Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Volunteers Needed for the Big Fix

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Jul 29, 2014 @ 01:27 PM

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Though HAC organizes a number of events throughout the year the Big Fix in September is perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences for volunteers. “It is always a feel good event and at the end of the day people feel like they really made a difference in the life of a senior, a vet or a disabled person,” HAC volunteer coordinator Mary Everett-Patriquin said.

This year HAC will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Big Fix which started in Barnstable in 2010 when volunteers helped conduct minor home repairs for low-income homeowners in the mid-Cape community.

This year on Saturday, September 13 HAC will send a crew of volunteers to Yarmouth where it will do similar work in that town.

Everett-Patriquin welcomes volunteers of all skill levels, from novices to professional construction workers and tradespersons. There is also a need for experienced handymen to serve as supply pickers at local hardware stores. 

With as many as 12 homes being worked on during the day, she said, it is always useful to have someone at the store to pick up specific supplies that may be needed to complete a home repair.

Those interested in learning more about volunteering for the Big Fix can call Everett-Patriquin at 508-771-5400 ext. 279 or email her at volunteer@HAConCapeCod.org.

Tags: volunteers, HAC, Big Fix, HAC Volunteers

HAC’s Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition Award Recipients

Posted by Julie Wake on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

HAC Staff

This year HAC celebrates a milestone, 40 years of good work.  “The program will be more celebratory this year,” says HAC’s Director of Development and Communications Julie Wake.  “Expect the unexpected for an annual meeting!”  Matt Pitta from WXTK will host the event. 

Among those being honored will be Rev. Larry Brown of Cape Cod Academy, along with his student team from People to People International, who will be given the Presbrey Public Service Award in recognition of their service to those in need on Cape Cod. The Presbrey award is given to people in the community who most exemplify the qualities and values that motivate Rick. Recent recipients include Rabbi Elias Lieberman, Dr. Kathleen Schatzberg and Rev. Dr. John Terry.

This year’s recipient of the Business/Organization Partner Award is the Town of Mashpee, who went beyond the call of duty in pulling off the biggest Big Fix event as well as adding 10 units of affordable rentals with a new development, Great Cove.

Heroes in Transition will receive the Human Services Partner Award in recognition of their support of HAC’s Project Prevention for veterans.  Heroes also played a supporting role in the Big Fix Mashpee helping to improve several veterans’ homes.

The Volunteer of the Year award goes to the Bergeron Family for their years of hard work and dedication on homelessness issues.  Wayne, Janine, their daughter Rebecca and their son Michael have played a major role in HAC’s annual event, Shelter Cape Cod Telethon.

Dinner will be served and a cash bar will be available.  RSVP by March 24 by calling HAC or going online at www.HAConCapeCod.org.

This year’s annual meeting and volunteer recognition is sponsored by Shepley Wood Products, a Hyannis based company that received HAC’s Business Partner Award in 2012.
Tony Shepley
Tony Shepley speaking at last year’s annual meeting.

Tags: HAC Annual Meeting, NOAH Shelter, HAC Volunteers, Shepley

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)


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

Hundreds Celebrate HAC's Successes at Annual Meeting

Posted by Laura Reckford on Mon, Jun 03, 2013 @ 02:07 PM


The Rev. John Terry receives the Presbrey Public Service Award from Mark Forest, the 2011 award recipient.

Housing Assistance Corporation’s staff, volunteers, board members, donors, clients, friends and supporters—more than 250 people—filled a large banquet room at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa on April 25 to celebrate another year of supporting Cape Codders with their housing needs.

HAC’s annual meeting and volunteer recognition was a chance to applaud the dozens of dedicated volunteers who help the organization with everything from serving dinners at the NOAH shelter to cradling babies at Angel House.

The Reverend Dr. John Terry of the Federated Church of Hyannis received the 2013 Presbrey Public Service Award in recognition of his service to those in need on Cape Cod.

Two volunteers were singled out for their commitment to service. Scott Barron and Bob Zibbell, longtime drivers at the Village at Cataumet, were this year’s Volunteers of the Year recipients.

Barnstable Police Deputy Chief Craig Tamash was on hand to accept the Human Services Partner Award on behalf of his department’s officers for their sensitivity in dealing with the Cape’s homeless population.

The Cape Cod Media Center, which puts together the NOAH Telethon every December, received the Business Partner Award. Shepley Wood Products, HAC’s Business Partner Award winner in 2012, sponsored the event.


Tags: volunteers, housing assistance corporation, HAC Volunteers

Don’t Miss the Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition

Posted by Julie Wake on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 @ 07:00 AM
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There’s still time to register for Housing Assistance Corporation’s 38th annual meeting and volunteer recognition dinner, to be held 5-7 p.m. April 25 at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa, 1225 Route 132, Hyannis.

The Rev. John Terry of the Federated Church of Hyannis will be presented with the Presbrey Public Service Award in recognition of his service to those in need on Cape Cod.

Other honorees include the Cape Cod Community Media Center (the Business Partner Award) and the Barnstable Police Department (the Human Services Partner Award). Scott Barron and Bob Zibbell, longtime drivers at the Village at Cataumet, are this year’s Volunteers of the Year.

This year’s annual meeting and volunteer recognition is sponsored by Shepley Wood Products (shepleywood.com), a Hyannis-based company that received HAC’s Business Partner Award in 2012.

Dinner will be served and a cash bar will be available. RSVP by April 22 by visiting www.HAConCapeCod.org.

Tags: HAC Annual Meeting, HAC Volunteer Recognition, Volunteer Cape Cod, housing assistance corporation, Housing on Cape Cod, HAC Volunteers, Shepley

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

Three Generations of Helping HAC

Posted by Julie Wake on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 @ 12:36 PM

wadsworth resized 600Dianne Wadsworth moved to Cape Cod to help take care of her parents and aunt. She found a job as a teacher but wanted to do more, so she started to volunteer at the NOAH Shelter. That was 26 years ago, and Dianne is still volunteering at the Hyannis shelter.

On the first Saturday of every month, NOAH residents know that they can look forward to a home-cooked meal: Dianne’s shepherd’s pie. “It’ easy and they like it,” she said. “It’s hard to come up with something you can make for 40 or 50 people and not have it break you.”

Dianne’s father volunteered at the Cape Cod Hospital and was active with Kiwanis, and he assisted Dianne with feeding NOAH residents until he died at age 93. Now Dianne, 73, gets help from her 47-year-old son, Ty Marchment.

“It’s a family tradition to have community spirit,” says Dianne. “If I didn’t do something like this, I’d just be sitting around watching television. I appreciate what I have, and I like helping others.”

Ty started helping his mother at NOAH about three years ago. “I remember as a kid going to the Kiwanis breakfasts with my grandfather,” Ty says. “He started three of the Kiwanis groups on the Cape. He impressed me with all he did. When he retired, he was busier than ever. He was a great role model.”

Click here to get involved as a volunteer!

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Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, Volunteer Cape Cod, housing assistance corporation, NOAH Shelter, HAC Volunteers

Childcare Volunteers Needed at Homeless Shelter

Posted by Julie Wake on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 @ 02:32 PM

describe the imageChildcare Assistants

HAC's Hyannis, Falmouth, and Cataumet family shelters seek volunteers to help with childcare on weekday mornings (preferred), or early afternoons. Volunteers can pick one or more of these timeslots, but should be able to commit to a regular, weekly schedule (for example, every Wednesday morning). Volunteers should have childcare experience, enjoy working with kids of varying ages, and feel comfortable working in a fast-paced environment with families in crisis. All volunteers must undergo a background check (CORI).

Contact Mary Everett Patriquin at volunteer@HAConCapecod.org

Childcare not your thing, check out positions such as van drivers or newsletter mailing crew!


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Tags: Volunteer Cape Cod, HAC Volunteers

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