Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Shelter Cape Cod Telethon A Rousing Success

Posted by Laura Reckford on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 @ 01:45 AM

sheltercctelethon16 webThe excitement of a community coming together to help their own was in full evidence at the Shelter Cape Cod Telethon, which took place last month on December 11. It was a festive affair as people from throughout the Cape gathered at Cape Cod Community Media Center in Dennisport for the five-hour television show. It was aired on local cable access channels  throughout the Cape.

 

Housing Assistance Corporation set an ambitious fundraising goal for this year’s telethon of $100,000, which is in sight as more donations continue to come in. The telethon featured video and live performances, special guests and, new this year, students reading essays on the topic of homelessness.

 

This was a banner year for the event on several counts. For the past nine years, the telethon was called the NOAH Telethon and funds raised went only to the NOAH Shelter in Hyannis. But this year the event had a new name and a new mission. It was called the Shelter Cape Cod Telethon and instead of just benefiting the NOAH Shelter, it also benefited HAC’s three family shelters: the Village at Cataumet in Bourne, Angel House in Hyannis and Carriage House in North Falmouth.

 

Among the special guests at this year’s telethon was NOAH Shelter manager Greg Bar, who spoke eloquently to the telethon’s host, Mindy Todd, about what homelessness is like from the front lines. Before the telethon, he interviewed some of the clients from NOAH Shelter as well as staff about the issue of homelessness and read those comments on the air.

 

One of the NOAH clients said, "I’m grateful this place is here. I can’t say the word grateful enough." Another said, "I feel well-supported because I asked for help and I’ve been given it."  Mr. Bar said of the clients at NOAH, "It’s hardest to ask for help when you hurt the worst. That’s where these people are at. Just by virtue of walking into the place, they are asking for help. That’s a tough thing."

Besides Mr. Bar, other HAC staffers who went on air to talk about the plight of the homeless on Cape Cod were Cindi Maule, Director of HAC’s family services, Paula Mallard and Yvonne Rivers from the Village at Cataumet, and Amy Brigham from Angel House.

 

The list of musical performers who recorded videos for the event was extensive. Local DJ Suzanne Tonaire served as the mistress of ceremonies in introducing the musical performers, which included the choirs from St. Pius X School and North Falmouth Elementary School, as well as the Falmouth Chorale.

 

In addition, Rabbi Elias Lieberman of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation performed live the song, "I Am Home."

 

During the broadcast, a number of people offered their perspective on the problem of homelessness on Cape Cod. Among them were Dr. Nate Rudman, an emergency room doctor at Cape Cod Hospital and HAC board member, who talked about health issues experienced by the chronically homeless. Cyndy Jones, founder of Heroes in Transition, talked about her agency’s desire to help veterans with various needs.

 

Perhaps the highlight of the show was 12 fourth and fifth grade students from Nathaniel H. Wixon Innovative School in South Dennis who read essays on the topic of "What Homelessness Means To Me." At least two of the students had personal experiences with their own family being homeless.

 

The event was hosted by Mindy Todd, host of The Point on WCAI, with assistance from co-hosts Sean Corcoran, also of WCAI; Paul  Pronovost, editor of The Cape Cod Times; Matt Pitta of WXTK; and Rick Presbrey, President and CEO of Housing Assistance Corporation.

 

Several local politicians taped messages of support for the telethon and two politicians, State Representative Brian Mannal of Hyannis and County Commissioner Sheila Lyons of Wellfleet, made appearances in person to throw their support behind the cause of helping homeless Cape Codders.

Tags: NOAH Telethon, housing assistance corporation, NOAH Shelter, Village at Cataumet, Carriage House, Angel House, NOAH

Telethon Highlights Stories About Homelessness

Posted by Laura Reckford on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 06:30 PM

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Talking about the weeks and months she was homeless was so painful for one former Project Prevention client, she found it difficult to tell the story.

Her story will be just one of many that will be a part of the Shelter Cape Cod Telethon on Wednesday, December 11.

The telethon is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Housing Assistance Corporation. This year, the telethon is benefiting all four of HAC's shelters: NOAH Shelter, Angel House in Hyannis, Carriage House in North Falmouth, and the Village at Cataumet in Bourne.

Besides stories from shelter clients, there will be interviews with shelter staff and music from local school choirs throughout the Cape.

School choirs that have recorded performances for the telethon include Sandwich Soul Show Choir; North Falmouth Elementary School Choir; Cape Cod Academy Lower School Choir in Osterville; St. Pius X Elementary School Choir in South Yarmouth; Nauset Regional High School Honors Chorus; and Nauset Regional High School Treble Chorus.

Other musical groups and singers whose performances will air during the telethon are Falmouth Chorale, Falmouth, Sarah Swain, Katherine King, Molly Parmenter, Heather Cox, Allison Reed, David Kuehn, and Allen McGarry.

A video of Cape Cod Conservatory Ballet Ensemble will be shown.

And Rabbi Elias Lieberman of Falmouth Jewish Congregation will perform live.

The telethon is hosted by Minday Todd of WCAI with co-hosts Rick Presbrey, HAC President/CEO; Paul Pronovost, Cape Cod Times editor-in-chief; Matt Pitta of WXTK; and Sean Corcoran of WCAI.

The show airs live on December 11 from 4 to 9 p.m. on the Cape's local cable access channels and is also streamed live on the web at www.CapeMedia .org. Tune in and give to help homeless families on Cape Cod get back on their feet.

To donate to the telethon, go to sheltercapecodtelethon.org.

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, Homeless, NOAH Telethon, housing assistance corporation, NOAH Shelter, Village at Cataumet, Carriage House, Angel House, NOAH

Mark Your Calendar: Shelter Cape Cod Telethon on December 11

Posted by Laura Reckford on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 @ 06:17 PM

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The biggest fundraiser of the year for Housing Assistance Corporation is the Shelter Cape Cod Telethon. This year, the telethon is benefiting all four of HAC’s shelters: NOAH Shelter, Angel House in Hyannis, Carriage House in North Falmouth, and the Village at
Cataumet in Bourne.

The show airs live on Wednesday, December 11 from 4 to 9 p.m. on the Cape’s local cable access channels and is also streamed live on the web at www.capemedia.org.

Once again, the master of ceremonies this year will be Mindy Todd, the host of The Point on WCAI. On air guests will include Paul Pronovost, editor of the Cape Cod Times, Matt Pitta, news director at WXTK and Sean Corcoran of WCAI. There will be videos of a variety of local musical entertainers, from Cape singer/songwriter Sarah Swain to the children’s choir at St. Pius X School in South Yarmouth.

There is still a need for people who want to be “fundraisers” on the air, manning the phone bank of 16 red phones. Join local politicians, celebrities and neighbors to sit on the phone bank and telephone friends and family to ask them to donate for this important cause. To volunteer at the telethon, which takes place at Cape Cod Community Media Center in Dennisport,
contact Mary Everett-Patriquin at volunteer@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400 ext. 279.

To donate to the telethon, visit sheltercapecod.org.

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, Family Shelter, HAC, NOAH Telethon, NOAH Shelter, Village at Cataumet, Carriage House, Angel House

HAC's Carriage House Opens New Play Space

Posted by Laura Reckford on Tue, Aug 13, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Children at Carriage House enjoy the new place space.

Staff from the agency Horizons for the Homeless Children refurbished the play space at
Carriage House in June and a ribbon-cutting at the space on June 13 served as
an opportunity for the children and adults to get a first look at the new
space.

Carriage House Facility Director Anne Holmes saidof Horizons, “You guys are absolutely
amazing. The things you do. . . and you ask for nothing in return. You just
bless the kids.”

The new space is divided into five development areas: arts and crafts; a dramatic play area with puppets and a dollhouse for fine motor skills; an area with activities for gross motor skills; a gated infant area; and a literacy area. Six of the children staying at Carriage House attended the ribbon cutting and tried out the new play equipment and toys.

Horizons Playspace Programs Director Meghan Schafer  and Playspace Programs Manager Jessica Dalzell were both on hand for the ribbon-cutting.

Horizons is a private non-profit that was founded in 1988 and operates statewide with a main office in Roxbury. The mission of the agency is to improve the lives of young homeless children in Massachusetts and support early childhood education.

Ms. Schafer said, “Jess and I love what we do. The kids are our passion in life.” She added, “We love our volunteers.”

The playspace at Carriage House was a reinstall, because the group had worked on the same space in 2005. She said the re-install at Carriage House cost about $3,000 to $3,500, paid for through donations and from the agency’s budget.

About 65% of Horizons funding comes from donations and the rest through state and federal grants. The group has about 50 volunteers on the Cape who give about two hours per week for six month periods helping at shelters like Carriage House by playing with the children. There are trainings for volunteers twice a year, in April and October.

 On hand at the ribbon cutting are HAC Family Housing Services Compliance Manager Pat Caron.

On hand at the Carriage House ribbon-cutting are HAC Family Housing Services Compliance Manager Pat Caron and her son, Matt Caron, 13, HAC Project Prevention Director Delores
Barbati-Poore, Carriage House Facility Director Anne Holmes, Meghan Schafer and
Jessica Dalzell of Horrizons for Homeless Children and Carriage House Case
Manager Katie Geissler.

 

Tags: housing, Homeless, volunteers, Horizons for Homless Children, housing assistance corporation, Carriage House, Horizons for Homeless Children

Volunteer Mollie Reis: ‘A Force For Good’ At Carriage House

Posted by Laura Reckford on Sat, Aug 10, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

MollieMollie Reis (1933-2013)

By ALISON ALEWINE

When I think of Carriage House, I think of Mollie Reis. If she were not there from day one, it was soon after. She made sure that this shelter was a lovely welcoming home to all the women and children who passed through the doors.

She started out as an extra pair of hands doing whatever was needed but soon began to let us know what was needed and that she was going to meet those needs. A handicapped accessible bathroom was a need and we were (by Mollie’s standards) not responding fast enough, so she did it! That year at HAC’s Annual Meeting among the awards given was one to Mollie Reis: the Golden Toilet Award!--a small, gold replica of a toilet to acknowledge her achievement.

If you have been to Carriage House or seen a picture of it, you know it appears more like a Bed & Breakfast than a shelter. Mollie made sure for 20 plus years that the inside matched the veneer. She got decorators to donate time and materials to make each bedroom special for each guest. Paint, paper, rugs, pictures, comforters – each room could have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens.

Whenever things began to look less than fresh, Mollie did each one over again. Remodeling the kitchen was a favorite activity. Always done in hues of blue and purple (Mollie’s colors!) and the walls were filled with special touches to make the area look both homey and tasteful.

The fitness center at Carriage House is another of Mollie’s gifts. She realized that physical activity was a necessary component of life especially for stress relief. Who could be more in need of stress relief than single mothers of small children who were struggling and homeless. Her friends always knew about the needs and assisted Mollie in meeting them. Saying no to Mollie or her plan was not an option.

Mollie’s oversight and fundraising and gifts to Carriage House were each special but her persona was the teaching tool for clients and staff. No Pollyanna but more of a Mary Poppins, Mollie was a force for good to be reckoned with, and her HAC family will miss her.

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, HAC Volunteer Recognition, housing assistance corporation, Carriage House, HAC Volunteers, Molly Reis

Birthday Wishes Come True for Shelter Children

Posted by Julie Wake on Sat, Apr 13, 2013 @ 09:06 PM

Doesn’t every child deserve to be celebrated on their birthday?
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That’s the question on the front of the brochure for Birthday Wishes, a Newton Centre-based group that provides birthday parties for homeless children in six states. Volunteers bring birthday joy to children in 175 shelters, including HAC’s three family shelters. The children play games and do crafts projects (making paper hula skirts, building teddy bears from a kit, decorating Christmas cookies). The birthday child opens gifts donated by the group.

Birthday Wishes volunteers have been organizing parties at HAC shelters for about five years. The parties help bring normalcy and hope to the shelters. Last month Dawn Boulay, the Birthday Wishes volunteer coordinator for Angel House, and volunteer Nicole Myberg coordinated a party for Serenity, who was turning 1.

“She was very excited when everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday,’” said Shana, Serenity’s mom. “She liked all the attention.”

Myberg, who learned about Birthday Wishes through an article in Boston Parenting magazine, said, “It’s fun interacting with the kids. It’s nice to be able to help out.”

Maura Dankert of Bourne is the Birthday Wishes party coordinator at the Village at Cataumet, a HAC shelter for families. She recently organized an Easter egg hunt for a dozen children there.

A mother of four, Dankert got involved with Birthday Wishes through a friend who is the party coordinator at a shelter in Kingston. “I brought my daughter to help at one of their events and I was hooked,” she said. “I grew to love the families, so it’s bittersweet when they leave the shelter. I’m happy for them, but I miss them.”

Laura Kiernan, a case manager at Cataumet, said, “The children get excited when they know the Birthday Wishes volunteers are coming. All day they’re asking, ‘When does it start?’ It makes a big difference in their lives.”

Rob is a Cataumet client who was at the Easter party with his sons, one 3 years old and the other 5 months old. “I think it’s a great thing that they do this for the kids. With the situation everyone’s in, it makes us feel normal.”

To learn more about Birthday Wishes, visit www.birthdaywishes.org.


Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, housing assistance corporation, Village at Cataumet, Carriage House, Angel House, Birthday Wishes

Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run

Posted by Julie Wake on Sat, Dec 01, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

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About 300 motorcyclists rode from Bourne to Falmouth in the 13th annual Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run on Nov. 4. Joined by bikers from across the Cape, the Cape Cod Harley Owners Group collected toys that will be distributed to the children at the Carriage House Shelter in North Falmouth and other family shelters operated by Housing Assistance Corporation.

The toy run was established by Harley Owners Group member Joe Wetherbee in memory of his wife, Chris. Santa Claus led the ride, followed by a trailer full of toys. The riders’ route started in Bourne at the Buzzards Bay Eagles Hall and finished at Carriage House.

“I cannot thank you enough for your contribution of time and toys,” Joe Wetherbee told the crowd, just before Clarissa Wetherbee announced that $3,975 had been collected by the bikers to donate to HAC’s family shelters.

“This is a fantastic event,” said HAC CEO Rick Presbrey. “God bless you for what you do and your care and concern for people in need.”

After the toys were unloaded from the truck and passed hand-to-hand into the shelter, lunch was served, courtesy of donations from local restaurants.

Housing Assistance Corporation is grateful to the following local businesses for their support of the Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run: BJ’s, Seafood Sam’s, Jack in the Beanstalk, Mahoney’s Garden Center, Roche Brothers, Starbucks (Falmouth), Beach Plum Bakery, Taylor Rentals, Windfall Market and Prime Time Pizza.

Tags: housing assistance corporation, Carriage House, Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run

Housing Assistance Corporation - Shelter Looking For Volunteers

Posted by Julie Wake on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

The Village at Cautaumet and Carriage House are looking for a volunteer to help guide a client-run Craig’s List and eBay business program to benefit the family shelters and those living there. Clients have been meeting to plan the effort and to line up those with interest to take courses at the Upper Cape Tech and Cape Cod Community College that complement the work they will be doing on the Internet sales effort.
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The ideal volunteer is someone who will enjoy working with homeless clients who are trying to improve their lives, and has some Internet and other retail sales experience. The days and hours are flexible. The volunteer’s time would be focused at the Carriage House in North Falmouth, where the office for this new venture will be. A resident of Carriage House has been selected to head up the sales effort.


Please send inquiries to rpresbrey@haconcapecod.org.

HAC is also looking for Big Fix Dennis volunteers on September 29th click here to be contacted.

Volunteer for Big Fix Mashpee!

Tags: volunteers, Village at Cataumet, Carriage House