Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Shelter Telethon Embodies the Holiday Spirit

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Nov 02, 2017 @ 01:38 PM

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There’s a moment every year when Cape Cod Broadcasting’s Matt Pitta truly gets into the spirit of the holiday season. It always happens at the same event – HAC’s annual Shelter Cape Cod Telethon – which Pitta co-hosts with WCAI’s Mindy Todd.

“The vibe and the atmosphere in the studio all night is kind of electrifying,” he said. “That’s when I get into the holiday spirit – when I see people giving back to the community. That is the true spirit of the holidays right there.”

This year’s telethon, now in its 14th year, will take place on Thursday, December 14, from 5-9 pm. The show is broadcast live from Cape Cod Community Media Center and airs on local cable access channels throughout the Cape.

The telethon will feature HAC staff, elected officials, and community leaders working to help those most in need on Cape Cod and the Islands, placing a spotlight on the region’s housing and homelessness issues.

Funds raised from the telethon go to support HAC’s programs, including homeless outreach as well as its four family shelters – Angel House in Hyannis, the Village at Cataumet in Bourne, Carriage House in North Falmouth, and Scattered Sites in Hyannis.

“I do think every year that it gives a special meaning to Christmas,” said HAC volunteer Wayne Bergeron of Dennis who assists with the event.

Pitta said the telethon serves as an opportunity for people “to make a difference in the community. And that’s really what the holidays are all about.”

Support the Telethon

Sponsor the Telethon, an event that epitomizes the true meaning of the holiday season! Contact HAC Event Coordinator Deanna Bussiere at dbussiere@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 270.

HAC relies on volunteer phone fundraisers at the Telethon to raise funds to ensure we can continue to support the region’s most vulnerable residents. You can register by clicking this link. If you have questions, please contact HAC Volunteer Coordinator Mary Everett-Patriquin at volunteer@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 279 to sign up.

You can also donate to the Telethon by clicking this link

Tags: Shelter Cape Cod Telethon, NOAH Telethon, Mindy Todd, Fundraising, Matt Pitta, Christmas, Wayne Bergeron, holiday giving

HAC Seeks Volunteers for Falmouth Big Fix

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Aug 08, 2017 @ 03:23 PM
Big_Fix_Brewster_-_1.jpgHAC is seeking volunteers for its 8th Annual Big Fix which is coming to Falmouth on Saturday, September 16. 

If there was ever a question as to the need for the Big Fix, it was erased when HAC received a record 65 applications from Falmouth homeowners.

“There was a huge response,” said HAC’s Director of Community Relations Laura Reckford. “Now we need volunteers so that we can help as many applicants as possible.”

Now in its eighth year, the Big Fix relies on volunteers to make small home repairs for income-eligible veterans, seniors and disabled homeowners in one town on Cape Cod. It started in Barnstable in 2010 and has since been to Sandwich, Dennis, Mashpee, Yarmouth, Bourne, and, last year, Brewster. This year’s Big Fix is scheduled for Saturday, September 16.

“The Big Fix is volunteer-powered,” said HAC’s Volunteer Coordinator Mary Everett-Patriquin. “There would be no Big Fix without the volunteers.”

HAC is seeking both skilled and unskilled volunteers who will tackle such projects as landscaping; trash removal; repairing stairs, fences, decks, and outdoor walkways; interior and exterior painting; roofing; light carpentry; and basic plumbing and electrical work.

Volunteer for the Falmouth Big Fix

  • You can sign up as a Volunteer or,
  • Sign up as a Fundraising Volunteer (either as a team or individually) or,
  • Do both!

The deadline to register is Friday, September 1. Click the green button below to get started!

Register To Volunteer

The Big Fix will kick off with registration at 8 am at the Lawrence School on Lakeview Avenue in Falmouth. A light breakfast will be provided by Whole Foods Market in Hyannis and Beanstock Coffee in Wellfleet. Following a short ceremony, volunteers will depart to their assigned homes by 9 am. The majority of the work will be completed by noon at which time all volunteers are invited back to the Lawrence School for a lunch provided by 99 Restaurants in Falmouth.

Satisfaction from Helping Others

Everett-Patriquin said one of the most rewarding aspects of the Big Fix is that volunteers get to see the fruits of their labor almost immediately. “I think people get a deep sense of satisfaction from the knowledge that they’ve helped someone in need,” she said. “And I think another part of it is that people get a lot of satisfaction out of the teamwork aspect of it. Sometimes people are serving with a group and it’s a real bonding experience for them.”

This year, HAC has added an opportunity for volunteers to enhance their impact even further by signing up as fundraisers as part of the first-ever Fix-a-Thon.
Funds raised will not only help to offset the nearly $50,000 it costs to organize the Big Fix, but to help address the need witnessed by the large number of recipient applications HAC received.

The Fix-a-Thon will support HAC’s efforts to keep residents in their homes through the agency’s homelessness prevention program, and bolster its foreclosure and reverse mortgage counseling as well as its weatherization program for low-income households. It will also allow HAC to expand its home repair program which would enable the agency to cast a wider net in helping the types of people the Big Fix serves on a year-round basis.

Volunteers who raise $250 or more will receive a special prize and be recognized at the Big Fix kickoff on September 16.

Tags: Mary Everett Patriquin, Fundraising, Big Fix, HAC Volunteers, 99 Restaurant, Falmouth, Laura Reckford, Falmouth Big Fix, Whole Foods, Fix-A-Thon

Anne Van Vleck Joins HAC Team

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Aug 03, 2017 @ 03:57 PM

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At the end of last month, HAC welcomed Anne Van Vleck as its Chief Development Officer, a new position that will lead the agency’s major gifts and resource development efforts.

She comes to HAC after having spent almost seven years as the executive director of CCYP, formerly known as the Cape Cod Young Professionals. During her tenure, Van Vleck helped grow the CCYP’s membership from 350 members to over 1,200. She also instilled a culture focused on addressing the Cape’s workforce issues through mentoring, civic engagement programs, and community summits.

It is this type of leadership that HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi said Van Vleck will add to the agency. “I am confident she will bring the same level of professionalism and expertise in translating our mission to donors,” Galazzi said.

As chief development officer, Van Vleck will focus on major gifts while cultivating new relationships that can allow the agency to grow and expand its services. “I’m thrilled to join the HAC team,” said Van Vleck who lives in Chatham with her family.

While still learning about HAC, she said she has been impressed with the staff’s commitment and passion for the agency's mission. “Housing is a huge issue on the Cape and there is a full spectrum of needs that this agency has a critical role in addressing.”

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Fundraising, affordable housing, CCYP, Anne Van Vleck, HAC donors

Housing with Love Walk Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jul 07, 2017 @ 02:44 PM
HWLW Harwich 1.jpgJane Goodman (from left), Rev. John Rice, DJ Sullivan, and Richard and Bernadette Waystack during the 2016 Housing With Love Walk. 

Several familiar faces will walk one end of the Cape to the other next week, all to raise awareness to the housing challenges facing the region. A small contingent of those walkers will do so to support HAC’s housing programs on Cape Cod and the Islands as part of the 25th Annual Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk. 

HAC is one of nine housing nonprofits that will participate in the annual event. This year’s walk will begin next Monday, July 10 in Provincetown, with participants walking more than 100 miles and through each town on Cape Cod. It concludes on Sunday, July 16 in Falmouth.

Those walking on behalf of HAC next week include Richard and Bernadette Waystack of Harwich, Rev. John Rice of South Yarmouth, and Nekea Frisbee of Falmouth. While this will be Frisbee’s first year participating in the walk for HAC, both the Waystacks and Rev. Rice have done so in recent years.

On the final day of the event, HAC supporters are invited to meet at the Falmouth Village Green at 11 am and walk the last 3.5 miles to the Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole.

To learn more about the walk, click here. To donate to the walk, click here

Tags: Housing with love walk, Richard Waystack, Bernadette Waystack, Fundraising, Bob Murray, Falmouth, HAC Celebrity Walkers, charitable giving

CCYP Mentee Gives Back to HAC

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Jul 06, 2017 @ 05:21 PM
Lauren Rodriguez CCYP-Edited.jpgCCYP mentee Lauren Rodriguez helped raise funds for HAC's Angel House shelter as part of her mentorship program. 

One of the cornerstones of the CCYP’s Mentor Exchange program is that it gives participants an opportunity to hone their professional skills with the guidance and support of a mentor.

The program does so while stressing the importance of giving back to one’s community, allowing each mentee to choose a cause important to them. For Lauren Rodriguez, there was little question of what charity she would choose – HAC’s Angel House shelter in Hyannis.

“Angel House pulled on my heartstrings,” she said at the end of April when she dropped off a $300 donation along with some diapers to the shelter. In January, when she started the Mentor Exchange program, Rodriguez had read a story HAC’s Laura Reckford had written for the online magazine Cape Cod Wave about the positive impact the shelter had on her friend’s fiancé Darby Lyons when he was a teenager. “I wanted to do something that could help.”

HAC has not only helped Lyons, it helped Rodriguez, who recently took the agency’s First-Time Homebuyer Workshop. “I just bought a house,” she said, crediting HAC for preparing her for becoming a homeowner on Cape Cod. And so she thanked the agency the best way she knew how – dedicating her time and energy to raising funds to support HAC’s work.

Tags: Fundraising, Angel House, CCYP, First-Time Homebuyer workshop, Cape Cod Wave

Sandwich Church Holds Donation Drive for Angel House

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Jul 05, 2017 @ 02:55 PM
First Church-Edited.jpgMarilyn Dexter (left) and Judy Coppola with a few of the donations that First Church in Sandwich donated to HAC's Angel House shelter. 

Giving comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. This past spring, it arrived at HAC in several bags full of diapers, baby wipes, pillows and blankets.

These gifts, all courtesy of First Church in Sandwich, were collected and donated to Angel House and the mothers and their children the HAC shelter serves. Each year, the church’s outreach committee selects a handful of local causes it wants to support; this year, they chose Angel House.

“It’s so important to give back to the community you live in,” said Marilyn Dexter, chair of the committee, who was joined by Judy Coppola in delivering the donations.

“Everything that you give, you get back,” Coppola added.

The church wants to continue supporting Angel House and has plans to plant a small garden there this summer.

Donate to Angel House

Tags: Family Shelter, Philanthropy, Fundraising, Angel House, First Church Sandwich

Shelter Telethon Puts Face to Cape's Housing Issues

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 @ 04:24 PM

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Holding a microphone in her right hand and a handwritten essay on a piece of paper in the other, Autumn Rivieccio’s words came out slowly and softly. “When I slept in my car one night with my mom and dad I really learned what homelessness was,” she started.

Perhaps no moment during last month’s Shelter Cape Cod Telethon was more poignant than that one; the moment when a 10-year-old student at the Nathaniel H. Wixon Innovation School in South Dennis, spoke about her experience of sleeping in a car and living in motels.

There were “six or seven motels” to be exact. Perhaps the worst part, Autumn said, is that “we couldn’t have friends over.”

In September, that changed when Autumn and her parents moved into a home in West Yarmouth. “I feel like an actual family because friends and family can come over,” she said, adding that, “my favorite thing is my own room that I can decorate.” Her favorite decoration is a poster with a white kitten holding onto a rope; on it are three simple words: “Hang in There.”

Now in its 13th year, the telethon not only raised awareness to the region’s housing issues, it helped put a face to those impacted by them. People like Autumn Rivieccio and Cathy Gibson, the chair of HAC’s Constituency Committee.

Gibson, a former client, praised HAC for assisting her, first through its voucher program and then its Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. “The programs run by housing assistance really need to be exactly what they are intended to be: a leg up to be able to set yourself on a path that leads towards self-sufficiency,” she told co-host Matt Pitta of Cape Cod Broadcasting.

Throughout the night, both Pitta and co-host Mindy Todd of WCAI, spoke to those within the agency as well as those outside HAC about ways they are working to address the Cape’s housing issues.

The event also served as a way forward, raising nearly $80,000 for HAC in support of its mission to ensure that all on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have access to safe, secure housing.

Since 1974, when CEO Rick Presbrey founded the agency, it has been committed to that work. At the end of the night, Pitta took a moment to ask Presbrey about his legacy as he will be retiring in March. “The organization is going to continue. It’s helped 160,000 people and that’s going to continue,” Presbrey said. “I have tried to establish very positive values in how to treat people, how to be honest, and essentially to always be respectful to others, and I think that will stay and I feel good about that.”

Support HAC's Housing Programs

 

Tags: housing, Homeless on Cape Cod, Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, homelessness, Shelter Cape Cod Telethon, Mindy Todd, Fundraising, Rick Presbrey, Matt Pitta

Take Advantage of HAC's Tax Credits This Holiday Season

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Dec 05, 2016 @ 01:10 PM

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With the holiday season here, donating to HAC is one way to ensure those in need are cared for at a time of year when they could use it most. Especially with colder temperatures coming, HAC’s work can make a major difference in the lives of those struggling to get by and who may be working two or three jobs just to remain in their apartment or home.

Thanks to HAC’s tax credits, you can make your holiday gift to HAC go further this year. The tax credits are for those who donate over the $1,000 threshold and are either new donors or who double their donations from last year.

In return for your donation, you will receive half back in tax credits. This is on top of the federal tax deduction you are allowed to declare for charitable giving.

Aside from the tax benefits, you can be confident that your gift may be helping a neighbor in need, someone who may be one paycheck away from homelessness. Your gift could help them remain in their apartment and off the streets. And isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?

For more information about HAC’s tax credits, click this link or contact Margaret Benaka at mbenaka@haconcapecod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 272.

Tags: Fundraising, Tax Credits, Community Investment Tax Credit Program, charitable giving, holiday giving

Shelter Telethon Addresses Homelessness on Cape Cod

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 @ 10:00 AM
Matt Pitta and Lin Rohr-1.jpgTelethon host Matt Pitta from Cape Cod Broadcasting Media interviews Lin Rohr, the director of HAC's Angel House shelter. Pitta will be returning, along with WCAI's Mindy Todd, to serve as hosts of this year's telethon. 

For the 13th straight year, HAC will be holding its Shelter Cape Cod Telethon during the season of giving. The telethon, which takes place on Thursday, December 8, from 5 to 9 pm, at the Cape Cod Community Media Center in Dennis Port, helps place a spotlight on the region’s housing and homelessness issues. It also raises funds to support HAC’s homelessness programs which include its three family shelters – Angel House in Hyannis; Carriage House in North Falmouth; and The Village at Cataumet in Bourne – as well as its scattered site units, homelessness prevention for individuals and families and its outreach services for the homeless living in the streets and woods of Cape Cod.

Laura Reckford, HAC’s director of community relations and fundraising, said the lineup will be similar to last year’s, featuring HAC staff, board members and volunteers as well as public officials and representatives from a variety of businesses and organizations that are working to address homelessness and improve housing on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Those interested in sponsoring the telethon should contact Deanna Bussiere, HAC’s event and resource development coordinator, at dbussiere@haconcapecod.org or at 508-771-5400, ext. 270.

HAC also relies on volunteers to serve as phone fundraisers to ensure the agency can continue to address the region’s homeless issues. The event is ideal for businesses or groups, serving as a way for them to give back to the community in a meaningful way during the holiday season. To sign up, click the Santa icon below. 

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Tags: homelessness, Shelter Cape Cod Telethon, Fundraising, Matt Pitta, volunteerism, Laura Reckford

Care Packages Donated to Cape's Homeless

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 @ 10:55 AM
First_Citizens_Photo.jpgDella Sattin (from left) of First Citizens Federal Credit Union was joined by her colleagues Linda Wilson and Kristen Boyd-Higgins in dropping off donations to HAC’s Deanna Bussiere. 

Earlier this year, First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union started planning a fundraiser to collect items for the homeless off-Cape. When several local branch managers heard of the drive, they decided they wanted to do their part on Cape Cod.

“We wanted to do something on Cape to help the homeless here,” said Hyannis branch manager Linda Wilson. “And the NOAH Shelter came to mind.”

So from April 1 to the end of May, customers and staff of all Cape branches were encouraged to participate in Project Care Package, donating toiletries such as soap, toothpaste and lip balm as well as umbrellas, rain ponchos and $5 gift cards to fast food restaurants.

Wilson delivered those donations – over five boxes worth of small blue bags – to HAC in the middle of June along with Mashpee branch manager Della Sattin and Orleans branch manager Kristen Boyd-Higgins. The bags will be given to those at HAC’s NOAH Shelter, which serves the region’s homeless men and women.

Help End Homelessness

Tags: homelessness, Fundraising, NOAH Shelter