In Her Own Words
The Front Door has positively touched my life and I am forever grateful for the positive impact the program has had in my life. Let me introduce myself. My name is Jessica and I am currently participating in the Front Door Agency’s Transitional Housing Program.
I was born in the United States, but at a very early age I moved back to my parents’ homeland of Honduras to be raised by my grandparents because I lost the two most important people in my life here in America. I later made the difficult decision to move back to the United States. I found myself in an abusive relationship with my daughter Danielle’s father. He wasn’t helping me to raise Danielle; I was doing it all alone. I felt overwhelmed and backed into a corner.
I remember thinking there was no way out of my current situation. I didn’t speak English well; I didn’t have a driver’s license; I was unemployed and most importantly, I was alone in a new country.
I knew something had to change for the sake of my daughter, so I found the strength to seek the help of a Domestic Violence shelter. I entered the shelter with my only worldly possessions: a few clothes and pictures from my past. What I needed was a positive path to the future.
The people at the shelter told me about The Front Door Agency. They said it was a safe place for my daughter and myself that would enable me to attend college and earn my secondary education. This felt like an otherwise impossible blessing.
When I joined the Front Door’s Transitional Housing Program, I had a large chip on my shoulder. I completely lacked confidence and I was deeply afraid of failing for the sake of my daughter. And most of all, I was still grieving for my loved ones. The move to New Hampshire and to the program was a difficult transition for myself and Danielle, but I knew this was an opportunity I needed to embrace.
My Life Today
I am enrolled as a marketing student at Nashua Community College, where I only have one semester left until I earn my associates degree. I have earned placement on the President’s List and am a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. I obtained my driver’s license and now own a car. I have attended the Agency’s Financial Literacy Program and am also taking part in the IDA program which is a savings program that matches my savings 3:1 to support my educational goals. My plans are to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
I remember when I first moved into the Front Door, I thought I shouldn’t be accepting all this help, that I should find a way to do it on my own. I now fully realize there was no way I could have achieved such progress on my own. I needed the support of the Agency so I could overcome my insecurities and become a self-sufficient member of this community. Today I am a strong woman and mother. I would just like to say thank you to all of you who became “my family” when I needed you the most.Jessica's Story
“I woke up this morning, put on my scrubs to get ready to go to work at Dartmouth Hitchcock, got my daughter ready for daycare, and left my own apartment looking forward to the day. So much has changed in my life.
Three years ago I woke up not knowing how I was going to make it through another day. My partner, my daughter’s father, had become abusive; we were no longer safe; I had no money and no job; and we had no where to go. It couldn’t have gotten any worse. We left and stayed with a few friends and relatives, but the stark reality was – we were homeless. I started to look for places that might be able to help us, and ultimately was referred to the Front Door Agency’s Transitional Housing Program by the Upper Room in Derry, NH. The day I was accepted into this program is the day my life began to transform.
This is what happened. I was assigned a case manager who guided and supported me through the process of applying for TANF, childcare assistance, and food stamps. The other programs of the Front Door were able to provide the basics that I didn’t have. She arranged for therapy sessions, and together we came up with a plan for what I thought I might like to pursue for a career and where I could apply for the appropriate education. I had an interest in the medical field, so I took a course at the American Red Cross and became a Certified Nurse’s Assistant. I loved it! I knew I wanted to pursue nursing, so I applied to St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing and was accepted.
By this time I was in Phase II of the program, which meant I moved into one of the Front Door’s apartments while still working very closely with my case manager. She told me about Good News Garage, and I was able to get a card donated to me, which helped tremendously. In May of 2012 I graduated with my LPN, passed my nursing boards in June, and got a job as a nurse at Dartmouth Hitchcock in July. Words cannot describe how this program has made all the difference in my life and the life of my little girl, now 4 years old.”Shannon's Story