Jack, a shelter guest at Hixon House, walks up with a smile on his face; his unfailingly positive attitude readily apparent to all who meet him. Before the recession, Jack owned his own house for twelve years. He was a rental landlord, worked at car dealerships and enjoyed a comfortable income. In 2008 Jack lost his job when the company he worked for closed. He lived on unemployment for a couple of years while he took care of his ill mother; but those funds ran out and he was forced to leave his apartment.
When he was referred to the Upper Valley Haven for assistance, he was unfamiliar with our name and our programs. He moved into our Adult Shelter in January of 2012. “If it hadn’t been for this place I would be living on the street. It’s a Godsend,” he says of the Haven. “I feel blessed to have the same bed to sleep in every night and the staff is wonderful.”
Every day Jack looks for work, but with the economy the way it is, he is experiencing difficulties finding any employment. To add to his struggles, his only form of transportation is the public bus system; which, while he also considers it a blessing, is limited in travel times and remote area access.
As he speaks of his trials and tribulations, he smiles with a twinkle of hope in his eyes and says, “It’s hard, but I know something’s going to turn around for me. I’ll get back to where I was.” This is an example of perhaps the most remarkable thing about Jack: his unrelentingly steadfast optimism which he spreads among the other residents. “I try to lift the attitudes of other people, find the positive, and contribute however I can which helps to make me happier too!”
The Haven Through 40 Years
The Haven will commemorate its four decades of service to the region by releasing 40 stories of people, events, ideas, and services fundamental to our mission. We will be releasing these stories weekly, so check back often.