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The Carters, The Apartments at 165 Winter

A photo of the Carter family; ©Mike Ritter

Living in a Haverhill homeless shelter with her newborn daughter, Nicole Carter could see the progress being made converting the former school building nearby into 12 new affordable apartments.

It was a challenging, lonely time for the new mother because her then soon-to-be husband, Greg, was not allowed to stay with her because he worked an overnight job in Boston and the shelter had a nightly curfew.

Nicole then saw an ad online seeking applicants for the new housing – the Apartments at 165 Winter – being developed by the Planning Office for Urban Affairs. MassHousing provided $600,000 for the development through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

"I worked hard to get all the paperwork they needed," Nicole recalled. "I had made a goal to work hard and get a job."

But Nicole had another setback when she broke her wrist and needed surgery. Continuing her effort to be accepted as a resident at the Apartments at 165 Winter, Nicole got a job at a Haverhill Market Basket store and soon her fortunes turned.

She and Greg were accepted from 400 applications for the 12 affordable apartments at the newly completed Winter Street building and her family finally had a place they could call home.

"Me and my family are forever grateful for this opportunity," she said, holding back tears. "It's wonderful, I love it," said of her new apartment.

Now Nicole, Greg, and daughter Adrianna have settled in and are enjoying life as a family.

"I'm now working 25 hours a week at Market Basket," she said. "I love working there. There are so many people who helped us and we are very thankful."