Two days. One unimaginably bad. One extraordinarily good. And in between, Mike guided his family back home.
One day in July, 2020, Mike’s life and the lives of his children were turned completely upside down. His wife passed away from cancer and, suddenly, he and his three kids were rudderless. It was a terrible day.
As a suddenly single dad and with a 9 year-old, a 4 year-old, and a 17 year-old to support, money dried up quickly and housing became a critical challenge. He would soon be forced to leave his home in Newmarket, unable to absorb the housing costs.
“I had a job, but we couldn’t afford anywhere,” he says. “We didn’t have a place to live. I was trying to get an apartment, but I just didn’t make enough money.”
Eventually, Mike and his family found their way to Seacoast Family Promise, where he was able to find a sense of stability and begin the long process of saving for a new home. But with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, that task was going to become that much harder.
Yet, he stuck with the process and worked closely with Seacoast Family Promise staff and took advantage of the resources that were provided to him. Even in the face of pandemic-fueled exploding housing costs, he persevered.
“The Seacoast Family Promise staff was so awesome,” he says.
After a year as a Seacoast Family Promise guest, Mike was able to secure a housing voucher that brought him to an apartment in Newmarket; it was a new home in a familiar town, and Mike could not be happier.
“Everyone here is amazing,” he says. “This is the place to come, because it’s not just a bed. They help you build a better life.”
Last August, Mike and the kids returned to the Seacoast Family Promise Day Center in Exeter to receive some brand new, donated school supplies, which had been given by donors and community members.
While they were there, his youngest was given a surprise birthday party, complete with a candle, a cupcake, and an exuberant audience who delivered a sweeping round of applause when he blew out his candle.
It was a good day.