2014 is HAC’s 40th year in business! I have been here the whole time.
The undocumentable number of people we have helped now is 160,000! Even with the undeniable duplication contained in that number we must have helped at least 50,000. That is a lot.
I still love coming to work almost every day. When I wake up and don’t feel like getting up and going to work, I feel great once I get here. I’ve thought a lot about why that is true and what is special about HAC.
When I say what I am about to say I am not bragging I am just recognizing the obvious truth: the founder of an organization has a major effect on the culture of that organization and that same is true here. I am pro client and get almost all of my satisfaction from seeing people helped. That does not mean that I am anti-anybody because I like to solve problems faced by landlords, towns, our staff and others as well. It also doesn’t mean that I will never give up on someone. I do and I will when that person won’t follow up on doing what they can for themselves.
We all see things differently. I tend-to a fault-to see the good in people. I like almost everyone. I absolutely love the staff at HAC and I like the people who I talk to in our waiting room. But liking someone and seeking to help them and seeking to achieve fairness and justice for them are not always the same thing.
I want people coming in to our waiting room or calling on the phone to feel welcome and cared about. Why? Because they are good people who are struggling to get their lives in order. Just as you and I are struggling to get ours in order, so are they but their job is almost always more difficult than ours. I have seen so many people get their lives in order in ways that I could never have done. My parents were married 50 years, I have four years of high school, four years of college and a graduate degree and have never been unemployed for even five minutes. I have never lived with an alcoholic or an abuser. How lucky am I? Pretty lucky. People have been nice to me even when I didn’t deserve to be treated well.
I will be leaving HAC within the next few years. What do I want my legacy to be? First, I want the agency to do more and to do it even better after I leave. But I want my legacy to be excellent treatment of our clients and our community. The way I recently started looking at it is that:
Beauty equals justice.
Seeing the beauty and value in everyone is a motivator for all of us to seek fairness and justice for all.