Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Gift Cards Help Prevent Homelessness

Posted by HAC Staff on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 @ 04:22 PM

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Do you plan on buying a gift card for a loved one this holiday season? If so, you can help prevent homelessness on Cape Cod by purchasing them through the Dennis-Yarmouth Ecumenical Council for the Prevention of Homelessness (DYECH).

Every year, DYECH sells gift cards to over 100 stores, restaurants and movie theaters – Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Starbucks and more – that raise funds for HAC’s homelessness prevention efforts.

To purchase gift cards this holiday season visit www.shopwithscrip.com. The enrollment code to support DYECH and HAC is 561B698219989.

Cards can be picked up at Yarmouth Appliance Clinic at 61 White’s Path in Yarmouth one week after you place your order. Make sure to place your order early so you have the cards in time for the holidays!

If you have questions about the program, please email DYECH at dyech@comcast.net

Tags: DYECH, Project Prevention, Prevention, homelessness prevention, Cape Cod Caring Cards, Gift Cards for prevention

DYECH Celebrates Fundraising Milestone

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Apr 07, 2017 @ 11:26 AM
DYECH Edited.jpgAt its meeting last month, DYECH presented HAC's Cassi Danzl with an $8,000 check which pushed its fundraising total to $1.5 million since the group's inception. The money has been used to prevent families on Cape Cod from becoming homeless.

In the grand scheme of things, $8,000 may seem like a relatively small amount of money, but in the beginning of March, it represented a major milestone for a group of residents committed to helping their neighbors in need.

When that donation was given to Cassi Danzl, HAC’s director of Family and Individual Services, it pushed the group, better known as the Dennis-Yarmouth Ecumenical Council for the Prevention of Homelessness (DYECH), over $1.5 million raised since it was formed in 1993.

HAC founder Rick Presbrey said the genesis of DYECH was “to prevent people from entering shelters and motels and keep them in housing,” an effort spearheaded by the late Bob Murray in conjunction with parishioners and staff at Christian churches in Dennis and Yarmouth that had reached out to HAC asking how they could support the agency.

And so DYECH was born. Golf tournaments, ham and bean dinners, chicken pot pie suppers and community concerts are just a few of the ways they have raised money to prevent homelessness on Cape Cod and the Islands over the past 24 years.

DYECH has also been able to raise funds from the bulk purchase of gift certificates to participating stores such as Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods and CVS. It then sells those gift certificates at face value to those in the community. For every dollar spent, DYECH receives five percent that goes directly to HAC’s homelessness prevention efforts for families.

Debbie McDevitt-Hayes of Yarmouth, who has been involved with DYECH since the beginning, recalled that the late Art Kimber, a member of the clergy at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Yarmouth, and Deacon David Akin of St. Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth, were instrumental in the launch of DYECH and bringing neighboring churches into the fold.

DYECH’s Early Days
“Those early days were exciting days for sure,” she said, noting that it was less about the money raised and more about the number of families they were able to help. “HAC was good at keeping us posted as to putting a personal face on what was happening. Sometimes you’d meet some of the clients that you helped which was really exciting.”

As to DYECH reaching this fundraising milestone last month, she said, “I’m sure if we put the faces on that $1.5 million it would have a huge impact.”

Akin said the reason for the continued dedication to DYECH is simple: there are people in need. “They say that for 60 or more percent of Cape Codders, if one or two paychecks don’t come, the party is over,” he said. “There is a real hand-to-mouth economy for the have nots.”

“I think we all have to help each other,” said Yarmouthport’s Barbara Lussier, who manages the gift certificate program for DYECH. “Some of us are more fortunate than others, but I think it’s important for us to give back.”

While all agreed there is still more to do, current DYECH President Steve Sozanski was proud of all the group has accomplished. “It’s mind-boggling to think we’ve raised that much money organizing meals and concerts three or four times a year and buying and selling gift cards in bulk,” he said.

Presbrey agreed, calling DYECH’s work “amazing, actually. For them to do it all these years is impressive and also the energy with which they do it. They’ve kept up the program and prevented people from being homeless and keeping them in their current housing. It’s been a huge thing, really.”

To learn more about ways you can help prevent homelessness simply by purchasing a gift card to a local supermarket, store or restaurant, click this link.

You can also purchase gift cards at HAC's office at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis. Contact Margaret Benaka at 508-771-5400, ext. 272, or at mbenaka@haconcapecod.org for more information. 

Tags: DYECH, Project Prevention, homelessness prevention, Steve Sozanski, homeless prevention, Rick Presbrey, Gift Cards for prevention, David Akin, St. Pius X School, Cassi Danzl, Barbara Lussier, Debbie McDevitt-Hayes

Prevent Homelessness on Cape Cod While Doing Your Holiday Shopping

Posted by HAC Staff on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 @ 06:30 AM

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The Dennis-Yarmouth Ecumenical Council for the Prevention of Homelessness (DYECH), which supports HAC’s Project Prevention, has gift cards available for purchase to over 100 stores, restaurants and movie theaters (from Amazon to Zappos). When you purchase gift cards through this program, merchants give a percentage of the sale to homelessness prevention. For example, if you buy a $25 gift card for the Gap, your gift card is worth the full $25, but the Gap donates 14 percent ($3.50) to Project Prevention.

All of the money raised through this program is given directly to families in need, providing them with emergency funds so they can remain in their homes and off the streets. To purchase gift cards, go to www.shopwithscrip.com. The enrollment code to help DYECH and HAC is 561B698219989.

Cards can be picked up at Yarmouth Appliance Clinic at 61 White’s Path in Yarmouth one week after you place your order. Don’t forget to place your order early!

If you have questions about the program please email DYECH at dyech@comcast.net

Tags: DYECH, Project Prevention, homeless prevention, Gift Cards for prevention, holiday shopping

Vivapalooza Winner Gives Back To NOAH Shelter

Posted by Laura Reckford on Sat, Aug 17, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Bobbie Curley of West Barnstable believes “it is important to help people get a better start” and “everybody deserves a second chance.”

That is why she decided to donate a $100 Stop and Shop gift card she won in a drawing at the Housing Assistance Corporation table at the Vivapalooza expo to the NOAH Shelter to be used to help feed people in need.

Emerald Physician’s Vivapalooza took place on Sunday, June 2, filling Barnstable High School with vendors promoting community resources for healthy living.

At HAC’s booth, staff sold Cape Cod Caring Cards, formerly known as food certs. The cards have their full cash value and can be used at many stores on the Cape. For each gift card purchased, 5 percent of the money spent benefits HAC’s Project Prevention, which provides financial assistance to prevent Cape Codders from becoming homeless. Dennis Yarmouth Ecumenical Council and Barnstable Interfaith Council sponsor the cards.

When Ms. Curley found out she won the gift card drawing, she was surprised. “I don’t usually win anything,” she said.

Then she asked, “Now, is that something you could use for clients at one of your shelters?”

Ms. Curley said she regularly buys Cape Cod Caring Cards from the Barnstable Interfaith Council at village fairs and other events.

HAC put Ms. Curley’s donation to use at the NOAH Shelter where it was used to stock up the pantry with items unavailable from the food banks.

Tags: Project Prevention, Food Certs, Prevention, housing assistance corporation, NOAH Shelter, NOAH, Cape Cod Caring Cards, Gift Cards for prevention

DYECH Presents Its Largest Gift to Project Prevention

Posted by Julie Wake on Sun, Mar 17, 2013 @ 09:00 AM
Since 1993, the Dennis-Yarmouth Ecumenical Council for the Prevention of Homelessness (DYECH) mission has been clear: to raise money for HAC’s homelessness prevention programs. The mission, by all accounts, has been a resounding success. More than $1.3 million has been raised, and hundreds of Cape Cod families have been helped.
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Last month, David Akin, a deacon at St. Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth and past president of DYECH, presented a check for $25,000 to HAC CEO Rick Presbrey. The gift came from an anonymous donor and is the largest single donation ever to DYECH.

The donor gave the gift in honor of his mother, an 80-year-old resident of Yarmouth who rides her bike each day to St. Pius. When he wanted to pay tribute to her, he asked Akin to suggest a worthy fund.

In February, DYECH also presented Project Prevention with a donation of $8,500, funds raised through a holiday concert and the sale of grocery and retail gift cards.

“DYECH continues to be the greatest support for family homelessness prevention that we could ever hope for,” said Allison Alewine, HAC vice president of operations.

HAC’s Project Prevention stops homelessness in its tracks by preventing it from happening in the first place, providing short-term financial assistance to people at risk of homelessness. It is also a program that saves money; family homelessness costs the taxpayer more than five times the cost of prevention ($10,000 as opposed to about $1,500).

An update on BIC clients

Just as DYECH supports HAC’s efforts for family homelessness prevention, the Barnstable Interfaith Council (BIC) raises funds for individual homelessness prevention. In a recent letter to BIC supporters, Greg Bar, HAC’s individual housing search specialist, described some of his clients who had been helped recently with Project Prevention funding.

• Brett and Arlene paid a past due electric bill so they can move forward after job loss and illness.
• Cindy is 60 years old and lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her 18-year-old son. She works, but got behind on rent because her hours were temporarily reduced.
• Dennis and Emily are two former NOAH Shelter clients who struggled to get a stable life and have succeeded. They wanted to move into a safer apartment and needed some financial help.
• Irene is a mason in her 30s. Work got light the past couple of months and she got behind on rent. BIC funds helped her stay in her apartment.

DYECH and BIC support Project Prevention through the sale of grocery and other gift cards. When you purchase gift cards through this program, merchants give a percentage of the sale (usually 4 to 8 percent, but in some cases as much as 18 percent) to homelessness prevention. For example, if you buy a $25 gift card for the Gap, your gift card is worth the full $25 – but the Gap donates 14 percent ($3.50) to Project Prevention.

To purchase grocery or retail gift cards, go to www.HAConCapeCod.org/donate and click on “grocery cards for prevention” or “gift cards for prevention.”

Tags: DYECH, Project Prevention, Gift Cards for prevention, grocery cards for prevention