Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Chris Kazarian

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Housing Advocacy Training Wraps Up in Falmouth

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Apr 06, 2018 @ 01:47 PM

 

Cape Housing Advocacy-2

HAC and Community Development Partnership (CDP) concluded their inaugural Cape Housing Advocacy Training with a one-day session at Falmouth Public Library at the end of last month.

Over 80 people attended the workshops which were also held on the Mid-Cape, Lower Cape and Outer Cape in February. Cape Housing Advocacy was geared towards residents interested in affordable housing and how they can use their voice to speak up in favor of projects that help address the region’s housing issues.

During the workshops, attendees learned what affordable housing is and why it is needed; how to speak at public meetings with confidence; how decisions related to housing are made at the local level; and how people can get involved in their community.

Cape  Housing Advocacy-4

Stefanie Coxe (pictured above), owner of the political consulting firm Nexus Werx LLC, gave residents one way they can get involved immediately. It is by supporting an initiative of SmarterCape Partnership which is working with towns throughout the Cape to modify their Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaw to add to the available supply of housing units without developing more land.

She concluded her presentation by commending people for taking part in the workshop. “I think it’s tremendously brave and important of you to be here because we’re not going to see any changes without people speaking up,” she said.

To learn more about Cape Housing Advocacy Training and to stay updated on future sessions, click this link.

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Affordable Development on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod, affordable housing, Falmouth, Community Development Partnership, Advocacy Training, Cape Housing Advocacy Training, Stefanie Coxe

HAC Seeks Recipients for Harwich Big Fix

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Apr 06, 2018 @ 12:17 PM

 

Harwich Sign-2

Since 2010, the Big Fix has been to eight towns on Cape Cod. On Saturday, September 22, 2018, HAC’s annual fundraiser will next come to Harwich in an effort to help those in need in that Lower Cape community.

HAC is currently seeking recipients for the Big Fix. The event typically sees roughly 200 volunteers come out to make small home repairs for income-eligible veterans, seniors and disabled homeowners in one town on the Cape each fall.

“The idea of the Big Fix is to help people most in need do the basic maintenance on their home that they can’t do themselves and don’t have the income to keep up themselves,” said David Quinn, HAC’s assistant director of Housing Development.

Last year’s Big Fix was Quinn’s first “and it happened to be the biggest one we’ve ever done,” with a record 340 volunteers assisting 18 homeowners in Falmouth.

“It was really amazing for the community to come out and rally around all of these homeowners,” Quinn said. “A lot of them were smiling and a lot of them were in disbelief. They couldn’t believe their neighbors and complete strangers were willing to come out and help them in such an enthusiastic way.”

Harwich homeowners who are either veterans, seniors or disabled can apply to be a recipient by clicking this link.

Hard copies of applications can be found at the Brooks Free Library at 793 Main Street; the Harwich Community Center at 100 Oak Street; the Harwich Chamber of Commerce at 1 School House Road; Hands of Hope Outreach Center at 49 Route 28; and the Family Pantry of Cape Cod at 133 Queen Anne Road.

The deadline to apply to be a recipient of the Big Fix is Friday, June 1. Those with questions can contact HAC’s Project Coordinator Romy Maimon at rmaimon@haconcapecod.org or at 508-771-5400, ext. 103.

Those interested in volunteering or forming a fundraising team for the Big Fix can email volunteer@haconcapecod.org. To become a Big Fix sponsor, email Deanna Bussiere at dbussiere@haconcapecod.org

 Recipient-Big-Fix-Yarmouth

 

Tags: volunteers, fundraiser, Big Fix, HAC Volunteers, charitable giving, Falmouth Big Fix, Harwich, David Quinn, Harwich Big Fix

A Gift of Hope

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Apr 05, 2018 @ 04:18 PM

Matt Sullivan Photo (March 2018)

Over the past two years, Matthew Sullivan of West Bridgewater has collected donations from his friends, family and customers at MAD Boot Camps in Marshfield. He takes those donations and uses them to provide a holiday meal as well as gifts to clients at HAC’s Angel House shelter in Hyannis which serves mothers overcoming addiction and their children. 

As someone who has struggled with addiction and homelessness, Sullivan understands what many of the mothers are going through. “It is just really important for me to give back, in general,” Sullivan said. “Hopefully, this gives them a little bit of hope to keep trudging forward.”

You can read more about Sullivan's connection to our work and support of our clients by clicking this link

Give Hope to a HAC Client

 

Tags: Angel House, HAC Volunteers, volunteer, charitable giving, Matthew Sullivan

Monthly Angel House Dinners

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Sat, Mar 31, 2018 @ 05:00 AM
IMG_1279Ron Winner (middle) and his wife Wendy (right) have helped organize monthly dinners at Angel House with the help of their friends.  

It started with a taco dinner in January and continued with a turkey dinner, with all the fixings, in February. Once a month, HAC volunteers Ron and Wendy Winner of Centerville have committed to cooking a meal for clients at HAC’s Angel House shelter.

Angel House is a family shelter for women recovering from substance abuse and their children 

It’s the latest attempt by the Winners to show those at the Hyannis shelter just how much they care. Over the years, the pair have organized outdoor barbecues, Christmas dinners, and Valentine’s Day meals at Angel House, throwing in a variety of gifts, from chocolates to gift certificates, all to bring some much-needed joy into our clients’ lives.

Read more about Ron Winner's contributions to HAC by clicking this link

Tags: Family Shelter, volunteers, Angel House, HAC Volunteers, Ron Winner, charitable giving

Addressing a Need

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Mar 30, 2018 @ 04:57 PM

 

Susan Bushart Photo

“I love to sew,” Susan Bushart of Orleans said at the end of January, as she held up several of her handmade winter hats that reflected that statement.

While simple to make and admittedly “addicting,” Bushart said she wanted to use her passion for sewing to help those less fortunate.

“There is a need,” she said.

As she dropped off the donations at HAC’s Hyannis office, a client in the reception area asked if he could have one. “Thank you very much,” he said, as he put it on. “This is great.”

Tags: winter, donations, charitable giving, Orleans

A Gift of Warmth

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 @ 05:36 PM

Michael's Knitters Donation Story

Once a month, women at the Cape Cod Senior Residences in Pocasset travel to Michaels in Falmouth, where they knit an array of colorful blankets, hats and scarves. Recently, the group donated those handmade items to the mothers and children staying at HAC’s Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth.

Those taking part in the knitting group included Rose McGillycuddy (from front left), Helen Duarte and Charlene D’Errico. They were joined by Wanda Blair (from rear left), a certified yarn instructor at Michaels, Lisa Marie Chinappi, an enriched life director at Cape Cod Senior Residences, and Carriage House’s Laurie Ronayne.

You can read more about the group's love of knitting and support of HAC's Carriage House shelter by clicking this link

Support HAC's Family Shelters

Tags: Cape Cod Senior Residences, Carriage House, Falmouth, knitting

Bowlers Have a Ball Supporting HAC

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 02:14 PM
Wood Lumber Bowling-18 (Champs).jpgWood Lumber Company repeated as champions at HBRACC's Bowling for Beds Fun-Raiser earlier this month. 

For the fourth straight year, HAC teamed up with the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod (HBRACC) to help raise funds for our housing programs as part of the annual Bowling for Beds Fun-Raiser at The Lanes Bowl & Bistro in Mashpee Commons at the beginning of this month.

A total of 20 teams, representing companies in the building and construction trades as well as the banking industry, came together for a night of fun and spirited competition. A portion of the proceeds raised went to support HAC.

Wood Lumber Company of Falmouth repeated as champions with Shepley Wood Products in Hyannis and Falmouth Lumber coming in second and third, respectively.

Diane Pratt, the executive officer for HBRACC, called the partnership between HAC and her organization “a natural fit, as both of our agencies are involved with providing homes to residents on Cape Cod… As part of our civic responsibility, we believe in partnering with other nonprofit agencies whose missions are closely aligned with ours.” 

Coastal Engineering Bowling-18.jpgAmong the teams returning for the 4th Annual Bowling for Beds Fun-Raiser was Coastal Engineering which made it to this year's finals. To view more photos from the event, visit our Facebook page (click here)

Tags: fundraiser, Home Builders & Remoders Association of Cape Cod, HBRACC, Bowling for Beds, Diane Pratt, Wood Lumber, Lanes Bowl & Bistro

Donor Spotlight: Tony Shepley

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 10:34 AM

Tony Shepley Photo.jpg


In 1978, Tony Shepley opened the doors to his new company, Shepley Wood Products, in Hyannis.

With little experience in business – he had moved to the Cape eight years earlier, making his living as a musician in a rock band – and $4,000 to invest in his fledgling venture, Tony has grown that small company to one that currently employs 160 people. 

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Shepley Wood Products’ impact can be felt throughout the region with a main office and yard in Hyannis, a branch yard in Wellfleet, and a sales office on Nantucket.

With all of his success, Tony has remained committed to giving back to this place that he and his wife Lorraine and their two sons call home. That commitment has not only been recognized by HAC, which honored Shepley Wood Products with its 2011 Business Partner of the Year Award, but by the Hyannis Elks (2012 Distinguished Citizenship Award), the Cape and Islands United Way (2002 Citizen of the Year), and Philanthropy Partners of the Cape & Islands (2014 Outstanding Business Award), among others.

We recently had a chance to ask Tony about his longtime support of HAC and our affordable housing efforts in the region. 

HAC: Why is HAC’s mission so important to you and Shepley Wood Products?

Tony Shepley: No community stays in balance without a healthy affordable housing supply. HAC has done a lot to help provide and push for housing for Cape Cod and the Islands.

HAC: What are some of the housing challenges you face as an employer on the Cape?

TS: Zoning changes and building code changes have driven the cost of housing up over the past 40 years, by limiting the supply of available land and by raising the cost of construction in our area. Employers can’t sit idly by and watch; we have to be involved.

HAC: How do you see HAC helping to address those challenges?

TS: HAC has worked on the development side by building new housing to add to the available supply, but also to drive awareness on the political front, as well as to educate the public and to stimulate affordable housing design.

HAC: Can you talk about the housing issues facing Cape Cod and why it’s necessary for organizations like HAC and companies like Shepley to work together to tackle those issues?

TS: I am surprised by the extent of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) thinking in many of our towns. Although our population on Cape Cod is not growing and has been slightly receding recently, some of our selectmen and town councilors are still convinced that we are in a runaway growth phase and they are scared of opening up a Pandora’s Box if they loosen their grip on housing.

We need to help them see that without affordable workforce housing our service industries suffer. Our teachers, nurses, firefighters, and police suffer, and we drive affordability out of reach. We have a lot of work ahead of us in de-polarizing our communities on the subject of a balanced approach to sensible housing. Healthy communities must stand for what they want, not just for what they don’t want.

WHY I GIVE

Over the years, Tony Shepley and his company, Shepley Wood Products, have generously given to HAC in support of its programs. That support has included sponsoring the agency’s Annual Dinner & Volunteer Recognition. Shepley Wood Products will do so once again in May.

This past fall, Shepley Wood Products also served as a sponsor of HAC’s Cape Housing Institute, a six-week workshop which provides municipal officials with the tools and resources to boost affordable housing in their communities. Last month, Shepley also sponsored our Cape Housing Advocacy Training, which teaches the general public how to speak up in support of more affordable housing in their towns.

“These programs help educate our town leaders and our fellow residents about the need for affordable housing and remove some of the stigma with which affordable and workforce housing gets tagged,” Tony said, explaining why Shepley has sponsored these two new HAC initiatives.

Become a Corporate Sponsor

 

Tags: Shepley Wood Products, Shepley, workforce housing, affordable housing, charitable giving, Housing Development, HAC donors, Tony Shepley, Donor Spotlight, corporate sponsorship, sponsors

New Director Brings Expertise and Passion to Carriage House

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 @ 05:40 PM
Mindy Caron-1.jpgMindy Caron in front of HAC's Carriage House family shelter in North Falmouth. 

I love the opportunity to help as many people as possible turn their lives around,” Mindy Caron said last month at HAC’s Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth. Caron is helping HAC’s clients do exactly that as Carriage House’s new facility director.

Caron, who was hired at HAC two years ago, initially served as the family therapist at Angel House in Hyannis, which supports mothers overcoming addiction and their children. Last fall, she transferred to HAC’s main office where she assisted the agency in redesigning its intake and referral process.

At the end of January, she was promoted to her current position at Carriage House, which assists mothers and their children. The shelter, which typically caters to younger, first-time mothers, has the capacity to house 10 families at any one time.

While the primary goal at Carriage House is to provide housing to keep families safe, Caron said, the shelter supports each mother by giving them the tools, resources and support so they will hopefully never have to return to shelter again.

Her aim with each client is to get them to establish a goal and have them take steps to achieve it. “People who come here have come out of such a crisis that they have often never stopped to question, ‘What do I really want? Where do I want to be in this world?’” Caron said. “We begin asking these questions so these women have a dream because that is the most motivating thing they can have.”

Carriage House offers a number of services that allow clients to work towards such goals. It starts with hands-on case management, Caron said, but also includes assisting with resume writing and accessing jobs; improving their parenting skills; budgeting; and finding housing.

Through its Playspace Program, Horizons for Homeless Children offers playtime opportunities for the younger ones at Carriage House.

Caron, who moved to Cape Cod from Indiana three years ago to be closer to family, was pleased to have found an agency like HAC where she can use her previous social service expertise as a counselor, executive director, and chief operations officer, to benefit our clients. “I love it here, I really do,” she said. “I consider HAC to be a fine organization with stellar goals which are really, really needed on the Cape.”

Support HAC's Family Shelters

Tags: Family Shelter, Carriage House, Angel House, shelter, Horizons for Homeless Children, Falmouth, Mindy Caron

HAC's Annual Dinner Celebrates Those Making a Difference

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Mar 09, 2018 @ 03:38 PM
Home Depot-1.jpgThe 2017 Home Depot Big Fix team. HAC is honoring Home Depot with the Making a Difference Award at its Annual Dinner in May. 

HAC’s 44th Annual Dinner & Volunteer Recognition in May will have a decided Big Fix slant to it.  

Three of this year’s award winners have been heavily involved in the annual day of service in which HAC mobilizes over 200 volunteers to fundraise for the agency and to volunteer their time to make small home improvements for seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners in one town on Cape Cod every fall.

The Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub, the recipient of the 2018 Business Partner Award; Mashpee Boy Scout Troop 36, the recipient of the Human Service Partner Award; and Home Depot, the recipient of the Making a Difference Award, all have lent their support to the Big Fix over the years.

Also being honored are Bernadette and Richard Waystack of Harwich, who have been chosen for the Volunteer of the Year Award. Since 2014, the couple have participated in the annual Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk, walking one end of the Cape to the other over the course of one week each July, to raise funds for HAC’s housing programs.

The pair were humbled by the honor, saying it is a “reminder to us of all the hard work so many people have done for decades to raise awareness and support for homelessness and housing insecurity on the Cape. We have just been two small cogs in the wheels carrying on and joining the fight in the best way we could.”

99 Restaurant-2.jpg99 Restaurant & Pub staff cook burgers and hot dogs for Big Fix volunteers in Brewster.  The local restaurant is being recognized for its support of HAC with the Business Partner of the Year Award. 

Since 2013, when HAC brought its Big Fix to Mashpee, Jim Kiley, the regional vice president at the 99 Restaurant & Pub, has generously donated his staff’s time and talents to cook lunch for the hundreds of volunteers who show up to the event.

Those volunteers have annually included Troop 36, which also started its involvement in the Big Fix that same year.

Assistant Scout Master John Cotton said the event is always among the most popular for those in the troop, which includes his son Christian. “It’s a rewarding feeling every time when we complete the project because the individuals we’re helping come out and tell us what it meant to them,” John said. “When you have 20 kids listening to [the homeowner] and no one is talking, you can see it in their faces. They are all choked up. It is intense and it is amazing.”

Home Depot is another organization that has lent its support to the Big Fix with employees from several of its Southeastern Massachusetts stores volunteering for the event. Last year, the Home Depot Foundation took that support a step further when it provided HAC with a $22,000 grant that went towards supplies for the Big Fix in Falmouth.

In addition to its involvement in the Big Fix, the Home Depot’s Hyannis store has served as a stepping stone for clients at HAC’s Angel House shelter to move forward in a positive direction. Several of the mothers who are recovering from substance abuse at the shelter have been hired at the store, giving them the confidence they need to help turn their lives around.

44th Annual Dinner & Volunteer Recognition

When: Thursday, May 3, 5-7:30 pm

Where: Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannnis

Cost: $20 per person (free for all 2017 volunteers)

Register for HAC's Annual Dinner

Tags: HAC Annual Meeting, HAC Volunteer Recognition, Annual Meeting, Richard Waystack, Bernadette Waystack, HAC Volunteers, volunteer, 99 Restaurant, John Cotton, Annual Dinner, Mashpee Boy Scouts, Home Depot