Kriss Blevens with a photo of her stepdaughter Amber at Amber’s Place in Manchester. (Photo by Cheryl Senter).

Kriss Blevens with a photo of her stepdaughter Amber at Amber’s Place in Manchester. (Photo by Cheryl Senter).

Raising voices, saving lives

New Futures helped Kriss Blevens find her voice and turn her make-up brush into a power tool for advocacy

Kriss Blevens knew she had to tell Amber’s story. Amber, her stepdaughter, died from a heroin overdose.

Blevens heard about New Futures’ advocacy training for people who wanted to do something about the state’s drug crisis. She signed up immediately.

Blevens is a makeup artist. She beautifies the faces of people running for president and Congress before they go on TV. She decided to talk to every one of them, up close, about Amber.

New Futures gave me my courage.
- Kriss Blevens
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New Futures gave me my courage,” she said. Blevens’ voice helped bring the drug crisis front and-center during the New Hampshire primary.

New Futures and its advocates — more than 1,000 in all — have been instrumental in shaping public policy on measures related to the state’s addiction crisis.

New Futures was launched after Oliver Hubbard of Walpole gave the Foundation $43 million to combat substance misuse in New Hampshire and specified policy and advocacy as focus areas.

Blevens’ advocacy has taken new shape: She has opened Amber’s Place, an emergency shelter for people awaiting treatment. Because one night back on the street can be deadly.

“On the other side of that wall,” she says, pointing, “are four people who didn’t die last night.”

This story originally appeared in our 2015 Annual Report.

Hear Kriss Blevens speak at our 2016 annual meeting.