Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Big Fix-a-Thon Coming to Barnstable

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, May 20, 2019 @ 04:36 PM

Big Fix Kick-Off (May 2019)-4

Gary (left) and Alex Graham of Graham LLC are among the local builders who will be participating in our 10th Annual Big Fix-a-Thon in October. 

The Big Fix-a-Thon will be coming to Barnstable in October and Housing Assistance is currently seeking recipients to apply for the fundraising day of service.

Now in its tenth year, the event mobilizes nearly 300 volunteers to make small repairs to homes owned by seniors, veterans, and disabled residents in one town on Cape Cod.

Tasks done during the day include yard work; interior and exterior painting; repair or replacement of exterior stairs and fences; and light plumbing and electrical work.

“It really does transform a home,” Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi said last month during a kick-off event geared towards volunteers that was held at Shepley Showcase in Hyannis. “It makes it so people can stay housed and age in place which is a critical component of our mission.”

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At last month's Big Fix-a-Thon Kick-Off Tony Shepley talked about the importance of giving back. 

Tony Shepley, president of Shepley Wood Products, which not only sponsors the event, but annually fields a team of volunteers for the Big Fix-a-Thon spoke about how it aligns with his company’s mission. “From a sponsorship perspective, what gets us involved in this really... is the concept of repaying your civic obligation,” he said. “We call it civic rent. You put a little back in, you get a whole lot back.”

Volunteers can make their impact go even further by raising funds to support Housing Assistance’s year-round programs. Applications for volunteers will be available starting Saturday, June 1.

Click this link or the blue button below for online recipient applications.

Recipient Application

Hard copies are available at our Hyannis office at 460 West Main Street. They can also be picked up at Barnstable Town Hall; the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce; the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce; the Barnstable Senior Center; and the Hyannis and Centerville public libraries.

In order to apply, recipients must reside in either Hyannis or Centerville. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, June 14.

Sponsor the Big Fix-a-Thon!

Businesses interested in sponsoring the Big Fix-a-Thon should contact Deanna Bussiere at dbussiere@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 270.

Sponsor the Big Fix-A-Thon

Tags: Shepley Wood Products, Community Service, Big Fix, Alisa Galazzi, home repair, Tony Shepley, Hyannis, Centerville, Barnstable, Barnstable Big Fix

Donor Spotlight: Martha Knapp

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 @ 05:54 PM

Martha Knapp Donor Spotlight-1

Harwich’s Martha Knapp knows all too well what it’s like to receive support when all seems lost. It happened to her in 1995 when she and her husband Doug lost their three-and-a-half-year-old son Michael to cancer.

“Years ago when my life was in crisis, the people who reached out to help me made all the difference during a very difficult time,” she said.

From those darkest days, Martha was able to move forward, starting a nonprofit, Angel’s Hope, that worked closely with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, and similar organizations, providing assistance to families of children with cancer throughout New England.

Though she has since dissolved the nonprofit, it was able to help more than 900 families in less than a decade. “I learned during that time how important it is to look outside yourself and live a life of service,” she said.

It is that attitude she took when her colleagues from the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® organized a Cape REALTORS Care team for this year’s Harwich Big Fix. Together, the group raised nearly $3,000 to support HAC’s housing programs; with over $1,300 raised, Martha, a real estate agent with Kinlin Grover, was its top fundraiser.

Several team members also donated their time on the day of the Big Fix in which roughly 340 volunteers made small home repairs for seniors, veterans, and disabled homeowners in Harwich in September.

Though she was unable to attend the Big Fix, Martha understands how a little giving can go a long way. “I think I recognize very clearly that at any time, any of us may need help so I’m always grateful for the opportunity to help somebody else,” Martha said.

Since last month’s Big Fix, she has had a chance to talk to members of the Cape REALTORS Care team. “They all said it was very inspirational and really made them feel like they helped somebody,” she said. “I know some of them are already looking forward to being part of next year’s Big Fix which will be in Barnstable.”

You can include Martha Knapp on that list as well. “I absolutely plan on participating,” she said.

WHY I GIVE

Cape Realtors Care Photo

The Cape Realtors team at this year's Big Fix

Thanks to her involvement with this year’s Big Fix in Harwich, Martha Knapp became more familiar with HAC’s work and the programs the agency offers to those on Cape Cod and the Islands.

As a real estate agent for the past 15 years, she clearly understands the importance of a home in one’s life. “Having a home is such a fundamental, basic need,” she said. “It gives us value and gives us purpose.”

That is why she views HAC’s work – from its first-time homebuyer workshops to its affordable property listings to its Big Fix – as crucial to the region.

While houses are the centerpiece of her job, Martha said, her work ultimately comes down to relationships. “It is a service industry to get to help people achieve their goals,” she said. “Buying and selling a home is a big, emotional transaction for people.”

That is particularly true for first-time homebuyers, something she experienced this month with a couple that was buying their first home on the Cape. She said having agencies like HAC which can support that segment of the population through their first home-buying process is critical. “It is important we have programs in place that can guide them via education and resources,” Martha said.

Beyond that, she noted that HAC plays an important role in addressing the Cape’s housing needs. “The challenge is finding the balance to continue to draw people who are buying the second homes and paying real estate taxes and supporting our businesses and economy, yet still being able to provide affordable housing and year-round jobs for the young people and families to stay here,” she said. 

Donate to HAC 

Tags: Cape Cod & Islands Associaton of Realtors, HAC donors, Harwich, Donor Spotlight, Harwich Big Fix, Barnstable, Martha Knapp, Barnstable Big Fix

Donor Spotlight: Jim Hinkle & Roy Hammer

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Apr 25, 2018 @ 04:21 PM
Jim and Roy-2Since 1994, Roy Hammer (left) and Jim Hinkle have been supporting HAC as a way to make an impact at the local level. 

Nearly 14 years ago, Jim Hinkle and Roy Hammer decided to close their art gallery, Cummaquid Fine Arts on Route 6A, and enter the next phase of their life – retirement.

Since then they have enjoyed the perks that come with making your own routine. They regularly take trips over the Canal to take in performances at the Boston Symphony and exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Travel has also been a priority; over the past six years, they have explored Europe and they will do once again later this year when they go on a Baltic cruise, from Copenhagen to St. Petersburg to Stockholm.

Just as rewarding as these personal adventures has been the opportunity to make an impact on this place they have called home for the past 32 years.

The couple, who both attended Yale University and met while graduate students at Harvard University in 1965, have focused their giving on three local nonprofits – Housing Assistance Corporation, Duffy Health Center, and Cape Abilities. “With all of these, there’s a theme of helping people in need and people living below the line,” said Hinkle.

Next year will represent a milestone for the two, at least in terms of donor longevity. That is when they will become members of the quarter century club, having donated to HAC every year since 1994.

The two were initially drawn to the agency thanks to HAC’s efforts to support the region’s homeless. Shortly thereafter, they took a tour of HAC’s properties “and that is when we realized what a much larger organization it was, and when we recognized that, we increased our support,” Hinkle said.

Having an organization like HAC on Cape Cod, Hammer said, is vital, especially for the region’s workforce. “The problem is, there isn’t enough affordable housing for people who make the general salary on Cape Cod.”

“The jobs available don’t pay enough for people to afford living here,” Hinkle said.

And so the two continue to give to HAC because they know the work it is doing is transforming the lives of their neighbors, from those who have little-to-no income to those who are working to purchase their first home here.

“I think it’s important to support organizations [like HAC] in our community,” Hinkle said. “It can make a lasting difference.”

Why We Give

With over a dozen programs that help those of all income levels on Cape Cod and the Islands, Jim Hinkle and Roy Hammer know that each plays a vital role in the lives of HAC clients.

“I think it’s very important what HAC does,” Hinkle said. “They prepare people for housing and enable people to eventually afford housing. And I think the programs HAC offers, in terms of homeownership, are very valuable.”

But to them, the programs that support single parents – specifically its Angel House shelter in Hyannis and Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth – are particularly meaningful. “We’re very impressed with their programs for single parents who are trying to make a go of it,” said Hinkle.

Since 1991, HAC’s Angel House shelter has supported mothers overcoming addiction and their children. Two years earlier, HAC purchased Carriage House in North Falmouth which serves younger mothers and their children.

Both shelters are vital, the pair said, for providing single parents with the support they need to move forward with their lives in a productive manner.

Support HAC's Family Shelters

Tags: Carriage House, Angel House, giving, charitable giving, HAC donors, Donor Spotlight, Cummaquid, Jim Hinkle, Duffy Health Center, Roy Hammer, Barnstable