Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

A Fun Night at HAC's 40th Annual Meeting

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 @ 02:05 PM

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HAC’s annual meeting could be summed up in one word – celebration.

In fact, that is exactly how the evening’s festivities kicked off: with a celebratory video in which HAC staffers, a few volunteers and some clients, danced and lip synced to Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration,” to the delight of the more than 350 in attendance at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis.

Rick Presbrey, CEO of HAC, jokingly assured the crowd the video is not indicative of what really goes on at HAC under his watch. “Whenever I’m away you get the kind of scene you got there and I was away last week and I do know what the staff was doing,” he said to laughter. “I saw little shreds of confetti and stuff on the floor, and I knew there’d been trouble.”

Presbrey used the video to highlight the positive culture that pervades the non-profit. “We have low turnover at the agency. We really do and I think there are some pretty good reasons why and that [video] is one of them: people are having a good time,” he said.

The positive nature of the event, which was sponsored by Shepley Wood Products of Hyannis, was a theme throughout the night, something that WXTK radio personality and the night’s host Matt Pitta alluded to in his opening remarks: “We are here tonight to celebrate your 40 years of making lives better for people and families here on Cape Cod,” he said.

Presbrey, one of the founders of HAC, credited his staff for helping the non-profit reach this milestone, noting they “really believe in the mission and really work uniformly towards the same goal like a team,” calling that aspect of his work over the past four decades immensely satisfying.

HAC took time to honor several individuals, groups and organizations that have helped it achieve that mission over the past year.

Volunteers Recognized

Among those were the 807 volunteers who donated 12,685 hours in 2013, prompting HAC’s Mary Everett-Patriquin to remark, “Right now I feel like the luckiest volunteer coordinator on the planet. You are such an inspiration.”

In exchange for those volunteer efforts, she said, HAC was taking $500 it had earmarked for the annual meeting and moving it into programs and services for its clients. “Five hundred dollars is a whole lot of good,” she said. “It is enough to keep a family from going into shelter and becoming homeless.”

Dennis Selectman Wayne Bergeron, his wife Janine and their children Rebecca and Michael were singled out for their philanthropy, receiving the Volunteers of the Year Award. The family has long been a fixture at HAC events, including the Housing with Love Walk, the Big Fix and the Shelter Cape Cod Telethon.

In accepting the award, Michael relayed a story from his childhood about the first time he helped his father deliver food to the homeless in Hyannis. The message he received that day was one he has not forgotten. “My father said, ‘Mike, no one plans on being homeless,’” he said. “We’ve been so blessed throughout our lives and the opportunity to give back is one of life’s true pleasures.”

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The Town of Mashpee received this year’s Business/Organization Partner Award for its role in pulling off the biggest Big Fix to date, along with its support of Great Cove which will bring 10 rental units of affordable housing to the Upper Cape community this spring.

“What we try to do is go to towns that are enthusiastic about [the Big Fix],” Presbrey said. “Well, we had no idea how enthusiastic a town could be until we ran into the likes of Mashpee.”

Mashpee Assistant Town Manager Tom Mayo downplayed the efforts made by his fellow employees and residents. “It was such an important project and it never seemed like we were doing anything special because it was so important,” he said.

Last year’s recipient of the Presbrey Public Service Award, the Reverend Dr. John Terry of the Federated Church of Hyannis, presented that award to the Reverend Lawrence Brown of Hyannis, a humanities teacher at Cape Cod Academy in Osterville.

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Mr. Brown was joined by two of his students, juniors Emily Brady and Katie Bailey, who have helped organize their school’s coffee houses and the Shelter from the Storm concert at Cape Cod Community College, both of which feature high school artists and which raise money for area charities including HAC’s NOAH Shelter in Hyannis, the Duffy Health Center and the region’s homeless veterans.

“This past year I was the student-manager and MC of one of the concerts and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” Brady said. “I can’t believe the program that he created and how much it has helped people on Cape Cod. This year it raised over $10,000 and that will help fund a Stand Down this summer and allow us to give extra money to organizations such as the Interfaith Council [for the Homeless] and HAC.”

Mr. Brown followed up his students’ comments by pointing out the hope they represented. “I mentioned we’re getting older and the question is: who is going to do the work when we’re gone?” he said. “Who is going to care the way that you care and who is going to do the things that you do? The answer is – this is the good news – they will.”

Emotional Moments

Though the night was markedly positive there were several emotional moments, including a speech from one of HAC’s clients, Tracey Dalton of Orleans, who spent seven years homeless, but found hope and recovery through the NOAH Shelter.

And Cyndy Jones, joined by her husband Ken, had many in tears as she spoke about the creation of Heroes in Transition, a Mashpee-based non-profit formed after the loss of their son, US Marine Corps Captain Eric A. Jones, in 2009 in a helicopter collision while he was serving in Afghanistan.

“We’re here because four years, five months and 23 days ago we received a knock on the door,” Ms. Jones said. “From that time we have decided to honor our son.”

The couple has done so through Heroes in Transition which has helped raise over $500,000 since 2010 that goes to support veterans, whether it be through providing therapy dogs, modifying homes, offering transitional support group therapy or financial support.

Last year Heroes in Transition helped fund improvements to several homes owned by Mashpee veterans as part of HAC’s Big Fix, and helped keep Afghanistan, Vietnam and Korean War veterans, all of whom have fallen on hard times, in their homes on Cape Cod. The non-profit was the recipient of this year's Human Services Partner Award. 

“It’s been an absolutely wonderful marriage with Heroes in Transition and HAC,” Ms. Jones said. “We’ve just loved working with HAC because of all the organizations and collaborations we’ve done with other groups, HAC is really the closest to my heart.”

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Tags: HAC Annual Meeting, HAC Volunteer Recognition, Cyndy Jones, Lawrence Brown, Rick Presbrey, Matt Pitta, Big Fix, Heroes in Transition, Tracey Dalton, Wayne Bergeron

Mashpee Big Fix An Opportunity To Help Those In Need

Posted by Laura Reckford on Fri, Sep 13, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Mashpee Big Fix

Spend half a day and make a real difference in the comfort, safety, and quality of life for those in need in our community.

Housing Assistance Corporation is looking for volunteers for The Mashpee Big Fix on Saturday, September 28. Not all the work requires heavy lifting. Besides yard work and light repair work at the houses, we need volunteers to help out with sign-in duties and lunch service.

The Big Fix sends teams of volunteers to assist homeowners with clean-up, landscaping, and small home repair projects. Since 2010, we’ve mobilized over 250 volunteers and assisted 40 households in Barnstable, Sandwich and Dennis.

Kick-off on September 28 will be at Mashpee High School, and begins at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and donuts. Most houses are finished by 1:00 p.m. Volunteers also receive lunch and a T-shirt.

Volunteers helping at the houses should be physically able to perform tasks of moderate intensity, such as pruning hedges, raking, hauling brush, cleaning gutters, and moving heavy/bulky items to and from storage. Basic home repair skills (painting, carpentry, electric, plumbing, masonry) are a plus but not required. Please note that minors must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian. Please, no pets.

Interested individuals and groups should sign up by Sept. 13 at  www.haconcapecod.org/big-fix. You can also get further information and sign up by contacting our Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Everett-Patriquin, at volunteer@haconcapecod.org, or by phone at 508-771-5400, ext. 279.

Tags: volunteers, Volunteer Cape Cod, housing assistance corporation, volunteering, Big Fix

The Big Fix In Mashpee An Opportunity To Help Those In Need

Posted by Laura Reckford on Sun, Aug 11, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

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Help veterans, seniors, and disabled homeowners in the Town of Mashpee by joining The
Big Fix on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.

Coordinated by Housing Assistance Corporation, The Big Fix sends teams of volunteers to
assist homeowners with clean-up, landscaping, and small home repair projects.
Since 2010, HAC has mobilized over 250 volunteers and assisted 40 households in
Barnstable, Sandwich and Dennis.

 Kick-off will be at Mashpee High School, and begins at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and donuts.
Most houses are finished by 1:00 p.m. Volunteers also receive lunch and a
T-shirt.

Spend half a day and make a real difference in the comfort, safety, and quality of life for
those in need in our community.

 Volunteers should be physically able to perform tasks of moderate intensity, such as
pruning hedges, raking, hauling brush, cleaning gutters, and moving heavy/bulky
items to and from storage.

Basic home repair skills (painting, carpentry, electric, plumbing, masonry) are a plus but
not required.

Minors must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian. Please, no pets.

Interested individuals and groups should sign up by Sept. 13
at www.haconcapecod.org/big-fix.

Get further information by contacting HAC Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Everett-Patriquin, at
volunteer@haconcapecod.org, or by phone at 508-771-5400, ext. 279.

Tags: volunteers, housing assistance corporation, Housing on Cape Cod, volunteering, Big Fix

HAC Upcoming Events

Posted by Julie Wake on Sun, Apr 21, 2013 @ 07:00 AM
MAY 1: Volunteer Coffee Hour
10 a.m. in Falmouth (please call or check website for location).  This monthly event is a brief overview of what HAC does, who we serve and what volunteer opportunities are available. Feel free to show up or RSVP with Mary Everett-Patriquin at volunteer@HAConCapeCod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 279 or online at www.HAConCapeCod.org

JULY 15-21: 21st Annual Housing With Love Walk
HAC and other Cape housing agencies join for a walk from Provincetown to Falmouth. For info, email Deanna Bussiere (dbussiere@HAConCapeCod.org) or Margaret Benaka (mbenaka@HAConCapeCod.org).

SEPT. 28: Mashpee Big Fix

Volunteers will perform small home repairs, cleaning and landscaping work at the homes of seniors, veterans and the disabled. Visit the “News & Events” section of HAC’s web site to sign up as a volunteer, or contact Mary Everett-Patriquin at
508-771-5400, ext. 279, or volunteer@HAConCapeCod.org.

DEC. 11: 10th annual NOAH Telethon
4-9 p.m. on cable-access channels 13 and 99 from Bourne to Provincetown. For more information, contact Sarah Tribuzio at 508-771-5400, ext. 271, or
stribuzio@HAConCapeCod.org.

Tags: Housing with love walk, NOAH Telethon, HAC Volunteer Coffee Hour, HAC Events, Big Fix

Mark Your Calendar for a Busy 2013 with HAC!

Posted by Julie Wake on Sat, Mar 16, 2013 @ 09:00 AM
Volunteer Coffee Hour
10 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month (next one April 3)
Come to HAC’s main office at 460 West Main Street, Hyannis, and learn more about what HAC does, who we serve, and what volunteer opportunities are available.

HAC’s 38th Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition

April 25 At the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis.

21st annual Housing With Love Walk
July 15-21
The walk, which begins in Provincetwon and ends in Falmouth,  benefits local non-profits, raising money and awareness for Cape Cod housing agencies. HAC supporters are invited to join the HAC walk team for the last segment of the walk, starting at 11 a.m. July 21 at the Falmouth Village Green. For info, email Deanna Bussiere (dbussiere@HAConCapeCod.org) or Margaret Benaka (mbenaka@HAConCapeCod.org).

Mashpee Big Fix
Sept. 29
The Big Fix is a community service event coordinated by HAC. Volunteers will perform small home repairs, cleaning and landscaping work at the homes of seniors, veterans and the disabled. In the past three years, the Big Fix has served 39 homes and engaged more than 400 community volunteers. Visit the “News & Events” section of HAC’s web site to sign up as a volunteer or contact Mary Everett-Patriquin at 508-771-5400, ext. 279.

10th annual NOAH Telethon
4-9 p.m. Dec. 1
Shown on cable-access channels 13 and 99 from Bourne to Provincetown. For more information, contact Sarah Tribuzio at 508-771-5400, ext. 271, or stribuzio@HAConCapeCod.org.

For more information, visit www.HAConCapeCod.org and click on “News & Events.”

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, volunteers, Housing with love walk, Volunteer Cape Cod, NOAH Telethon, Volunteer coffee hour, housing assistance corporation, volunteering, Big Fix

Big Fix Volunteers Change Lives in Dennis

Posted by Julie Wake on Fri, Oct 05, 2012 @ 02:33 PM

DSC 1018 resized 600Above: Vincent Lalicata, Big Fix recipient along with HAC's Director of Resource Development, Lisa Guyon.

“I’m overwhelmed,” said homeowner Lorraine Carroll as she watched volunteers remove overgrown shrubs from her front yard. “It’s been a lot of years of being alone and not being able to keep up with the simple maintenance. To see these volunteers out here in the wet weather helping a stranger, it’s just fantastic.”

Despite the dark and drizzly weather, 195 volunteers showed up for duty in Dennis in the third annual Big Fix on Sept. 29. State Representative Cleon Turner opened the day with a story relating to family, work ethic and the fact that “we won’t melt” getting this work done. Rep. Turner also was one of the volunteers.

This year’s Big Fix provided 10 Dennis homeowners with assistance with home maintenance projects and repairs. In previous Big Fixes, volunteers helped 22 senior homeowners in Barnstable in 2010 and seven homeowners in Sandwich last year. HAC’s vision of this event is to make home and landscaping improvements that will enhance the comfort, safety and quality of life for seniors, the disabled and veterans. “This event aligns perfectly with HAC’s mission to deliver safe, stable and decent housing to all on Cape Cod,” said Julie Wake of HAC.

“I already feel the difference with the new insulation and siding. Look at these wonderful people working together,” Vincent Lalicata said as he watched several skilled professionals from Cape Associates prepare to tighten his home up with new sheathing and shingles. The Cape Associates team had started Lalicata’s house a few days prior to the event due to impending wet weather.

Roy Leonard looked on as volunteers weeded, removed tangled vines and mulched in his yard. “This is so appreciated. I’ve been here for over 25 years. My wife recently passed and things have begun to overwhelm me.”

The HAC Big Fix team worked with several agencies to find homeowners in need. Chief Mike Whalen of the Dennis Police Department was a key influencer in getting the word out. Early on the team met with the Dennis Board of Selectman, the Dennis Police Department, the Council on Aging and the Dennis Board of Health to receive suggestions on outreach. In the end, the team secured 10 homeowners who fit the profile.

HAC received a $3,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation to purchase materials and supplies. Several local businesses contributed equipment for repairs and teams of skilled craftsmen. Lunch for the volunteers was supplied by Stop and Shop of Dennis (sandwiches and apples), Starbucks in Hyannis (coffee and treats), Cape Cod Potato Chips, Krista K’s Ice Cream (ice cream sandwiches) and Hyannis Food Service (water).

Recruiting the volunteers was the key to making this a successful event.

Jonah and Joshua Shea, founders of Shea’s Youth Basketball Association, encouraged 15 members of their group to volunteer for the Big Fix. “It’s important to take part in community events such as this, to give back,” said Jonah.

“As a team leader for the past three events, I’m amazed by the generosity and kindness of those who volunteer,” said Cindi Maule, director of HAC’s Leased Housing Department. “I hope the volunteers know that the act of kindness went beyond the tasks at hand. What a wonderful and unexpected gift they offer to the homeowner.”

“Over 600 hours in volunteerism was given to neighbors by neighbors,” said Lisa Guyon, HAC’s Resource Development Director. “The amazing volunteer response to this year’s Big Fix proves that giving and kindness and concern for your neighbors is alive and well on Cape Cod.”

See more Big Fix volunteer photos here.
Visit us online to learn more about volunteering!

Tags: Big Fix, HAC Volunteers

Still Time to Volunteer for the Dennis Big Fix

Posted by Julie Wake on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 @ 01:15 PM
describe the imageAs of the end of August, about half the number of needed volunteers had signed up for the Dennis Big Fix. On Sept. 29, volunteers will come together to assist seniors, veterans and disabled residents in Dennis with landscaping and home repair tasks.

The accumulation of home repairs and yard work can become a burden for homeowners as they get older, and the Big Fix aims to assist with this burden. The homeowners selected to receive assistance through this program will be chosen based on income, repair needs and our ability to meet requests.

Volunteers should be physically able to perform tasks of moderate intensity, including cleaning gutters, extensive yard work, moving heavy/bulky items to and from storage, painting, light carpentry, etc. Interested individuals and groups should sign up no later than Sept. 14. Please note that minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Volunteers will gather at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 29 at the Dennis Senior Center, 1045 Route 134, South Dennis. Work at the houses will begin at 9:30 a.m. and teams will finish by 1 p.m.

To volunteer, download an application at www.HAConCapeCod.org or pick up an application at the Dennis Senior Center. For more information, contact Mary Everett-Patriquin at Volunteer@HAConCapeCod.org or
508-771-5400, ext. 279.

Volunteer for Big Fix Mashpee!

Tags: Volunteer Cape Cod, Housing on Cape Cod, Big Fix

HAC’s Big Fix Heading to Dennis ~ Volunteers Needed

Posted by Julie Wake on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 @ 10:14 AM

Following the success of the Barnstable Big Fix in 2010 and the Sandwich Big Fix last year, Housing Assistance Corporation will hold the event again, this time in Dennis. The Dennis Big Fix will provide an opportunity for community volunteers to come together to assist seniors, veterans and disabled residents in Dennis with landscaping and home repair tasks.
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Working with the Dennis Council on Aging and the Cape and Islands Veterans Action Committee, HAC is identifying homeowners in need of assistance. On Sept. 29, teams of skilled professionals and community volunteers will meet at their homes and complete the needed tasks.

In the 2010 Big Fix, 22 senior homeowners in the town of Barnstable received home and landscaping improvements. Over 150 community volunteers joined the effort, which took place on May 1, 2010. Last year’s Big Fix was held on Sept. 11, 2011, which was designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Seven homeowners in Sandwich received assistance from 124 volunteers, some of whom worked on a clean-up project for the Sandwich Housing Authority.

The homeowners selected to receive assistance through this program will be chosen based on income, repair needs and our ability to meet requests. Once selected, a homeowner will be asked to identify home maintenance projects and repairs they need completed. Prior to the event all homes will be inspected by a skilled professional to determine the materials and skills needed to complete all projects.  

Volunteers should be physically able to perform tasks of moderate intensity, including cleaning gutters, extensive yard work, moving heavy/bulky items to and from storage, painting, light carpentry, etc. Interested individuals and groups should sign up no later than Sept. 14. Please note that minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Volunteer for Big Fix Mashpee!


Volunteers will gather at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 29 at the Dennis Senior Center, 1045 Route 134, South Dennis. Work at the houses will begin at 9:30 a.m. and teams will finish by 2 p.m.

To volunteer, download an application at www.HAConCapeCod.org/big-fix-dennis/ or pick up an application at the Dennis Senior Center. For more information, contact Mary Everett-Patriquin at volunteer@HAConCapeCod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 279.

To get more information on receiving assistance through the Dennis Big Fix, contact Julie Wake at jwake@HAConCapeCod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 200.

Tags: housing assistance corporation, Big Fix

Housing Assistance Corporation - A Night to Thank Our Volunteers

Posted by Julie Wake on Mon, Jun 11, 2012 @ 03:12 PM

Dolores BommerAbove: Dolores Bommer receiving her citation from Susan Rohrbach and Tom Bernardo.

At the start of this year’s annual volunteer recognition dinner, HAC CEO Rick Presbrey asked the large group of HAC volunteers how many years of service had they been involved in, counting up from one. The years of service grew until a couple on one side of the room claimed the longest at an impressive 22 years.


Bob and Janet Winter, who have been serving meals at the NOAH Shelter for over two decades, were among the guests at the volunteer recognition dinner on May 31 at Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville. “Our volunteers reinforce our belief in doing something worthwhile in life,” said Presbrey. “HAC depends so heavily on volunteers. We could not do our work without you.”


Rick Brigham, NOAH development director, recognized Dolores Bommer, a longtime Wednesday night meal service volunteer at the NOAH Shelter. “It was a cold and rainy night,” remembers Dolores of her first visit to the shelter. “I knew I had to do something. I could make soup.” Over the past 13 years Dolores and her team have served thousands of meals. Dolores was presented a statehouse citation by Susan Rohrbach, district director for State Sen. Dan Wolf, and Tom Bernardo, community relations director for State Rep. Demetrius Atsalis.
Also recognized with statehouse citations were two Project Prevention supporters: the Dennis-Yarmouth Ecumenical Council for the Homeless (DYECH), which raised $50,500 in 2011 and more than $1.2 million since 1994, and the Barnstable Interfaith Council (BIC), which gave $19,000 in 2011 and $289,936 since 2011. “The breadth and the depth of the giving of this community is tremendous,” said Connie Raleigh, HAC’s director of individuals housing services.
For information about volunteering with HAC, contact volunteer coordinator Mary Everett-Patriquin at 508-771-5400, ext. 279, or volunteer@HAConCapeCod.org.

We are currently looking for volunteers for this year's annual Big Fix in Dennis on September 29, 2012. 

Volunteer for Big Fix Mashpee!

Tags: DYECH, Volunteer Cape Cod, NOAH Shelter, Big Fix, HAC Volunteers