Andrea Ferguson Speaks at the Taste and Sea Fundraiser, September 2017

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It is a privilege to stand in front of you tonight and to tell you a few success stories we have had in our house over the last 9 months. I am genuinely grateful to wake up every day, and the main key to my success along with that, is being a resident of an organization that gives men and women from all walks of life a safe place and the time to rebuild our lives properly.

Resident 1 in her 20s, had strained relations with her mother who also had temporary custody of her young daughter. She now has a fruitful relationship with mother and daughter, has completed courses at Cape Cod Community College to be a Dental Hygienist, has gotten engaged, bought a car and is now renting her first apartment in Centerville. She is currently working 2 jobs and taking psychology courses. Before living at Elise House, the resident was bouncing from shelter to shelter and couch surfing with friends for a year.

Shortly after becoming a resident, Resident 2. was told by the Department of Child and Family Services that there was probably no chance of her even seeing her grandchildren again, as she had previously been their legal guardian all of their young lives. This resident now visits her grandchildren regularly, including special occasions and birthdays. Four weeks ago, she was advised for the first time, by DCF, that she may even get custody back of her grandchildren, preventing them from entering the foster care system. This resident has been working 2 jobs since she arrived at Elise house, and 10 months later she has purchased her first car and has gotten her driver’s license reinstated. One of her past mistakes included a high-speed police chase under the influence of alcohol. Many addicts who have dug this deep a hole prior to recovery do not get their driver’s licenses or custody of children reinstated. She is now saving money for her apartment for herself and her grandchildren. We believe this will happen for her.

In the short time since May of this year, Resident 3 obtained employment as a health manager for a private company. She then provided 2 other Elise house residents with health aid jobs which included a company vehicle for each woman, who had no car of their own. One of these women is a 73-year old resident who was living in her storage shelter for 3 days prior to moving in with us. The other had been living in an abusive situation. Resident 3 has also obtained her real-estate license and has purged herself from an abusive relationship. She moved into her new apartment last weekend. She was living in her vehicle for 2 months prior to moving in with us.

These are examples of just one of four HNH homes.

From the 2016 movie Bad Batch, Keanu Reeves’ character The Dream, asks a young woman with no direction, “What do you really want”. She replies, “To be the solution to something”. He then holds up a tomato and tells her, “First this was a seed. You take care of a garden, and it takes care of you. You feed it, it feeds you. Few things in this world operate like that–fair and square. It just needs a place to grow and grow. Then it comes out in this part of the world. Because you know what the dream really is? It’s life.”

We thank each and every one of you for help in keeping our garden growing, year after year.

  1. MaryAnn Halstead

    It is so heartwarming to see our seeds continue to grow and bear fruit a decade after we first planted them. To know that when we handed the reigns over after the first year, our dream not only flourished but has grown beyond our humble expectations at the hands of outstanding leadership is beyond words. We thank you all for your continued support and dedication to HnH.
    For those who are interested, Mark and I do want to give you an update. As the ultimate success story of HnH, we have spent the past nine years in the Carolina’s. 3 years ago, we purchased our first home in South Carolina and on October 29th, 2017, I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Graphic Arts. I am currently working as a freelance graphic designer and jewelry designer. Mark has maintained employment as a residential energy auditor for the past 8 years. We are happily approaching our 10 year wedding anniversary.