Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Shop on AmazonSmile and Support HAC This Holiday Season

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 @ 03:50 PM


If you plan on shopping for holiday gifts on Amazon this year, you can help support HAC’s housing programs without any additional cost to you.

All you have to do is head over to AmazonSmile, log in using your Amazon or Amazon Prime account and designate Housing Assistance Corp. as your charity of choice. Then you can start shopping for the same products, at the same prices, as you normally would on Amazon. 

The best part is you will be helping your neighbors in need at a time of year when they need it most. AmazonSmile will donate a small portion (0.5%) of your purchase price to HAC. By shopping on AmazonSmile, you will essentially be giving a gift to our clients, some of whom may be struggling to survive on Cape Cod. Your gift may be just what they need to turn the corner this holiday season.

So what are you waiting for? Start shopping!

Tags: Amazon, AmazonSmile, donations, Philanthropy

New Playground at Cataumet a Favorite with Kids

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 @ 01:00 PM
Cataumet Playground-2.jpgBoth HAC staff and The Village at Cataumet staff and clients were joined by representatives from Cape Cod Senior Residences during a dedication for the shelter's new playground last month. 

What do you get when you combine two swings, a climbing cargo net, a slide and a faux rock wall? A whole lot of fun.

That is exactly what kids at The Village at Cataumet have been having since a new playground arrived at the shelter in September. The set was paid for thanks to a donation from Cape Cod Senior Residences, an independent and assisted living community in Pocasset, following a casino night in June which raised more than $1,600 for the HAC shelter. Residents at the assisted living facility decided they wanted to use that money towards filling a need at The Village at Cataumet.

“They [the kids] love it,” said shelter director Paula Mallard, during a playground dedication in the beginning of October. “It is awesome. It’s really sturdy and going to last us a long time.”

Cataumet Playground-9.jpgChildren enjoying the new playground at The Village at Cataumet. 

Mallard said that it’s been a few years since the shelter had a usable playground. The last one was made of wood and had to be removed because it became unsafe for children.

As a small contingent of children swung, slid and climbed the playground, Michael LeBrun, executive director for Cape Cod Senior Residences, spoke about why this was an important gift for his organization. “I think it is great to be able to help the kids and be a part of the community,” he said.

Support The Village at Cataumet

Tags: The Village at Cataumet, homelessness, Cape Cod Senior Residences, donations, Philanthropy, Paula Mallard, Family Shelter

Tax Credits Put Money Back in Your Pocket!

Posted by HAC Staff on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 @ 05:46 PM


HAC has a limited amount of tax credits available as an incentive to increase your donation to support the agency’s housing programs on Cape Cod and the islands. The state put the tax program in place to encourage people to give more to organizations like HAC than they have in the past.

Tax credits are available only for those who donate over $1,000 with the goal of getting new donors and having current donors double their donation as they will receive half back in their taxes next year. So for those donating:

  • $1,000, you will receive $500 in tax credits back.
  • $5,000, you will receive $2,500 in tax credits back.
  • $10,000, you will receive $5,000 in tax credits back.
This credit is on top of the federal tax deduction you are allowed to deduct from your taxes.

Those with little to no tax liability could even receive the balance of their credit back in the form of a check from the state.

The best part of the program is that it allows your dollars to go further in supporting HAC’s mission.

For more information or to reserve your tax credits contact Margaret Benaka at mbenaka@haconcapecod.org or at 508-771-5400, ext. 272.

Tags: Tax Credits, Community Investment Tax Credit Program, donations

Donation Provides Warmth for Cape's Homeless

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Sep 07, 2016 @ 01:31 PM
Yarn_Photo_Edited.jpgMary (left) and Ron Weishaar of A Great Yarn hold up one the donated blankets with HAC’s Deanna Bussiere. 

A spool of yarn doesn’t become a blanket, scarf or hat without a little time, care and devotion. Earlier this year, nearly 100 Lower Cape residents provided just that as part of a project aimed at supporting the region’s homeless population.

“A lot of love and a lot of creativity went into these,” said Ron Weishaar in May, when he and his wife Mary, dropped off 29 homemade blankets as well as several hats and scarves that went to those in HAC’s homeless shelters.

The Weishaars, owners of A Great Yarn in Chatham, allowed their customers to use their store space and unused yarn at the beginning of the year, to create the crafts as part of a community-wide knit-a-thon. In addition, they helped collect $1,500 that went to assist HAC in helping those most in need.

Support for the project came from those near and far, including second homeowners in California and Florida, who shipped panels, or individuals sections of the blankets, via mail. “This is one of the panels from California,” Mary said, holding up a finished blanket. “The reason I know that is this was a very dreary day when I opened this up and it just spoke sunshine.”

The Chatham store’s customers were more than eager to add a little brightness to the lives of Cape Cod’s homeless men and women. “They knew these people needed help,” said Mary. “And they were glad it was going to people on the Cape.”

The Weishaars said their only goal was to “whip up a lot of enthusiasm” and it was their customers who did the rest of the work in creating the pieces.

“You definitely succeeded,” HAC’s event and resource development coordinator Deanna Bussiere told the Weishaars. “This is amazing.”

After dropping off the donations, the Weishaars had a chance to visit the NOAH Shelter in Hyannis, to see who some of their gifts would benefit. “I know our clients will definitely appreciate this,” Bussiere assured them.

Support HAC's Homeless Shelters

Tags: A Great Yarn, donations, Philanthropy, homelessness

Putting Spare Change to Good Use

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Jun 02, 2016 @ 09:41 AM


If you’re like most people, you put your spare change in a jar where it sits for years, collecting dust and going unused. Maria Brann, owner of Modern Mix, a contemporary gift shop located in Mashpee Commons, is hoping her customers will opt to put that change to better use through a program that gives back to the community.

She’s calling the program Change It Up and it allows Modern Mix’s patrons to contribute to HAC’s housing programs in a simple way. Here’s how it works: customers are given the opportunity at the register to round their change up to the next dollar. So for a hypothetical $9.15 purchase, they can opt to donate 85¢ to HAC. And Modern Mix will then match that donation.

Brann has chosen her two favorite charities, HAC and the Boys and Girls Club of Cape Cod, as the initial beneficiaries of this endeavor. “I feel personally that there but for the grace of God go any of us. A couple of bad things happen in life and you’ve found you lost your way. I find I’ve been blessed in my life,” Brann said as to why she has been a longtime, loyal donor to HAC.

Learn more about Modern Mix by visiting their website

Tags: donations, Modern Mix

Passing on a Passion for Reading

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 12:36 PM
HAC_Book_Donation-16.jpgPatrik Barroso-Marta (left) and his younger brother Deandre donated three boxes full of children’s books to HAC’s library last month. 

“I love reading,” 10-year-old Deandre Barroso said proudly. “It feels like I’m going to a different dimension every time I read.”

Barroso, a fourth grader at Barnstable United Elementary School, made the statement at the end of April when he passed on a little of that magic to HAC clients by donating three boxes full of used children’s books to the agency’s free library.

“Some of them are mine,” his older brother Patrik, a freshman at Cape Cod Academy, chimed in.

Accompanying them was their guardian Kathleen O’Donoghue who said the two were compelled to donate the books after learning about the need through a HACbeat story shared on HAC’s Facebook page. Anyone who walks through  HAC's doors is welcome to take as many books as they want.

The library, which was created by CEO Rick Presbrey shortly after HAC moved to its current location in 1998, relies on donations of books for children and adults. Over the years, Presbrey said, “we’ve given kids thousands of books. They are better than toys.”

To donate to the free library simply drop off books, Monday through Friday, at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis, from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Tags: HAC Library, Books, donations

Crane Appliance Donates Refrigerator to NOAH Shelter

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, May 06, 2016 @ 12:49 PM


NOAH_Refrigerator1-small.jpgCrane Appliance's Eddy Guerrero and Angel Medina deliver a new refrigerator to the NOAH Shelter in March. 

Imagine having a refrigerator that sometimes stopped working. On the women’s side of the NOAH Shelter, staff and guests didn’t have to imagine because it was a reality.

“I’d get calls that it just wasn’t working,” said shelter director Greg Bar. “You’d have food in there warming up. The milk would be turning to cottage cheese.”

So in January, Bar put out a request for a new refrigerator that went to HAC staff. Deanna Bussiere, HAC’s resource development coordinator, reached out to several contacts to see if anyone would be willing to donate one.

In March, that request was answered thanks to the generosity of Crane Appliance in Falmouth, which donated a brand new, black refrigerator to the shelter. As delivery drivers Angel Medina and Eddy Guerrero worked to unload the appliance from their truck, Bar and Jan Rogers, direct care staff at the shelter, commented on how sorely needed the refrigerator was needed.

“This is very generous,” Bar said. “You know it sounds silly, but when people donate something really nice or new like this to the shelter, the people here feel a little more valued.”

This type of philanthropy is not out of the ordinary for Bob and Paula Crane, owners of Crane Appliance, who regularly support local schools on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. After receiving Bussiere’s letter and a follow-up phone call, Bob Crane said, “I felt like this was the right thing to do… You know at the end of the day it is about giving back to the community.”

Tags: homelessness, Philanthropy, NOAH Shelter, donations, Crane Appliance

HAC Awarded $150,000 in Tax Credits

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 @ 02:41 PM


Are you thinking about donating to HAC? There’s an exciting opportunity for you to make your donation go even further while putting additional dollars in your pocket next tax season.

This opportunity, provided through the state’s Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program, offers incentives to individuals, businesses and foundations that donate over $1,000 to organizations like HAC.

Here’s how it works: if you donate $1,000 to HAC, you will receive $500 in tax credits that will be refunded to you in your taxes. If you donate $5,000, you would receive $2,500 back. And for a $10,000 donation, you would receive $5,000.

This credit is on top of the federal tax deduction you are allowed to deduct from your taxes.

HAC currently has just over $177,000 in tax credits - $150,000 of that was awarded to HAC last month – that are available to those looking to support our housing programs on Cape Cod and the islands.

If you are interested in learning more about the tax credit program, click this link or contact Margaret Benaka at 508-771-5400 ext. 272 or at mbenaka@haconcapecod.org

Tags: Tax Credits, donations, Community Investment Tax Credit Program

Fifth Grader Gives Back to NOAH Shelter

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 @ 01:17 PM
NOAH_Blessing_Bags_Cropped1.jpgRyan (from left), Jeff, Renee and Kristine Monast with NOAH Shelter Director Greg Bar.

When 10-year-old Renee Monast of Wareham, was writing her Christmas letter to Santa this past December, she did something unusual. She thought of those in need.

“She didn’t put anything on there for herself,” her mother Kristine said. “She only asked for things for the needy.”

So when Christmas came, Santa delivered a bag full of practical items – toothpaste, deodorant, lotion – that homeless men and women could use. Renee then filled up plastic bags for 10 men and 10 women that she brought to the NOAH Shelter during her school vacation in February. Inside each was a handwritten note from Renee.

She called the gifts blessing bags.

Joined by her father Jeff and brother Ryan, 12, Renee handed them out to those at NOAH, but not before shelter director Greg Bar introduced her and explained what she had done.

Several NOAH guests shouted out, “thank you,” and afterwards Bar commended the fifth grader attending Hyannis’ St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School for her thoughtfulness. “You know when I was 10 or 11 it was never even in my mind to help other people,” Bar said.

Her mother said she has come to expect this type of charitableness from Renee. “She’s always been a giver,” Kristine said.

“It makes me feel good,” Renee said, as to why she does it. And because she did not have enough bags for everyone at the shelter, she promised to come back with more.

A few minutes after the Monasts had left, John, a 47-year-old homeless man staying at the shelter, marveled at Renee’s generosity. “The world needs more kids like that,” he said. “For a child to come in and want to give to the less fortunate, that is phenomenal. You don’t see that nowadays.”

Support the NOAH Shelter

Tags: Philanthropy, NOAH Shelter, donations, blessing bags

Books Needed for HAC's Free Library

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 @ 05:04 PM


When HAC first moved into its offices on West Main Street in 1998, CEO Rick Presbrey’s goal was to make the reception area as inviting as possible.

Initially, staff put out toys before realizing that they would easily break, get dirty and have to be replaced. So instead, Presbrey created a library, a place where men, women and children could take a book or more to bring home.

“We decided the book thing made a lot more sense,” Presbrey said. “Our goal as an agency is to be a ‘Yes agency’ that wishes not to be judgmental and creates a welcoming place for people who come here for help.”

The library is just one example of that, a shelf stacked with books for those of all ages. “The miracle of it all is we’ve had books donated continuously through the years,” Presbrey said. “When we’re a little short people always respond.”

And so HAC is asking for people to donate once again as they have in the past. The library is in need of used books for children and adults. They can be dropped off Monday through Friday at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis, from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Tags: Philanthropy, HAC Library, Books, donations