OUR HISTORY

$11,000.00

DECEMBER 2016

Mark Anderson receives $11,000 from an online GoFundMe and begins plans to open up a community center with the funds.

Est. Brentwood NH

JANUARY 2017

Mark finds a local, vacant gymnasium in Brentwood NH and establishes Austin17House

Open House

APRIL 2017

Austin17House hosts its first Open House with OVER 200 community members in attendance!

Certified 501C3 Non Profit

MARCH 2018

Austin17House becomes a certified Non-Profit, 501c3, with the State of NH on March 8, 2018!

WHO IS AUSTIN?

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Austin grew up in Fremont, NH and attended the Ellis School in Fremont, Sanborn High School in Kingston and was currently in his senior year at Great Bay Charter School in Exeter. In his younger years, Austin enjoyed building things with Lego's, playing computer and video games, and he played football several years with the Nor-Rock Vikings. Austin was a very social and loving person. He had the kindest heart and was always willing to help anyone. Austin enjoyed being neat and having things in order. 

Austin Joseph Anderson, 17, died December 3, 2016 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. While Austin did not die from drug addiction, he did struggle like many other teens today. Through this great tragedy there has been much beauty created because of a beautiful person.

AUSTIN ANDERSON

A painting by Austin when he attended the Great Bay Charter School.

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THROUGH THIS GREAT TRAGEDY, THERE HAS BEEN MUCH BEAUTY CREATED BECAUSE OF A BEAUTIFUL PERSON.

MARK ANDERSON

FOUNDER

Mark Anderson, a Fremont, New Hampshire resident from Belfast, Northern Ireland, had dreamed of opening a community center for years. His plan was set into motion when his 17-year-old son, Austin, died in a car crash on December 3, 2016.

 

Three months after the tragic loss, Austin17House became a reality organically and was funded by the help of 170 people on GoFundMe who raised $11,000.

"Community center born from grief" - Eagle Tribune 2017

 

Austin17House then earned its status as a non-profit organization in 2018 with the goal of creating a place where youth and adults - from anywhere - can strengthen their identity and develop leadership skills.

My vision was to create a place where youth and adults can be strengthened in their identity, become strong leaders and where they can build and find their dreams. And we've done this through community, building support systems and hope.

- Mark Anderson

LINDSEY MESSINA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Lindsey grew up most of her life in Fremont and attended both Ellis and Sanborn Regional High School, graduating in 2012. Her younger siblings grew up with Austin and knew him well. After Austin passed away there was an increase in young deaths because of drug addiction and suicide. Lindsey grew up in the same town and knew some of these individuals from her time in school. 

"It really shook the community. There was this numbness that came over the community, and kids were wondering who would be gone next", 

I decided to get involved because I genuinely cared about the youth that were growing up, surrounded by loss and hopelessness. I had no degree or job experience in starting a non-profit but I had passion and eagerness to learn.

"My passion for this comes from my four younger siblings," she said. "They have so much talent and so much driving them to be successful. When things don't play out, it's too easy for people to turn to drugs and bad things. Society says success is one-track, but it's not. This place is the community's," she added. "We're just here to guide them."

"Community center born from grief" - Eagle Tribune 2017

Lindsey has spent four and a half years volunteering her time learning, implementing and helping Austin17House become an established organization. In 2021 the Board of Directors received funding to hire her full-time. Her goal is to continue to develop ways of building confidence, creativity and resilience in the youth and families that participate at Austin17House.

When are you ever so blessed to get a blank canvas that has no borders - and are given the opportunity to dream and create something that makes the world a better place for KIDS and adults? I can't express to you how much this place is going to save the world. You can be a part of the dream. I know I want to be.

 

Thaiadora | Community Member 

AUSTIN17HOUSE IS A 501c3 NON PROFIT

Through community support and fundraising efforts we have been able to provide a safe place for youth and families to enjoy life, provide meals and educational workshops surrounding suicide prevention, mental health and substance prevention for FREE!