Last fall, a family of four found many helping hands here in Keene. David T., a millwright welder, was staying with his brother in Keene while both were working in a contracted position welding wind turbines. He was sending money to his pregnant spouse, Elizabeth E., and their two children, who were living in Florida with Elizabeth’s mother.
As David’s contract was coming to an end, Hurricane Irma hit and the family lost everything. They relocated to Keene, to stay with David’s brother while looking for new work. However, his brother’s lease did not allow for the family to continue living in the home. David and his family found themselves homeless, a prospect they had never imagined.
The SCS homeless outreach worker called Hundred Nights to ask if the family could stay in our shelter, even though it was off-season, as the other shelters in town were full.
When David, Liz and their boys moved into the shelter, Liz had already gotten a job at a local fast food restaurant. Within days David started to work 2nd shift, at the same restaurant, after looking for employment in his field unsuccessfully. The family was referred to The Community Kitchen and various SCS programs – WIC, subsidized housing, and eventually fuel assistance. They received personal care items, clothing and help with filling in applications for Food Stamps, housing and Medicaid. When Liz and David heard that they were eligible and approved for subsidized housing for a year there was great rejoicing! Many phone calls were made, and it seemed that there were no apartments available that were both affordable in the long term or large enough to accommodate a growing family. The Hundred Nights started contacting landlords with suitable apartments on Craigslist and asking if they would be interested in meeting the family. One of the landlords then offered them a 3 bedroom apartment, and told the family that they could move in as soon as possible. Hundred Nights posted a wish-list on its Facebook page of furnishings and supplies the family needed and our community responded so generously! Volunteers appeared with a truck to pick up donations of furniture and supplies that had been offered. The landlord and other volunteers were on hand to help set up the apartment and by the end of the day the apartment was cozy and felt like home.
David, Elizabeth and their (now three!) children are now happily settled in Keene. David has work in his field again, and the couple are able to give back to the community that showed them kindness in their time of need.
Our community is stronger because you care – thank you for helping this family who worked to regain their home.