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SPRINGFIELD — Carolyn Martinez has been promoted to assistant executive director of Christina’s House, a nonprofit that provides transitional housing and social services for homeless or near-homeless mothers and children.

Martinez has served as program manager and brings firsthand experience to Christina’s House as a program graduate. Before joining the team, she worked in community healthcare settings for several years and has completed certificate programs in child behavioral health and community health. She will work alongside founder Linda Mumblo to expand the mission and assist the Christina’s House family to reach their fullest potential.

Christina’s House also announced it is seeking candidates for the new community development and administrative assistant roles.

Executive Director Shannon Mumblo intends to transition from her role. “Shannon has led the organization passionately and has been deeply committed to our mission and impactful work,” Christina’s House noted in a statement. “We are grateful for her many contributions to Christina’s House and the community. Shannon has been engaged in succession planning with the board and Carolyn Martinez. We wish her the best and thank her for her tireless and dedicated service to Christina’s House.”

In its 10th year, Christina’s House operates two homes in Springfield. It continues its mission to educate, embrace, and encourage families in the program to develop the life skills needed to become self-sufficient as they transition from homelessness to stable environments. Through the program, women and their children participate in programs that include financial counseling, job-skills development, parenting, conflict resolution, and building healthy eating and exercise habits.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Shannon Mumblo, executive director of Christina’s House, announced that Carolyn Martinez has joined the organization as program manager.

In her new role, Martinez will work closely with Christina’s House human-services professionals and direct service staff to ensure that mothers and their children who were homeless or near-homeless are developing vital life skills and are steadily working through the program with the goal of transitioning to stable housing and self-sufficiency.

Martinez brings first-hand experience to Christina’s House as a graduate of the program. She has worked in community healthcare settings for the past several years and has completed certificate programs in child behavioral health and community health. She is currently a student at Cambridge College working toward a bachelor’s degree in human services.

“As a graduate of the Christina’s House program, I am excited to work alongside Shannon to share the vision of the organization and continue to bring it to its fullest potential for the women and children that Christina’s House serves today and those families we’ll serve in the future,” Martinez said.

Mumblo added that “2022 has already been such an inspirational year. We have been able to hire four of our graduates to help us meet the needs of our expanding program. Three of our graduates help with per diem needs to support the program, and Carolyn was the perfect fit for the program manager role. She not only brings her experience in successfully completing the program, but also years of management and supervisory experience. It is such a fulfilling experience to see our graduates return to help encourage other families to reach their goals.”

Now in its 10th year, Christina’s House operates two houses in Springfield that provide transitional housing and social services for homeless or near-homeless mothers and children. The program educates, embraces, and encourages families as they develop the life skills needed to become self-sufficient as they transition from homelessness to stable environments. Through the program, women and their children participate in programs that include financial counseling, job-skills development, and building healthy eating and exercise habits.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Davis Foundation recently awarded Christina’s House with a $15,000 grant to do what it does best — giving a hand up to homeless and near-homeless women and their children. A largely underserved population, these women and their families will stay with Christina’s House for 18 months to two years while they establish healthy living habits, become employed, and earn a GED or job training for upward mobility in the workforce.

Paul Belsito, executive director at the Davis Foundation, and Magnus Monroe, grants and project manager, met with the organization in early fall to better understand how the foundation could support Christina’s House. The Davis Foundation, long known in the community for its educational agenda, found a fit, and the board voted to approve and provide much-needed funds to help the organization through a tough year.

“Each family represents a corner of our community where services don’t reach,” said Shannon Mumblo, executive director at Christina’s House. “Largely overwhelmed by life circumstances, we find them managing on their own as head of household with little or no income.” Sometimes they are doubled up with families or friends, she explained, or in an abusive environment. Sometimes their only warmth and comfort is their community church. “We find them there.”

Linda Mumblo, founder and president of the organization since 2014, is well-known for describing this much-needed intervention like this: “we give them a hand up, not a handout.”

Christina’s House provides transitional housing and social services for homeless or near-homeless mothers and children. It educates, embraces, and encourages families in the program with the life skills needed to become self-sufficient as they transition from homelessness to stable environments. The organization also helps each mother seek, obtain, and maintain employment once accepted into the program, and promotes occupational advancement through résumé writing and job-skills training.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Christina’s House invites the community to attend its annual ball, presented virtually by Ride to Remember, on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. This year, Christina’s House will host a digitally broadcasted event featuring live entertainment by Shawn Santanello, silent and live auctions, gift-card grab bags, and more to help spread some needed holiday cheer.

Christmas with Christina’s House will feature more than 100 auction items, including a fully decorated christmas tree, a GreatHorse golf package, a four-night stay at a private home on a bluff in Maine, a private chartered flight with lunch for two, a homemade pasta dinner from Christina’s House Executive Director Linda Mumblo, and many more. The auction opens at midnight on Thursday, Dec. 3 and will close after the live event on Dec. 5. Attendees must register for the auction and can do so, at no cost, by visiting christinashouse.org/christmas-with-christinas-house and clicking the red ‘register now’ button.

Christina’s House is also offering an opportunity for attendees to purchase a VIP Deluxe Kit, which includes gifts from the event’s sponsors, including a medium-sized candle from Kringle Candle, a variety gift package from Pride, a gift card from Hot Table, a raffle ticket to win a 50-inch television, and more. These kits can be purchased through the event website while supplies last.

Attendees can have even more fun with the Gift Card Grab Bag segment of the program, which features more than $2,200 in donated gift cards from members of the community. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase a Gift Card Grab Bag for $20 with a guarantee to receive a surprise gift card with a value of $25 or more. Attendees can learn more about this opportunity on the event’s website.

The event can be viewed on the Christmas with Christina’s House website or on Christina’s House Facebook Page. The organization hopes to raise $100,000 this year to continue providing transitional housing for women and their children as well as emotional, spiritual, and physical support and education as they transition from homelessness to permanent, stable living environments.

The event’s presenting sponsor is the Ride to Remember, and additional sponsors include Grower Direct Farms, Ondrick Natural Earth, Ondrick Materials and Recycling LLC, PeoplesBank, Country Bank, A Plus HVAC Inc., George’s Remodeling and Renovation, the Republican, and more.

“Entering 2020, who would have known that both our local and global communities would be impacted so greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic?” Mumblo said. “Christina’s House has faced each challenge that has arisen this year with both prayer and determination to continue on our path to serve others and to grow stronger each day. We continue to adapt to meet the needs of our families in creative ways. Our community has always been a driving force, allowing us to move our mission forward. We need the help of our community now more than ever to affect the lives of even more mothers and their children who desperately need a home, hope, and healing. We pray that Christmas with Christina’s House is a reflection of the work being done every day in our homes, the celebration of our many successes, and a time where people feel called to be a part of something so worthwhile.”

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