Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Bob Murray Remembered on First Day of Walk

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 @ 12:16 PM
DSC 4661 resized 600Patty Murray (left) walks with Dakota Mousseau and Ben deRuyter on Route 6A in Truro during the first day of the 22nd Annual Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk.

In the 22 years that the Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk has been held Harwich’s Patty Murray never once participated in the event.

That ended yesterday when Murray, whose father started the walk in 1993 to bring awareness to the Cape’s housing issues, donned her sneakers and walked over 13 miles from Provincetown to Wellfleet. “It’s kind of bittersweet,” a tearful Patty Murray said, before noting that the fact the walk is continuing would mean a lot to her father who passed away in September at the age of 73.

“I know my dad was really worried about his legacy and whether this would continue,” she said. “He would be really happy to know it is.”

Though her father was not there physically, she was positive he was there spiritually. “I’ll be using his legs,” she said.

And so it went during the kick off to the annual walk, which began with a short service at The Church of Saint Mary of the Harbor. Before, during and after the church service many had the event’s founder on their mind.

“Bob Murray,” a trio of walkers shouted enthusiastically (instead of the typical “Cheese!”) as they posed for a photo in front of Provincetown Harbor.

And a pair of bronzed sneakers Bob Murray had wore in previous walks served as a symbol of why people were participating in this year’s event.  David Willard, the director of community relations at Cape Cod Five, was the first to carry the sneakers – which came in a clear plastic bag – on his back at the start of the walk.

“I work at Cape Cod Five and we’ve been so close to Bob in all his professional endeavors,” Willard said. “And I’ve been so close to him and [his wife] Judy personally. It feels good I can be a part of it in this way. He is still in our hearts.”

Willard eventually passed the shoes onto Richard Waystack, president of the Family Pantry of Cape Cod, on Route 6A in Truro. Waystack, who is walking the entire 96.3 miles from Provincetown to Falmouth with his wife Bernadette for the Harwich Ecumenical Council for the Homeless, proceeded to carry the sneakers the remainder of the day before passing them off this morning to Vicki Hatch in South Wellfleet.

Murray Shoes Passing resized 600Richard Waystack (left) takes Bob Murray's sneakers from Cape Cod Five's David Willard.

In 2012, the last year Murray took part in the walk, Waystack pushed him 19 miles in a wheelchair. “That was a great day, an awesome day,” Waystack said. “Bob was a good friend and my mentor.” 

And yesterday the nearly two dozen walkers used him as inspiration to affect greater change on Cape Cod. “I know he is here talking to us all,” his daughter said. 

Read more about this year's Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk by clicking this link.

Tags: Housing with love walk, HAC, Richard Waystack, housing assistance corporation, Bob Murray

Housing with Love Walk Continues as Way to Honor Bob Murray

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Sun, Jul 13, 2014 @ 11:15 AM
HWLW 071512 033 resized 600Bob Murray (left) hands out water during the Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk in 2012.

Though the late Bob Murray was unable to participate in last year’s annual Housing with Love Walk he started 22 years ago, he fervently followed the progress of those who walked from one end of the Cape to the other in an effort to meet the housing needs in the region.

“Every day I’d take a photograph of the walk and send it to him,” said Thomas Lacey, executive director of the Falmouth Housing Authority. “His reaction would vary depending on the day. Sometimes he would well up with tears of happiness. A lot of times he would comment on how he wished he was there. I think if we could have pushed him through the walk he would have done it.”

That is what the event – it was officially changed to the Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk in 2012 – meant to the longtime advocate of affordable housing on Cape Cod.

Its purpose was twofold: raise awareness of the housing issues in the region and raise funds to provide residents with safe, secure housing to allow them the opportunity to enjoy this corner of the state.

For medical reasons Murray did not take part in the annual event last year. This year’s walk will carry even more weight – it will be the first held since his death at the age of 73 last September.

The challenge of organizing this year’s event, which normally fell squarely on Murray’s shoulders, has been spread among a committee of volunteers. “Bob did it all by himself,” said Linda Clark, director of the Falmouth Housing Corporation. “We were a little taken aback when we began to understand the magnitude of the work involved for the walk to take place.”

That work has included everything from managing publicity to signing up walkers to creating a new brochure providing information on the walk. One of HAC’s roles this year is shuttling walkers along the route and providing a support van for participants.

New this year is the route which, while still going from Provincetown to Falmouth, will be modified to ensure the safety of walkers.

A total of 11 housing agencies, including HAC, benefit from the walk which begins on Monday, July 14 at St. Mary’s Church and ends on Sunday, July 20 at Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Falmouth.

Murray's Presence Will Be Felt

While Murray will not be in attendance, organizers said his presence will be strongly felt over the seven-day event. His wife Judy will be in attendance at the start of the walk. And a pair of well-used sneakers that Murray once wore in the walk and have since been bronzed will be carried by one walker each day in memory of the event’s founder.

Both Lacey and Clark plan on walking the entire 96.3-mile route to honor their friend, mentor and former co-worker. “It is really important to me to honor Bob this way,” Lacey said.

In recent years Murray “started the walk off with physical challenges that were only exacerbated by it,” Lacey said, and as a result he had to occasionally be rushed to the hospital or cut short his participation due to blisters, dehydration and physical fatigue.

Suffering was something Murray wanted participants, including himself, to feel as a way to better understand the plight of those without housing or working paycheck to paycheck just to live on Cape Cod. “He wanted people to feel a little bit of the pain they felt,” Clark said, explaining that is why it is held in July, one of the hottest months of the year.

Because of how important this event was to Murray, the goal is to ensure the walk continues on as a way to preserve his legacy. “I think it would make Bob really happy to see the walk continuing, really in the same way he created it with the partnerships of all these different Cape organizations and the camaraderie it creates, especially in support of tackling the Cape’s housing issues,” Lacey said.


Donate to the Walk

Tags: housing, Housing with love walk, Linda Clark, Bob Murray, Thomas Lacey

Editorial: Remembering A Friend

Posted by Laura Reckford on Fri, Oct 18, 2013 @ 10:59 AM

bob judy margaret deanna web

I was reminded of my own mortality a few weeks ago with the death of a good friend, Bob Murray. Bob worked right up until the end on the cause he believed in, affordable housing on Cape Cod.

I knew Bob Murray for 20 years from about the time my youngest son was born. Now Bob is gone and my son is in college. If I look at what Bob accomplished in that time, I am amazed. Time seems to pass more quickly as you get older which means if you want to accomplish something, you better move quickly. Bob certainly did that. He was very sociable and likeable but he didn’t like to waste time.

Bob worked at HAC in the early 1990s as a grant writer and did very well. He then became the Executive Director of the Falmouth Housing Authority where he remained for 16 years. Bob was the founder of the Harwich Ecumenical Council for Housing and the Falmouth Housing Corporation and was the moving force behind the creation of Project Prevention, the program that uses funds to help pay rent or mortgage payments to keep families from becoming homeless when a crisis intervenes.

He was also a very successful affordable housing developer. He may be best known for his “Housing with Love Walk” where each year in July for more than 20 years he would walk from one end of the Cape to the other to raise money for agencies that helped to house people experiencing homelessness.

Bob was a true friend to HAC. He had a very deep commitment for our cause and worked very hard for 20 years from very early in the morning until at least nightfall for the cause of affordable housing. Bob was always pushing hard towards accomplishing his latest goal whether it was to house a single person or build a 100-unit project. And he was always raising money. He could talk anyone out of money be it a bank or a potential individual donor. I know, he did it to me.

He had boundless energy and creativity and was the one person in the room who always had an idea about how to solve a problem.  Now he is gone and the Cape has lost a great resource and a great man.

Reflections on Bob Murray from HAC Staffers

Allison Alewine, HAC’s former Vice President of Operations, Family Housing Services Department: "Bob was an unstoppable force for affordable housing and his focus, thank goodness, was Cape Cod. He tried whatever he thought might work and, if it didn't, he tried something else. One could join him or not, but he keptgoing. Ecumenical Councils bought & rented houses or raised money (grocery gift cards a special brainchild of Bob's) so that families would be housed instead of sheltered. He'd say we are to pass it on, pay it forward. I will do
that in his model."

Dolores Barbati-Poore, HAC’s Project Prevention Director, Family Housing Services Department: Having known Bob since he started Project Prevention in 1990, to me he was and will always be the father of [homeless] prevention, in other words, preventing people from becoming homeless. I can remember him saying, “Just $200 a month can save a family from becoming homeless.” Bob never took “no” for an answer and he never stopped thinking of ideas to raise money for prevention.

Margaret Benaka, HAC’s  Information Manager, Resource Development Department: I only truly got to know Bob when HAC joined the Housing With Love Walk. In those few years I got to know a man who is committed, compassionate, stubborn, not afraid to question, approachable, and a tireless advocate for those in need. He didn’t seem to let anything get in the way of completing a project or reaching a goal. I had the utmost respect and admiration for Bob – he was a true leader and an inspiration. Perhaps the thing I will personally remember
most is Bob’s relationship with his wife Judy. There was an undeniable mutual respect, love and admiration.  Even though Bob committed his life to the community, he didn’t seem to let his relationship with Judy suffer. They were a great team.

Deanna Bussiere, HAC’s Events & Resource Development Coordinator, Resource Development Department: Bob Murray was such an inspiration. He did not hesitate to share what was on his mind and if he wanted something to get done, he made it happen. I will miss his Cheshire Cat grin, his caring blue eyes and his typical greeting, “Hey kiddo, what’s up?” To paraphrase an anonymous author: “Good things come to those who wait. Greater things come to those who are willing to work for it.” I wonder if that anonymous author had Bob in mind?

Tags: Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Housing with love walk, housing assistance corporation, Housing on Cape Cod

Housing With Love Walk: Miles & Smiles

Posted by Laura Reckford on Fri, Aug 09, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

housing with love3


More than 200 people, more than 30 cases of water, 104 miles and lots of sweat and smiles.

The 21st Annual Bob Murray Housing With Love Walk ended Sunday July 21 with a party at
Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub in Falmouth as walkers celebrated another year of fundraising and fellowship.

Bob Murray, 73, started the walk 21 years ago when he worked at Housing Assistance Corporation. His health prevented him from walking this year, but he was represented at the party by his wife Judy and his daughter Carol, as people gave updates and sent prayers and accolades. “Bob Murray is an inspiration to us all,” Deanna Bussiere, HAC’s Event Resource and Development Coordinator, said. “All the people he has helped over the years is amazing.”

The Housing With Love Walk course is designed to be tough, scheduled as it is on the hottest time of the year, said HAC’s Margaret Benaka, and this year did not disappoint. Margaret, who, with Deanna, drove the support van for the entire seven-day walk, said the biggest challenge this year was the heat. The temperature was in the 90s on six days of the seven day walk and may have made it up into the low 100s in the heat of the day, as walkers journeyed the mostly unshaded highways of the Cape.

In honor of Bob Murray, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank sent teams of people for every day of the walk beginning on the first day when Dorothy Savarese, bank president, and David Willard, director of community relations, started off in Provincetown.

The most miles the walkers traveled in one day was 19.6, on Wednesday, July 17, when the walkers traveled from Chatham to Yarmouth along Route 28.

Two women, Laurie Sexton of Harwich and Patricia Goggin of West Dennis and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey walked the entire walk. DJ Sullivan, 77, has walked the entire route in past years, set out to do the same this year, but had to stop on Thursday because of the heat and blisters.

The walk is a fundraiser for 12 Cape Cod housing agencies. One anonymous donor stopped by and gave $50 to one of the walkers. Housing Assistance Corporation raised more than $27,500 through the walk with money still coming in. The agency’s goal is $30,000.

Pastor Christian Holleck of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Harwich, in a sermon about the walk, said, “It wasn’t about the number of miles I did, but connecting with people, learning more about some of the efforts to work for affordable housing, being inspired by people who care.” He said what the walk is really all about is, “helping people get on their feet, helping them find stability, a home, work, health, dignity. . . .”

Tags: housing, Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Housing with love walk, housing assistance corporation, Housing on Cape Cod

HAC Shelters In Cataumet, North Falmouth Seek Volunteers

Posted by Laura Reckford on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 @ 12:29 PM

Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod will be holding a Volunteer Information Session on Wednesday, June 26 from 1:30 to 2:30 PM at Falmouth Public Library in the Trustees Room on the lower level.

The library is located at 300 Main Street in Falmouth center. Light refreshments will be served.

 The meeting is to inform Cape residents about volunteer opportunities connected with Housing Assistance Corporation, including opportunities at its family shelters in North Falmouth and Cataumet.

Volunteers assist residents of the shelter with child care and transportation.

Information will also be given at the session about the Housing With Love Walk, a Cape-wide walk and fundraiser, which travels through Falmouth on Sunday, July 21. Anyone can join the walk, which helps raise money to prevent homelessness on Cape Cod.

Another topic of the meeting is The Big Fix, a one-day session in September in which volunteers help repair the homes of seniors, veterans and disabled people. This year’s event takes place in Mashpee on Saturday, September 28.

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering for HAC is encouraged to attend this session.

RSVP to Mary Everett-Patriquin at 508-771-5400 ext. 279 or by email at volunteer@haconcapecod.org.

Tags: volunteers, Housing with love walk, Volunteer Cape Cod, housing assistance corporation, Village at Cataumet, volunteering, Affordable Housing Development on Cape Cod

21st Annual Housing With Love Walk July 2013

Posted by Laura Reckford on Mon, Jun 03, 2013 @ 04:16 PM

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The Housing With Love Walk has long been a premiere event, not just for its fundraising strength and symbolism but also as a fellowship event for people who care about the region’s homeless.

The 21st annual walk will begin on Monday, July 15 in Provincetown and end Sunday, July 21 in Falmouth.

The event raises awareness and money for Cape Cod housing agencies.


HAC’s big day will be Sunday, July 21. Walkers will meet on the Falmouth Village Green and walk the 3.5 miles to Woods Hole and may continue to Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub—a total of 6.5 miles. There will be vans to bring walkers back to their vehicles at any time during the walk.


Besides HAC, other agencies involved are Cape Cod Council of Churches Homeless Services Continuum, CHAMP Homes, Chatham Ecumenical Council for the Homeless, Community Development Partnership, Falmouth Homeless Prevention Program, Friends of Prisoners/Guindon House, Habitat for Humanity, Harwich Ecumenical Council for the Homeless, Homeless Not Hopeless Inc., Homeless Prevention Council, and the St. Vincent DePaul Society.


To participate in the walk or to donate, go to www.WalkForHac.org.



Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, Housing with love walk, housing assistance corporation

HAC Upcoming Events

Posted by Julie Wake on Sun, Apr 21, 2013 @ 07:00 AM
MAY 1: Volunteer Coffee Hour
10 a.m. in Falmouth (please call or check website for location).  This monthly event is a brief overview of what HAC does, who we serve and what volunteer opportunities are available. Feel free to show up or RSVP with Mary Everett-Patriquin at volunteer@HAConCapeCod.org or 508-771-5400, ext. 279 or online at www.HAConCapeCod.org

JULY 15-21: 21st Annual Housing With Love Walk
HAC and other Cape housing agencies join for a walk from Provincetown to Falmouth. For info, email Deanna Bussiere (dbussiere@HAConCapeCod.org) or Margaret Benaka (mbenaka@HAConCapeCod.org).

SEPT. 28: Mashpee Big Fix

Volunteers will perform small home repairs, cleaning and landscaping work at the homes of seniors, veterans and the disabled. Visit the “News & Events” section of HAC’s web site to sign up as a volunteer, or contact Mary Everett-Patriquin at
508-771-5400, ext. 279, or volunteer@HAConCapeCod.org.

DEC. 11: 10th annual NOAH Telethon
4-9 p.m. on cable-access channels 13 and 99 from Bourne to Provincetown. For more information, contact Sarah Tribuzio at 508-771-5400, ext. 271, or

Tags: Housing with love walk, NOAH Telethon, HAC Volunteer Coffee Hour, HAC Events, Big Fix

Mark Your Calendar for a Busy 2013 with HAC!

Posted by Julie Wake on Sat, Mar 16, 2013 @ 09:00 AM
Volunteer Coffee Hour
10 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month (next one April 3)
Come to HAC’s main office at 460 West Main Street, Hyannis, and learn more about what HAC does, who we serve, and what volunteer opportunities are available.

HAC’s 38th Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition

April 25 At the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis.

21st annual Housing With Love Walk
July 15-21
The walk, which begins in Provincetwon and ends in Falmouth,  benefits local non-profits, raising money and awareness for Cape Cod housing agencies. HAC supporters are invited to join the HAC walk team for the last segment of the walk, starting at 11 a.m. July 21 at the Falmouth Village Green. For info, email Deanna Bussiere (dbussiere@HAConCapeCod.org) or Margaret Benaka (mbenaka@HAConCapeCod.org).

Mashpee Big Fix
Sept. 29
The Big Fix is a community service event coordinated by HAC. Volunteers will perform small home repairs, cleaning and landscaping work at the homes of seniors, veterans and the disabled. In the past three years, the Big Fix has served 39 homes and engaged more than 400 community volunteers. Visit the “News & Events” section of HAC’s web site to sign up as a volunteer or contact Mary Everett-Patriquin at 508-771-5400, ext. 279.

10th annual NOAH Telethon
4-9 p.m. Dec. 1
Shown on cable-access channels 13 and 99 from Bourne to Provincetown. For more information, contact Sarah Tribuzio at 508-771-5400, ext. 271, or stribuzio@HAConCapeCod.org.

For more information, visit www.HAConCapeCod.org and click on “News & Events.”

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, volunteers, Housing with love walk, Volunteer Cape Cod, NOAH Telethon, Volunteer coffee hour, housing assistance corporation, volunteering, Big Fix

Walkers Cross Cape to Help HAC

Posted by Julie Wake on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 @ 02:10 PM

Housing with Love Walk 2012

A seven-day walk across Cape Cod came to a big finish in Falmouth, where HAC staffers and supporters joined a group that spent a week walking for those in need of housing.

HAC was one of 12 Cape Cod housing agencies that benefited from the walk. For its 20th anniversary, the event was renamed the Bob Murray Housing With Love Walk, in honor of the man who started the walk. For many years, Murray walked every step of the route. Because of foot problems, Murray served a support role this year, but his commitment is as resolute as ever.

“It’s a critical component to a family – to all of us – to have a place to live in and afford,” Murray said. “If you help one or two people, you’ve made a difference, and who knows what the ripple effect will be?”

Before the walk started in Provincetown on July 9, Father John Rice, one of seven people to walk the entire route, wrote to friends and asked for their support.

“Once again (for the seventh year) I will be walking the Cape to raise awareness for the homeless on our beautiful sandbar,” he wrote.

“Yesterday, standing in the offices of Housing Assistance Corporation, I listened to a young, unemployed man, who was desperate to move his family out of their automobile and into safe and secure quarters. He could have been me 50 years ago, but for the concern and care others sent my way back then.

“So these 71-year-old legs and feet try to move forward that same spirit of support and assistance. I’ll walk for the fixed-income seniors, the sick and lonely, the young unemployed, the invisible needy – and I’ll walk for you, those who also know and care in these times.”  

Another seven-day walker, Laurie Sexton, used a vacation week to participate in the walk. “The friendships are something we’ll all remember,” she said.

There’s still time to contribute to HAC’s Housing With Love Walk effort. Visit www.WalkforHAC.org to donate online. For more information, contact Deanna Bussiere at 508-771-5400, ext. 270, or dbussiere@HAConCapeCod.org.

Donate to the Walk

Tags: Housing with love walk, Volunteer Cape Cod, housing assistance corporation

Annual Bob Murray Housing w/ Love Walk Kick off

Posted by Lisa Guyon on Mon, Jul 09, 2012 @ 03:12 PM

Bob Murray

Our staff had the good fortune of attending the kick-off service and the first leg of the 20th Annual Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk this morning in Provincetown. So many things discussed this morning inspired gratitude and a sense of commitment to what the Walk is all about. It was about the difference between shelter and a home, it was about being grateful that we do work that helps people in need, and it was about the beauty of the place we live on one hand and the challenges of living here. The most inspiring part of all was Bob Murray’s commitment. After 19 years of walking from Provincetown to Falmouth to raise awareness and funds for housing needs across Cape Cod, Bob made the ‘Walk’ today in a wheelchair. He truly does walk the walk….   


It's not too late to get involved.  The walk runs from July 9-15!

I Want to Walk!

Tags: volunteers, Housing with love walk, Volunteer Cape Cod