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From life on the streets to a safe life

Jennifer Black was living with her kids on the streets six years ago. She was homeless for three years. Now she’s about to finish her collage degree in science. Between the two points one big thing changed: Jennifer moved to Laconia Housing.

Tired of carrying a backpack and eating sandwiches with her two kids, she went to live with a family member, but the situation wasn’t ideal, she was sleeping on the couch and her son on the floor. By then she still had a son in high school and couldn’t find a place to stay. Jennifer was filling out housing applications everyday but a roof over her head just wasn’t happening. Until the day she found out about Laconia Housing. “They accepted me for who I was,” Jennifer said.

She moved into a Laconia Housing space on September 7, 2011. She learned how to downsize (had to give away 32 boxes of stuff) and six months later Jennifer started volunteering in the community.

Besides a roof over her head, Laconia gave her friends of all ages, and helped her with some of her medical procedures. Today, she has nurses available to her every day and housekeeping on a weekly basis.

After three major concussions and in her late 40’s Jennifer is living with her service cat, named Chalot, and hopes to graduate next year.

Unfortunately she lost one of her sons two years after she moved in. After he passed, away her other son enlisted and is now serving his country as a Marine.

Despite everything she’s gone through Jennifer still finds the strength to make it through another day “I wake up, fight and keep moving.” She knows for sure that Laconia Housing saved her life, her doctors have told her that without it she’d be “six feet under.”

Her homeless days are long gone but she keeps the lessons with her. Her needs are just a roof, food and living every day to the fullest. She tells people that even though they live day to day they still have a lot of ladders, but all they have to do is take one step at the time and the first one is always the hardest. And, Laconia Housing can be that first step.

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