 25 years ago by another group of regular local citizens. New England winters are cold. People fall on hard times through illness, injuries, bad decisions, job losses, lack of basic life skills - they find themselves living out of their cars, couch surfing, staying with relatives, or worse. Many times the mix involves babies and kids...and with increasing frequency, those who are elderly. That's where we come in. We offer these neighbors a home-like environment, programming to acquire basic life skills, advocacy for housing and services, and a structured routine. There is a new playground outside, and kids can keep going to, (or resume), school. Mom's and/or dads work on finding employment; peer support is fostered and friendships often form among residents staying at 'Home for Now'. Our primary focus is getting people into permanent housing. This is no small feat in a region where the rental housing market has next to zero available/affordable inventory We have a robust aftercare program which follows the people we help with housing for two years after they obtain an apt.
With our two-generational approach, we work to break the cycle for children who know no other life, from growing up and repeating the cycle of their parent(s). With the help of wonderful community members, we make sure there are Thanksgiving Dinners and Christmas celebrations with gifts, birthday parties for little ones, celebrations for move outs and new jobs...you know, pieces of normal, healthy life that help these disenfranchised folks re-acquire self-respect and look to the future with hope.
But we have such great stories to tell! A gentleman we worked with a couple of years ago is now fully self-supporting, having taken up his artistic talents once again and is thriving in his community. An elderly lady who was sick with cancer and living in her car, got to spend her final time on earth in her own modest apt. We secured services for her, and along with a partner church, moved her in and furnished her little home. She was so grateful to have her dignity restored. More recently, 'Home for Now' gave a mother and daughter the space for a life reset. The mom, now walking in sobriety, was able to secure a job locally and a place to live for her and her daughter while living at the Shelter - she said we helped her believe she could do it.
However, the 2024 sheltering year is up in the air right now. Convulsing economic circumstances beyond our control have caused us to lose our largest benefactor - a corporation to which we will be forever grateful. We've had to shoulder the large operating costs which were formerly covered by our benefactor and these costs have exceeded our funding. We are turning to the 'GiveSendGo' community for help. We operate on a small budget with a small, devoted, mostly part-time staff. We receive no federal funding. Our donation base comprises local businesses, churches and trusts, some municipal help, and individual donors. Our regional catchment area spans two states.
Thanks for reading our story... 'Home for Now' operates from October to May. If you are able to help us in our hour of need, you will be blessed, and we pray it comes back to you doubled. Thank you.