Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Looking Back at the Housing with Love Walk

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 @ 11:23 AM
HWLW_Harwich_2.jpgRichard Waystack (from left), DJ Sullivan and Rev. John Rice make their way down the Cape Cod Rail Trail during last month's 24th Annual Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk.

Walking 100 miles in seven days in the midst of the summer is difficult for most anyone. But sometimes that difficulty can be placed into perspective when considering life’s other challenges. “It’s easy knowing you have a place to go home to every night,” said Harwich’s Bernadette Waystack. “Not everyone has that luxury.”

Waystack made the statement on the third leg of a seven-day journey that saw her and dozens of other volunteers walk from Provincetown to Falmouth during the second full week of July as part of the 24th Annual Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk.

Started in 1993 by the late Bob Murray, the walk has continued on since his death three years ago. The walk is held, in part, to honor his memory by those like Bernadette’s husband, Richard, who considered Murray a mentor. “We are continuing his spirit and passion to make a difference on Cape Cod,” Richard told more than three dozen participants and supporters of the walk as they ate lunch inside the First Congregational Church in Harwich.

The Waystacks were one of several walkers committed to walking each of the seven days. The couple did so for the second straight year in support of HAC’s housing programs on Cape Cod and the islands.

As much as the walk helps raise funds for several nonprofits like HAC working to solve the region’s housing issues, it also helps raise awareness to those challenges. This year, Jane Goodman of Chatham, joined the Waystacks in traversing the entire Cape over the course of one week.

Last year, she walked the Chatham to South Yarmouth leg with her husband Steven. After moving here full-time from Burlington, Vermont, she opted to extend her commitment to the walk even further. “Here, I am seeing this place has more and more extremes: the haves and the have nots,” she said. “Many of the people who work here can’t afford to live here. I feel very fortunate to live here and I’d like to help other people, who really make the whole Cape operate, be able to live here.”

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Tags: Housing with love walk, Richard Waystack, Bernadette Waystack, Bob Murray, Jane Goodman, John Rice

Walking to Help Others

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 11:37 AM

John_Rice_Edited-resized-600.jpg
The list of Rev. John Rice’s ailments hardly make him a candidate to walk from one end of the Cape to the other. The 75-year-old South Yarmouth resident has a torn ligament in his right foot, an injury to his upper Achilles tendon in his left calf and neuropathy in both feet.

None of this is enough to stop Rev. Rice from walking parts of each day of the 24th Annual Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk which will be held in the middle of July. “I’ll be out there plugging away,” he promised. “There are people out there in worse shape than I am.”

For that reason, Rev. Rice will walk for seven days during the hottest part of the year. He will do so as one of several celebrity walkers for HAC.

This will be the 12th year he has participated in the event which raises both awareness and funds for the region’s housing issues. He started walking at the urging of DJ Sullivan of South Yarmouth, who will be participating in his last walk this summer at the age of 80.

In Memory of His Mother

A retired Episcopalian priest, Rev. Rice has a personal connection to the types of services HAC provides. His mother was the recipient of a Section 8 voucher, allowing her to remain housed and live comfortably during the final years of her life. “My mother is really at the heart of my walk every year,” he said. “I am grateful to agencies, the government and volunteers that provide services like HAC does because I know up close and personal what a difference that makes in a person’s life.”

And so 12 years after he took his first steps from Provincetown and made his way to Falmouth seven days later, he continues to walk.

Despite the physical pain – two years ago he participated shortly after receiving his final radiation treatment for prostate cancer – he remains committed to helping those in need. “Surprisingly, we have a lot of economic problems here with younger families working two, three jobs just to put food on the table and keep their lights on,” he said.

HAC, he said, represents a vital safety net for those people. “What agencies like HAC do is they stop the fall and give a person the chance to rally their own resources to begin to float back to the top,” he said. “That is what it is all about.”

MEET HAC'S 2016 CELEBRITY WALKERS

The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Rev. John Rice

Bernadette & Richard Waystack

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Tags: housing, Housing with love walk, Bob Murray, HAC Celebrity Walkers, John Rice