Column: Sharing stories of success
“All I need is a chance,” a former guest at the Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter told us last year. Today, he has more than lived up to that promise. We have had several success stories at MATS and of course, want to share them with our readers.
Through their own determination, former guests have achieved new lives which will allow them to pursue goals that they, at one time, didn’t think were possible.
The young man mentioned above has turned his life around and is already experiencing a brighter future. He has a good job and works 50 to 60 hours a week. But he hasn’t stopped with that. Through a program offered at work, he is now attending a local college as well. And to be certain that he gets the homework done, he stays after class and does it right away. Added to that, he also is working out at a gym five days a week which, along with eating correctly, has helped him get in shape. This young man also sees his young child every other weekend so that he can be a part the baby’s life.
Asked how he does all of this, he responded that he has also learned to manage his time better. He credits MATS with what he is achieving, yet clearly, a large part is due to his own commitment. He even has given back to MATS by returning some of the furniture that we gave him when he left the shelter as he has moved to a different place and no longer needed everything. “I will always remember MATS however I can,” he commented.
In a recent telephone interview, another former guest told us, “I would not be where I am if not for MATS.” She expressed her deep gratitude to our case manage whose guidance, support and encouragement helped her tremendously. She is now in her own apartment, comfortable in her new-found independence and nurturing her personal confidence that she can succeed in whatever she chooses to do.
When she came to MATS, she had no confidence for succeeding. Her financial situation was not good, her future looked bleak and she didn’t know how she could manage. She “did not feel good about herself and felt lost,” but MATS “changed all that.” Thanks to the guidance and assistance of our case manager, this former guest explored many options for self-help, pursued them and realized that she could achieve. She feels stronger, “I can do this,” she emphasized, and views her future positively. “I will be forever grateful to MATS.
A third former guest is a single mom and also doing well in her own apartment. To make their home even happier, they now have a pet to love. In a car that was donated to MATS and passed on to her, she has been able to get to her local job. However, this woman is still struggling and would like to improve her employment so that she can do more for herself and her child. In that regard, our case manager is staying in touch with her and offering her caring guidance and suggestions.
A single father currently at MATS has recently been able to get his driver’s license back. Still dealing with medical issues, he hopes to get a car and be able to find part-time work. We are very proud of all of these people and we wish them all continued success it what will be brighter futures for each of them.
Wish list: a reliable car, a 24” bike for a male, a car battery starter.
Nancy Perkins of Peterborough and Hope Pettegrew of Hancock are former board members but remain volunteers for MATS. MATS is a member of The River Center on Concord Street. We are a transitional shelter, not an emergency shelter.