Michelle and her three children, Nadia, age 16, Joel, age 14 and Khalid, age 7, first came to Keene in December 2019. Michelle’s husband had been deported 5 years earlier, leaving her with three children ages 2-11 and no income, since she had not been working since the birth of their third child. Michelle had worked part-time before that, but one of the children has special needs and needed extra time and care.
Prior to arriving in Keene, Michelle and her kids had couch-surfed with friends, stayed with her mother in a subsidized apartment for a very limited time, and lived in their car. The family had also been in their own subsidized apartment for a year; but unfortunately, when the year was over, so was the subsidy. Michelle had not been able to go back to work and afford both childcare and an apartment, so the family found themselves in their car once again.
Hundred Nights took them in and helped Michelle to get the children enrolled in local schools, then worked with her to get all of their birth certificates, ID’s, Social Security cards, and documentation of any benefits in one folder. Applications for security deposit funding, housing, and other assistance with local community agencies were filled in. While staying at Hundred Nights, Michelle was proactive by looking for affordable housing and by making many phone calls, faxes, and emails on her own.
After many months, Michelle was finally able to locate a subsidized two-bedroom housing unit in North Conway, NH. Southwestern Community Services stepped in to help and provided Michelle assistance with a security deposit and first month’s rent. Hundred Nights had been gathering furniture and other items for their apartment from local community members and at long last, Michelle and the kids were able to move into their new apartment! Hundred Nights rented a U-Haul and loaded all of the donated household items and all of the family’s belongings at the shelter and went to North Conway to help them get set up! It was a great day all around.