Rebuilding & Reunifying: Mother and Son Forge a New Beginning

“I know I’ve messed up.”

As she stood before the judge, those were the five words that began her plea to reunite with her son Colton.

Twelve months earlier, Spenser gave birth to Colton. Homeless throughout her pregnancy and with a history of substance misuse, she arrived at the hospital having relapsed a few days before and doctors soon discovered drugs in her system and Colton’s as well. Colton was placed in foster care, giving Spenser one year to turn her life around and have a chance to regain custody.

“That was a huge wakeup for me,” Spenser recalls, and it prompted a seven-month stay in a drug rehabilitation center to begin to put her addiction in her past. Upon successful completion of the program, Spenser needed a safe place to go, where she could continue her recovery and rebuild her life. That place was New Generation.

A Fresh Start

A donor-supported program of Catholic Charities NH located in Greenland, New Generation is a shelter and pathway out of homelessness for pregnant women and single mothers with young children that are escaping domestic abuse, recovering from substance addiction, and facing other significant struggles.

Your support gives New Generation residents a safe, supportive environment to set and achieve goals that help them gradually build self-sufficient lives.

“Prior to Spenser, we only housed mothers who had their children with them,” recalls Elsy Cipriani, executive director of New Generation, “but with Spenser, we could see how diligent and persistent she was, so we decided to help her as she worked through the reunification process.”

At New Generation, Spenser found encouragement as she set and accomplished goals like maintaining sobriety, obtaining a job, and pursuing housing. “I was doing everything to get Colton back,” says Spenser. “The support empowered me to move forward in my life.”

Spenser’s Day in Court

One year after losing custody of her son, and surrounded by New Generation staff and others who had witnessed her incredible progress, Spenser appeared before a judge and humbly stated the case for Colton’s return to her care.

“I’ve corrected my behaviors, I’m not that same person,” she said. “Every day I think about what I could have done and what I should have done, but I can’t change the past. I’m here today, focused on Colton and his future.”

When the judge ruled in Spenser’s favor, she cried with joy, and within two weeks, Colton arrived at New Generation to be with his mom again.

Housing and Another Twist

Soon after Colton returned, Spenser secured permanent housing and, with the help of New Generation volunteers, moved into her new apartment to begin her new life with her son. The two of them finally had a place they could call home.

And to bring things full circle, Spenser recently changed jobs, becoming the newest member of the staff at New Generation, where she can give back to women that are in the shoes she was in just over a year ago.

“New Generation’s such a huge support,” she says, “and my being here was a big part of me getting Colton back. Thank you very much to the donors – I’ve had so much help from people I don’t know and I am just so grateful.”

Support Catholic Charities NH

Your gift to Catholic Charities NH means a better tomorrow for your neighbors in need across the state. They include those facing issues such as poverty, mental health challenges, homelessness, isolation and other forms of hardship and crisis.

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