Keene nonprofit plans group home for women recently released from jail

KEENE — New nonprofit Monadnock Restorative Community is holding a community forum Tuesday night at Keene State College with the expectation of opening a home for women coming out of incarceration

“I think this is critical for a healthy community, not just the inmates, but the entire community,” said Monadnock Restorative Community co-founder Christine Holland.

A former addict, 53-year-old Holland says she is passionate about helping women coming out of jail or prison, many of whom are struggling with addiction.

“People who suffer from addiction just have so much potential,” Holland said. “It’s empowering for me to tap into that potential, even just to recognize that it’s there.”

Holland and Keene State adjunct professor Leaf Seligman founded the nonprofit.

Monadnock Restorative Community plans to come before the Keene Planning Board on Jan. 25 to discuss the project. The group is hoping to have a Keene location so the women are close to community resources and can be better integrated into the community.

The home would only house up to five women at a time, Holland said.

Holland currently works at the Phoenix House treatment center, but her past is checkered with multiple incarcerations for drug-related offenses, possessing or selling drugs,

The longest stint was four months, but four months is a long time to be incarcerated, she said.

“I have a history of addiction and incarceration. I have been fortunate enough and supported enough to be able to turn it around and I recently graduated from Keene State College with a BA in psychology and a minor in addiction studies,”

The Restoring Our Community to Wholeness forum will take place Tuesday in Centennial Hall, Keene Alumni Center at Keene State College from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Dottie Morris of Keene State will be the keynote speaker. The forum will also include representatives from Cheshire County Department of Corrections and the Keene Police Department as well as local business owners.

You can learn more about the nonprofit online at
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January 10, 2016 By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent