Transitional Housing Program Helps Nashua Mom, Son Get Back on Track

Ever since she graduated from the health occupation program at Nashua High School in 1995, Chrissie has been helping other people as a Licensed Nursing Assistant. Three years ago, she needed help when she had to leave an abusive relationship.

“I walked out with my son, who was three years old, and not much else,” Chrissie said. They were living in Hudson, so she went to the town’s welfare office for advice on where to get help. They were placed into emergency temporary housing at the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter. While there, she was referred to Family Promise of Greater Nashua at Anne-Marie House in Hudson. She got an interview and within two weeks, she and her son, Lukas, were accepted into the transitional housing program.

Anne-Marie House transitional housing graduate speaks at United Way event

United Way President Paul Hebert thanks Anne-Marie House transitional housing program graduate Chrissie Baker for sharing her story at the UWGN donor and volunteer appreciation night. (Tanya Tisdale photo)

At Anne-Marie House, Chrissie learned how to budget her money by working with a counselor and taking financial literacy classes. She was able to save three-quarters of her earnings because she wasn’t charged rent. To graduate from the program, she had to build up enough savings for first and last month’s rent, plus security deposit, and necessities.

Chrissie says she learned a lot during her two-year stay at Anne-Marie House. “I learned how to become a mom…I had to step up.” So she took parenting classes at the Boys and Girls Club. Living at Anne-Marie House also helped Lukas, who was “a little out of control” when he had arrived. “He learned to be respectful and polite,” Chrissie said.

When Chrissie graduated from Anne-Marie House, she said she “was nervous, and afraid I couldn’t afford a two-bedroom apartment.”  But she moved into a transitional apartment owned by the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, and learned how to turn on utilities, pay monthly bills, and manage day-to-day affairs for herself and Lukas. While there, she learned that she had moved to the top of a waiting list for income-qualified housing in Nashua. She and Lukas moved there (the second move in two months).

Anne-Marie House supplied some furniture for Chrissie’s new apartment, and provided gifts for Lukas’ Easter basket. “They’re like family to me,” Chrissie said. “Their staff and volunteers are great…they always smile and ask how you’re doing.”

Lukas, who attends kindergarten at Ledge Street School, is “thriving”, attends the after-school program there though the Adult Learning Center, and recently was named Student of the Month.

Chrissie would like to give back by volunteering at Anne-Marie House and possibly becoming one of their Board members someday.

“They really helped bring me to where I am today.”

Anne-Marie House is one of two transitional housing programs supported by United Way’s Community Impact Fund. You can help create a better future for people like Chrissie by making a donation.

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