Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Editorial: Help Preserve the Cape and Islands Communities We All Cherish

Posted by Alisa Galazzi on Wed, Dec 26, 2018 @ 04:49 PM

Galazzi_HACbeat (2017)

Living year-round on Cape Cod is not a place for the faint of heart or those who want to go fast. It’s a place where deep connections and a sense of community are sustained. It’s a place where awe-inspiring beauty surrounds us even in the most mundane of activities like commuting to work; where our great schools and community resources weave an enviable region-wide network of services. It’s a place where our unique history, the family legacies of generational Cape Codders, and a welcome stream of new residents form the foundation from which we all grow and prosper.

Preserving the year-round aspects of the Cape we all know and love is a worthy and challenging undertaking. It will take all of us working together in new ways to achieve it.

I frequently hear from other residents their desire to keep the Cape the same. I appreciate the sentiment. I, too, remember fondly the Cape of 2001 when I first moved here. There are many aspects of the Cape’s seemingly slow-to-change cultures and communities that is reassuring.

However, the fact is that external forces in the marketplace are changing faster than any of us expected, and those forces will change our communities for the worse if we don’t take new action. The advent of online rental platforms like Airbnb, coupled with the Cape being known as a safe investment to off-Cape investors, has put increased pressure on the year-round housing market.

We have seen a decrease of year-round rentals and an increase in seasonal rentals. Our year-round workforce is having a harder and harder time finding housing. The sooner we as a community accept the trend, the better decisions we will make to influence the outcome.

Impacting Our Region

Even though most of us reading this likely have a permanent residence on the Cape or may own a second home here, the hidden costs of a limited supply of year-round rentals presents a significant challenge for our region.

Lack of housing for our year-round workforce will influence our local businesses’ ability to innovate and our relevance as a tourist destination. Those of us stably housed will be impacted with higher costs of goods and services and ultimately by living in a museum—our current year-round friends and neighbors will be replaced by visitors from off-Cape.

So while we prepare to embark on a new year, let’s be grateful that each of us is in a position to influence changes necessary to preserve the place we live and love.

We can advocate at the town level to increase housing available to year-round residents. For example, towns can allow Accessory Dwelling Units by right; update zoning to permit denser, walkable neighborhoods in appropriate locations; and link wastewater planning with housing needs.

In addition, we invite seasonal homeowners to consider renting their home year-round through our Rent 365 program. Learn more about the financial incentive and details of our Rent 365 program and download a copy of our recently published report on the impact of insufficient year-round housing at www.CapeHousing.org

We have an opportunity to maintain the competitiveness of Cape Cod as a vacation destination, a retirement community, and a place for year-round families to thrive—but only if we have housing for our year-round workforce.

This effort will take community-wide involvement. Please contact us if you have ideas, questions, or comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Tags: Alisa Galazzi, Editorial, Rent 365, Housing on Cape Cod, Report, Accessory Dwelling Units, housing advocacy, housing crisis, seasonal rentals, Airbnb

Osterville Club Donates Sneakers to Angel House Clients

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Dec 26, 2018 @ 02:25 PM

 

Angel House Sneakers-2

Angel House clients show off their new sneakers, donated to them by the Osterville Men's Club. 

In the late spring, several of the mothers at HAC’s Angel House shelter in Hyannis set out on a short walk.

And with that, the Angel House Running Club was formed.

It marked the first steps towards improving their health, and another step in their process of recovery and becoming the parent and person they want to be.

Initially, progress was slow. “The first couple of times people were walking in sandals and flip-flops,” said Angel House Facility Director Lin Rohr.

Today, the club meets twice a week, every Tuesday and Friday, gathering for a morning run that can be anywhere from 1.5 to 3 miles long. After the runs, one of the mothers said, “I feel energized and motivated.”

Angel House Sneakers-1

Recently, the group received a boost from the Osterville Men’s Club which donated 13 new pairs of sneakers to the mothers at the shelter. The women were fitted for the sneakers by Kevin Petrovek, owner of Hanlon Shoes in Hyannis, which provided the shoes at cost.

"I know these ladies need mental and physical help so it was a win-win situation for us," said Petrovek. "If you get into that mode when you regularly exercise, you start feeling good... That's what we're all about here." 

The sneaker donation is just the latest example of the Osterville Men’s Club giving back to the HAC shelter which assists mothers in recovery and their children. “They have 200 people cheering them on,” said Paul Ruane of his fellow Osterville club members and their ongoing support of the shelter’s clients.

Support Angel House

Tags: Angel House, Osterville Men's Club, Hanlon Shoes, Kevin Petrovek, running, Physical Fitness, Lin Rohr

Starbucks Gives Back

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Dec 12, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

small starbucks

Josh Leonard (left) and Dillon Probert of the Mashpee Starbucks which is collecting donations for the Stuff A Stocking Holiday Drive along with the Hyannis Starbucks. 

In advance of Thanksgiving, staff at the Mashpee Starbucks organized a drive, collecting toiletries and baby items for HAC families who were formerly homeless.

The drive is just the latest example of how the coffee shop has helped support our clients most in need over the years. “We like to give back to the community,” Starbucks Shift Manager Dillon Probert said.

Now the store, as well as the Hyannis Starbucks, is encouraging customers to help stuff stockings for teens who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by donating a range of items, including hair products; bath and baby products; toothbrushes; deodorant; sports water bottles; candy or other wrapped treats; socks; shaving kits; cards or small games; nail polish; nail care items; ChapStick; and other similar, small items.

Donations can be dropped off at either the Mashpee or Hyannis locations through Monday, December 17.

Tags: Starbucks, Holiday Drive, Stuff A Stocking, homelessness, homeless teens, charitable giving, holiday giving

Catherine Baker Joins HAC Staff

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Dec 05, 2018 @ 11:14 AM

 

Baker_Headshot

This week, HAC welcomed former Board Member Catherine Baker to its staff, helping to bolster the agency's development efforts to increase donor engagement. 

Baker, who lives in Cotuit, will serve as HAC's Assistant Director of Development, supporting the nonprofit in achieving its fundraising goals, "As a past board member, I'm thrilled to join the HAC team," she said. "I truly look forward to meeting our donors and engaging our community in the organization's multifaceted programs and services." 

She comes to HAC with a breadth of experience in the nonprofit sector of Cape Cod. Most recently, she was the Donor and Community Relations Manager at the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance. Prior to that, she worked at Cape Cod Academy, Cape Cod Young Professionals (CCYP), and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. 

"Catherine brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for the work we do to her position at HAC," said Chief Development Officer Anne Van Vleck. "Both will play a critical role in communicating the impact of our agency to current and prospective donors and supporters." 

At HAC's Annual Dinner in May, Baker joined its Board of Directors and in that capacity helped chair the agency's Big Fix in Harwich in September. In accepting her new position at HAC, Baker resigned from the board. 

A 2009 graduate of Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, Baker received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Endicott College in Beverly, in 2013. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Community Leadership Institute (CLI) of Cape Cod as well as the Philanthropy Day Marketing Committee. In June, Baker was the recipient of a 40 Under 40 Award from Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine. 

Tags: Catherine Baker, development, Fundraising, HAC staff, Anne Van Vleck, Harwich Big Fix, Big Fix, Annual Dinner, 40 Under 40

Village Green Families Celebrate Halloween

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Nov 30, 2018 @ 12:59 PM

Halloween-2

Ashley Murphy and her son Dallas came dressed for the occasion at last month's Halloween party at Village Green. 

In the middle of last month, Ashley Murphy quietly traced her son Dallas’ left hand on an orange piece of paper, shaped like a pumpkin, inside the community center at Village Green apartments in Barnstable.

It was a superhero moment befitting of their costumes – Ashley as Spiderman and Dallas as the Incredible Hulk.

The scene was created by HAC Case Manager Zelda Bergstrom who organized the Halloween party that included free pizza, candy, cookies, arts and crafts, pumpkin decorating, and an inflatable bounce house for families at the apartment complex to enjoy.

sm Halloween-3

“It just brings the community together and helps me to really get to know the families here on a different level,” said Bergstrom who was dressed as a fairy. “It is also modeling what you can do with your kids with age-appropriate activities.”

Through a contract with Hallkeen Management, the property manager at Village Green, HAC is providing case management for clients holding Section 8 or MRVP vouchers there. Many of the events, like last month’s party, are open to all families there as a way to strengthen the community.

Tags: Village Green II, Halloween, Zelda Bergstrom, Section 8, MRVP, Leased Housing

Toy Run Embodies Spirit of the Season

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 @ 01:41 PM

hogs bridge

Motorcyclists make their way over the Bourne Bridge and to HAC's Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth. 

On the first Sunday of this month, a sea of roughly 225 motorcycles could be seen making their way from Buzzards Bay over the Bourne Bridge and down Falmouth’s Main Street with one destination in mind – HAC’s Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth.

With over $3,000 worth of toys, the goal of the motorcycle brigade was to spread some holiday cheer to children staying in one of HAC’s four family shelters. Now in its 30th year, the Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run started as a way to give back to those who are less fortunate on Cape Cod.

In 1999, the run was named after longtime participant and organizer Christina Wetherbee who died of cancer the following spring.

Her husband Joe and his second wife Clarissa have proudly carried on the tradition. This year, they had some assistance from Joe and Christina’s daughter Tammy Baptiste and her two children Cody Litchfield and Christopher Baptiste. “It is the best way I know to honor my mother’s memory,” Tammy said outside Eagles Hall in Buzzards Bay where the run kicked off. “We look forward to this every year. She loved the children. To be able to carry on this tradition means so much to me.”

joe&daughter

Tammy Baptiste with her father Joe Wetherbee. The pair helped organize this year's toy run along with Joe's wife Clarissa and Tammy's two songs Cody and Christopher. 

Along with the toys, this year’s participants raised $4,900 to support HAC’s housing programs, including a $2,000 donation from the Eagles Club.

“That’s what we are all about is people helping people and giving back to the community,” said Kim Genson, a trustee with the club. “We’ve got to take care of those in need.”

For Sarah and her son Izaiah, who have been at Carriage House for a month, seeing the outpouring of support from toy run participants was inspiring. “It means a lot to have people think about the homeless at this time of year,” she said. “To have people think about those who are less fortunate, that is the real spirit of Christmas.”

Support HAC's Family Shelters

Tags: Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run, Clarissa Wetherbee, Joe Wetherbee, Carriage House, The Village at Cataumet, Scattered Sites, Angel House, holiday giving, charitable giving, Falmouth, Bourne

Newly Renovated Ranch

Posted by HAC Staff on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 04:42 PM

 

338 Sam Turner Road Home-1

This pristine 2-bedroom, 1-bath ranch at 338 Sam Turner Road in East Falmouth, has seen plenty of TLC in recent years with several renovations that include a stunning finished basement.

Priced at $180,540, this affordable home comes with central air.

Eligible applicants must be first-time homebuyers, earn at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County, and have no more than $75,000 in household assets. The home comes with an affordable housing deed restriction. 

Click this link to download an application. If you have questions or need additional info, please contact HAC Director of Real Estate Gael Kelleher at ccre@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 284.

To view more homes for sale, visit www.capecommunityrealestate.org

Tags: real estate listings, Cape Community Real Estate, Gael Kelleher, Falmouth, affordable housing

Dentists Offer Expertise at Village Green

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Nov 19, 2018 @ 05:56 PM
Dentist PhotoAndrea Read (left) and Teresa Simison

At Village Green Apartments in Hyannis, dental hygienists Andrea Read and Teresa Simison have given residents there something to smile about.

That’s because the pair, owners of Mobile Dental Hygiene Services in Forestdale, have brought their services there twice this summer, providing cleanings and routine check-ups for children and adults.

“One of the biggest barriers to self-sufficiency is transportation,” said Andrea during a recent visit. “That’s why we bring our services to them.”

With a combined 20 years of clinical dental hygiene experience, the pair had previously worked at a private practice together before using their expertise to open up their own business with a distinct business model.

“We are trying to fill in any gaps in care,” Andrea said, making dental care more accessible for vulnerable populations like those at Village Green. “We love doing this… We just saw our 800th patient so it seems that this is a model that is not only working, but is needed.”

Through a contract with Hallkeen Management, the property manager at Village Green, HAC has been providing case management for 15 clients with Section 8 or MRVP vouchers at the apartment complex since February. That work includes offering access to a variety of supportive services like this to those living at Village Green.

Tags: Village Green II, dentist, health care, Section 8

Telethon Expands to Cape Cod Beer

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Nov 19, 2018 @ 05:34 PM

Shelter 2017-8

HAC's annual telethon is always a festive event that sometimes includes a surprise visit from Santa Scott. 

Now in its 15th year, HAC’s annual holiday telethon is being reinvigorated with a new name and a satellite location to increase engagement with new audiences.

The Telethon for Hope will support all of the programs and services offered at HAC with a goal to give hope to the clients we serve on the Cape and Islands.

 Purchase Tickets to viewing party

On Thursday, December 13, the majority of the event will be broadcast live at the Cape Cod Community Media Center, with a Give-a-Thon & Viewing Party running concurrently at Cape Cod Beer. The goal of the Give-a-Thon & Viewing Party will be to reach people through social media and encourage others to share, comment, and most importantly to give.

Longtime telethon co-host Matt Pitta will interview special guests and attendees at Cape Cod Beer where fundraisers who meet specific fundraising goals will be recognized and rewarded for their efforts.

“We’re excited about incorporating a satellite location that will allow people to watch the telethon and engage in and contribute towards our mission to help those in need during the holiday season,” said HAC Chief Development Officer Anne Van Vleck.

Cape Cod Beer owner Beth Marcus agreed, saying that she was looking forward to “being a part of the reimagination of the telethon as a social event. It’s unlike anything that we’ve ever seen on Cape Cod before. It encourages the entire community to understand, participate, and share in HAC’s vision for stable housing on Cape Cod.”

As in previous years, the Cape Cod Community Media Center will serve as the primary backdrop for the telethon which will focus on HAC’s housing programs, including its four family shelters, homeless outreach efforts, Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, annual Big Fix, and the agency’s new housing study and Rent 365 program.

Shelter Email-1-1

Throughout the night, the telethon will feature HAC clients talking about how our programs have helped them. Last year, Matt Pitta talked to Angel House facility director Lin Rohr (second from left) and mothers at the family shelter. 

“I like the telethon because it brings together a lot of prominent members of the community for a really good cause,” said Sarah Colvin, a producer for this year’s telethon.Special guests will include clients and community leaders as well as local school groups and musicians, including Kim Moberg and Chris Mack, as they all come together to embrace the spirit of the season by giving back to those most in need on Cape Cod and the Islands.

Visit www.telethonforhope.org to learn more about this year's Telethon for Hope and ways you can support the annual event. 

Tags: Telethon for Hope, telethon, Matt Pitta, Cape Cod Community Media Center, Cape Cod Beer, Give-A-Thon & Viewing Party, Anne Van Vleck, Sarah Colvin, Beth Marcus, holiday giving, Santa Claus

HAC's Round Tables an Invaluable Tool for Cape Nonprofits

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Nov 19, 2018 @ 02:23 PM
Round Table

At a recent Round Table, over 30 people providing essential human services for Cape residents met to discuss how to better serve clients.

We serve our clients best by knowing all of the available resources and programs they can access,” Liz Belcher, HAC’s information and client services manager, said. “Having a relationship with the people and agencies providing those other services means we can always say, ‘Yes, I know who can help you with that.’ That’s invaluable.”

That philosophy serves as the rationale behind quarterly Round Table meetings that Belcher organizes at HAC that are open to other service providers in the region.

At a recent session, over 30 people representing agencies that included Elder Services of Cape Cod, Barnstable County’s SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) Program, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Community Action Committee, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Cape Cod Hospital, Independence House, the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, and more were in attendance.

Deleta McMullin

Deleta McMullin, president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, at a recent round table session.

Several HAC staffers, including Monica Mitchell, took part in the Round Table, providing insight into the services we offer as an agency. Mitchell spoke about the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and the HomeBASE programs which HAC oversees on behalf of the state; both provide emergency funding for families, diverting them from entering shelter and providing them the resources to access housing.

Deleta McMullin, president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society which serves as a food pantry and provides financial assistance for those in need, explained her attendance at the Round Table meeting this way: “It’s for us to find out about the other service providers who might be able to help our clients.”

To learn about upcoming Round Table sessions, email HAC’s Liz Belcher at lbelcher@haconcapecod.org.  

 

Tags: Liz Belcher, Round Table Discussions, networking, Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Cape Cod Hospital