Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

HAC Says Farewell to NOAH Shelter

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Nov 04, 2016 @ 10:21 AM
noah staff.jpgNOAH staff who attended the final gathering at the shelter on October 31 included Darrell Thomas (rear, from left), Lucy Collins, Marvin Domino, Jan Rogers, shelter director Greg Bar, Carolann Gillard (front, from left), Lucy Sears and Julie Munson.

With a small gathering that included live music, speeches and some tears, HAC said farewell to its NOAH Shelter on the final day of October. On November 1, management of the shelter shifted to Catholic Social Services, ending HAC’s 32-year operation of NOAH.

The shelter first opened in the winter of 1984 in the old Hyannis Armory before moving to its current location on Winter Street the next year. Since that time, the shelter provided homeless men and women with a warm meal, shower and bed for 365 days a year.

In the beginning of October, HAC’s board voted to hand over the operations of NOAH to Catholic Social Services which runs three other shelters in Southeastern Massachusetts.

HAC will continue to operate 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, all of which assist homeless families in the region. HAC also will continue its homeless outreach program which works with men and women living in the streets and in the woods of Cape Cod, connecting them to the services they need in order to transition to permanent housing.

NOAH-2.jpgLucy Collins was one of a handful of NOAH staff recognized for their longtime service to the shelter. Collins had worked at the shelter since July 1989. She will continue to work at the shelter, renamed St. Joseph's House, for Catholic Social Services. "I get to continue to do work that I love," she said. 

Four days prior to the transfer of operations, HAC CEO Rick Presbrey met with Catholic Social Services CEO Arlene McNamee to sign the lease of the NOAH Shelter building. During the meeting, Presbrey said that McNamee repeatedly told him that NOAH staff, “are the most committed people. They really care about their clients.”

Presbrey said NOAH has always been a place where those in need felt welcomed. “You work with them from the point of view about caring about them and realizing that they are in a tough spot,” he said. “That’s real important… You can’t really like this work unless you care about the outcomes and the people we’re helping.”

Tags: homelessness, NOAH Shelter, NOAH, Greg Bar, Catholic Social Services

Winter's Impact on Cape Cod's Homeless

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 @ 10:17 AM

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The first snowstorm of 2015 was a significant one, dropping over two feet of snow on most parts of Cape Cod and shutting down schools, businesses, government and commerce for nearly two days.

While most people spent their time in the comfort of their own homes, the Cape’s homeless men and women did so wherever they could find safety. For 60 people that meant HAC’s NOAH Shelter which had a line of people waiting to get in the facility when it opened at noon on the Monday the first snowflakes started to fall. “We don’t see that usually,” shelter director Greg Bar said. “That just goes to show you whether you are rich or poor, storms get you panicky.”

In preparation for the blizzard, Bar stocked up on essentials – flashlights, first aid kits and food in the event dinners from donors did not make their way to the shelter. Blankets were stockpiled to make them accessible if the power went out. “We looked ahead to make sure we were one hundred percent self-sufficient,” he said.

With the shelter at capacity, he anticipated a small contingent would have to sleep in the foyer.

Anytime these types of extreme weather events hit the region, Bar said, it can create a mixture of tension and boredom in the shelter as cabin fever starts to set in. It is why Bar welcomed any sort of entertainment – a guest leading a group activity or discussion or a musician entertaining clients – in the future when a similar-sized storm starts to subside.

In what has been a stroke of good fortune, Bar said that the Cape’s homeless have been relatively lucky as “there have been no tragedies because of the weather. I hope that continues.”

Of course, that could always change. In advance of the January storm, there were a few homeless who were planning on remaining outside despite pleas from advocates like Bar and Dan McCullough, director of TEAM M25, a homeless outreach group on the Cape.

McCullough, who often works with the homeless who sleep in camps in the woods, said most were finding temporary shelter elsewhere, whether being put up at a local motel, couch surfing with a friend or at NOAH.

He knew of a small group that had planned to stay in the basement of an abandoned building near the Hyannis Airport. “We have done the best we can,” he said, noting that those who did stay outside were given extreme weather gear, from tents to sleeping bags to blankets to clothes, and understood the risks involved.

With 20 years of experience working with the homeless on Cape Cod, McCullough said he realizes that there are those who “have the capacity, intelligence and imagination to stay outside in weather like this. And they almost always survive if they can put up with the discomfort.”

Still, the preference for those like McCullough and Bar is that these homeless people accept help in storms like this. “There are alternatives for people,” Bar stressed.

Tags: Homeless, snow, NOAH, Dan McCullough, Greg Bar, winter, M25

HAC Opens NOAH Day Center

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 @ 12:38 PM
 NOAH Day Center Photo resized 600NOAH Shelter Director Greg Bar talks with Rick Presbrey, CEO of HAC, and Michael Sweeney, HAC's vice president of administration and finance, at the opening of the day center. 

“The place is booming,” HAC CEO Rick Presbrey said to Michael Sweeney, HAC’s vice president of administration and finance, in the parking lot outside the NOAH Shelter the day before Memorial Day weekend was set to begin.

“I think it is stunning,” Sweeney added.

“It shows you people are interested,” Presbrey said.

That interest is in a new program – a day center for the homeless – HAC ushered in at the end of last month.

Expectations for the program were modest. Greg Bar, director for the NOAH Shelter, said prior to the opening that he would be pleased if anywhere from six to a dozen people showed up on any given day. On the first day those expectations were shattered when more than two dozen homeless men and women accessed the shelter.

Some used the shelter for rest, others for socialization and still others as a way to get off the streets, working with HAC’s employment specialist Carolann Gillard to find jobs and with HAC’s housing specialist Derick Bussiere to find permanent housing.

The day center is a pilot program and a collaboration of several municipal and local organizations – the town of Barnstable, the Barnstable Police Department, Duffy Health Center, the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District and HAC – to provide shelter to homeless individuals during the day.

Through Labor Day NOAH will be open an additional 37 hours per week with the possibility that will increase in the fall and winter. The program requires all guests to be dry, meaning no client can be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

While there are future plans to offer more learning and social opportunities – art and computer classes and financial assistance have all been mentioned as possibilities - Bar said he plans on “keeping it pretty simple right now,” stressing that he wants to focus on providing only the essentials initially: shelter, food and access to employment and housing services.

Tangible Benefits to Clients

He gave two specific examples of how the day program can help current clients, starting with Casey (his name has been changed) who does not drink or do drugs, but has medical issues for which he has to take prescription medicine. “When he takes his meds he falls asleep and when he does he falls asleep outside on a bench,” Bar said. “With the day center he can put his bags down and go to sleep here.”

Similarly, Sue (her name has been changed) has mental problems so severe she sits outside on benches, rocking back and forth while talking to herself. “Maybe she can come inside our dining room and have a safer place to do that,” Bar said. “This gives an option for people to come and be safe and they will be in a caring environment and will be more exposed to our housing and employment advocates.”

Ultimately, Bar said, he will judge the success of the program much differently than others, but if the first day was any indication HAC is taking a major step to serving an unmet need on Cape Cod.

Mitchell Rose, a 27-year-old Cape native who has found himself homeless, said NOAH has served as an invaluable resource as he takes small steps toward independence. “They all seem like they generally care for us and that helps keep you motivated to do what you need to do to get out of here,” he said.

He has aspirations to become an EMT or paramedic and views the day center as a safe and secure environment where he can study and do his homework, efforts that will one day translate into having a home to call his own. “I am sick of living like this because it is not easy living like this,” he said. “It can be a job in and of itself, being homeless.”

Presbrey said that those like Rose are indicative of how important the day shelter is. “It is a beautiful day out today,” he said, noting that these clients could have chosen to be elsewhere. “But they came because they like the safety and the acceptance of NOAH and they are willing to engage and seek out the help they need to get better.”

 

Donate to the Day Center

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, Homeless, NOAH Day Center, NOAH Shelter, NOAH

Dodgeball Tournament Raises Funds for NOAH

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Jun 05, 2014 @ 03:17 PM
Dodgeball Winning Team resized 600The team that won Pope John Paul II High School's annual dodgeball tournament this year: Coleman Fenton (from left, holding the ball), Michael Young, Graham Shopshire (holding the trophy), Blake Waters, Kevin Marsh and Matt Soucie with honor society advisor Joe Gaudet.

What was the best part of Pope John Paul II High School’s dodgeball tournament in March?

“Winning,” said 17-year-old high school junior Coleman Fenton.

Fenton’s upperclassmen-led team – dubbed Jobe Apostles – got off to a rocky start in the annual event, losing to a freshman squad in its initial game before running the table and going 6-1 to earn the right to be called dodgeball champions.

Though teammates listed red-headed senior Michael Young, 18, as its best player, he shrugged off such notions. “I’m a team player,” Young said. “We all contributed.”

Those contributions went far and above simply throwing red rubber balls at their opponents and dodging those that came their way. Over the past four years students at the high school have used the playground sport as a way to give back to the community.

Both last year and this year students have raised funds for the NOAH Shelter in Hyannis, giving back to those who need help the most – the homeless. This year they were able to raise $570 for NOAH, presenting a check to HAC last month.

The tournament is organized by the school’s National Honor Society. The group’s advisor Joe Gaudet said, “it actually gets exciting. Every year it gets better. We had 11 teams competing this year… It does get competitive and the kids really get into it. Some teams even dress up in costumes.”

This year those outfits ranged from tropical summer shirts to an all-black clad team that called themselves The Ninjas. The students’ creativity only shows that you can have fun supporting a cause that is no laughing matter. And in the end everyone is a winner.

Donate to the NOAH Shelter

Tags: Homeless, fundraiser, dodgeball tournament, NOAH, Pope John Paul II High School

Rick Presbrey's Editorial: Shall We Do It?

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, May 22, 2014 @ 09:33 AM

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“Just do your best” was a saying I heard a lot growing up. I have given my youngest son similar advice even as recently as last night on the phone: “Isn’t it always good to do your best? If you don’t try people won’t respect you. If you do try - even if you fail - people will respect you.”

As I sat as my computer contemplating a couple major undertakings that we, HAC, may commit to I thought of those words. “Maybe that’s my problem,” I thought. “All these years I have been trying to do my best and look where it has gotten me.  A stressed-to-the-limit senior citizen who is still trying to make more and more happen.”

“Wouldn’t a little coasting be okay?” I asked myself. “I enjoy being lazy. I really enjoy getting into bed at night. Why do I take on more and more projects?”  I feel a headache coming on.

 “Maybe if I had tried harder, worked harder, there wouldn’t be so much left to do.”

“Isn’t recreation (re-creation) supposed to take care of this problem?”

“I try to recreate as often as possible but I just don’t enjoy it as much anymore.” I take a deep breath. “Blow all the air out of your lungs a couple of times. Clear your mind,“ I thought.

And I continued to think:  “There are so many opportunities and so many problems to solve. Maybe I should just write them all down and make a decision. I could do that right here. But it wouldn’t work too well to make some of these ideas public before we’ve figured out if they are needed and how we might accomplish them.

“Sure. Some of the stuff is personal - like my son, a freshman in college, calling last night after a great year academically, saying he isn’t happy and doesn’t want to go back next year.

“I think he is just talking things over with us, but it is still a worry.”

The work worries involving HAC’s future continue even after 40 years.  So many people who don’t need much financial help ask us to help them now. “Shall we focus one of our priorities on them?”

We’ve been asked to do a (for us) monster development, way beyond what we have done before. “Should we do it?”

We have the opportunity to do a long-term combination commercial and residential development. “Should we do it?”
   
We have several potentially complicated, but possibly useful collaborations with other agencies. “Should we do it?”

We have talented managers who have taken on a lot this year. “Can they do it? Should we ask them to do more? Or shall we let some of the things they are trying to do go?”

One of our major initiatives starts Memorial Day weekend: we will try to turn NOAH into a day shelter, through the end of September, BUT we need to raise $20,000. “Can I raise the $20,000 and soon?”

The community is depending on us (me).

I am working with people in the community to open a new  NOAH facility which would be operated 24-7-365. It will take a couple of years. “Can we get it done?” It is going to cost a lot of money, but it will make a big difference.

Perhaps when I was young I thought the admonition to “do your best” also meant “make the world a better place.”  Looking back that is what I must have thought.

It sure makes saying, “No,” hard.

Tags: HAC, Rick Presbrey, NOAH Shelter, NOAH

Finding a Home on Cape Cod Thanks to the NOAH Shelter

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 @ 02:10 PM

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Sit down with Tracey Dalton for even a minute and you will encounter someone who is largely positive, and considers herself blessed. “I’ve never been happier in my entire life,” she says honestly.

But it was not always this way. Less than a decade ago Dalton was lost, emotionally, physically and spiritually. For a seven-year period Dalton bounced around Atlanta, Miami, Maine and Cape Cod, a woman without a home or a purpose.

Her bed was wherever she could lay her head. On some nights it was in her Ford pick up truck. On other nights it was in an abandoned warehouse in less than ideal neighborhoods. Then there were the nights when she would sleep on the back porches of homes owned by complete strangers.

Alcohol and drugs were common, partially the result of two major car accidents that left her with a brain injury.

Her plight became so bad that she was losing that which meant the most in her life – her children, twins Heather and Sara Read, 32, of Miami, and Jessica Read-Feeley, 31, of Yarmouth. “I really just had the clothes on my back,” she said.

From that abyss, Dalton was able to find herself. Hers is a story of redemption, one that happened here on Cape Cod, where she moved to be closer to her youngest child. Dalton credits a number of organizations that starts with Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) and includes Cape Cod Hospital and Duffy Health Center, among others, for providing a light at the end of what had been a dark tunnel.

None of this was easy. In fact, Dalton admits, the most difficult moment of her life was the day she walked into NOAH, HAC’s homeless shelter in Hyannis. It was the first time she had ever entered a homeless shelter during her seven years of homelessness.

“It was the most horrific and terrifying and traumatic decision I have ever had to make,” she said.

This type of reaction is one that Greg Bar sees frequently in his capacity as the shelter manager. “Nobody wants to be there,” he said.

Finding Comfort at NOAH

Despite that initial hesitation Dalton grew to find comfort at NOAH, through its staff and Bar’s guiding hand.

“It is a non-judgmental zone,” she said, emphasizing the importance of having this type of atmosphere in what can be a stigmatizing environment. “They were compassionate to people and loving, and it really made me feel better.”

And she returned that positivity to those she took shelter with at NOAH. “I’d walk in there and the first thing I’d say is, ‘It’s all about the love!’ and they would start laughing,” she said.

Dancing to music – Sister Sledge and the Pointer Sisters were favorites – and watching movies became ways for Dalton to bond with those at NOAH who all shared similar experiences of life on the streets. And it created a sense of home when she had long been without one.

“Tracey always had a brightness about her,” Bar said. “She was bright intellectually, but she also had a bright disposition and she was eager to improve her situation.”

And eventually she did, landing a rental apartment in Orleans through that town’s housing authority after spending several months at NOAH and navigating the mountain of paperwork that comes with subsidized housing.

“It looks like something out of the Bahamas,” Dalton says of her apartment which has given her not only security, but hope. This is her piece of paradise, here on Cape Cod.

Today she has turned her life around to the point she is helping others. She volunteers with the Eastham and Orleans councils on aging, the Wounded Warrior Project and she maintains her sobriety by attending regular AA sessions.

Most importantly, she has reconnected with her three daughters, and is the proud grandmother to four healthy and happy grandchildren.

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Dalton shared her story of success with HAC staff and supporters at its annual meeting earlier this month as proof that no matter what the circumstance “you can rebuild your life,” she said. “Now I have a new soul.”

She is just one example of many, Bar said, that homelessness is not permanent, noting that when he previously served as a housing search specialist in HAC’s Individual Services Department he would help find homes for at least 10 people a month who had been in similar situations to Dalton. “We hope that everybody comes to that point and we do what we can to get to that point. When somebody has lost hope you ask, ‘How do you help them find hope again?’” he said. “It is a question we are always trying to find the answer to.”

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, Homeless, HAC Annual Meeting, NOAH Shelter, NOAH, Greg Bar, Tracey Dalton

Making Connections at NOAH Shelter

Posted by Julie Wake on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 @ 07:30 PM
“A minimal amount of human contact can change a life,” said Greg Bar, manager of HAC’s NOAH Shelter, about a new volunteer project at NOAH Shelter. 
Bill Dado resized 600
One night Bill Dado had a dream he was working with the homeless in Hyannis.  “When I woke up I just had to go to the computer and Google shelters in Hyannis,” said Bill Dado.  Dado moved to the Cape two years ago and is a retired high school guidance counselor from Sturbridge, MA.   “The next thing I knew I was filling out an online application to volunteer for HAC, meeting with the volunteer coordinator and being quickly introduced to Greg Bar.”

Dado’s concept is to create a “pen pal” type relationship with NOAH clients and high school students.  Students would be connected to a client and would initiate a letter exchange as simple as, “I’m thinking of you and I care.”  Clients would receive a letter with just the student’s first name and vice versa. Letters would be managed through the school’s community service person.

In Dado’s previous career as a guidance counselor, he saw major benefits when “at risk” students were connected to a teacher on a one on one basis.  “I thought if we applied this to the homeless, even though the gesture is small, we might really make a personal impact on so many levels,” said Dado.

Sturgis West and Cape Cod Academy have signed on to be pilots for the program. 

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, Homeless, HACbeat, volunteers, Volunteer Cape Cod, Volunteer coffee hour, housing assistance corporation, NOAH Shelter, NOAH, volunteering

Shelter Cape Cod Telethon A Rousing Success

Posted by Laura Reckford on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 @ 01:45 AM

sheltercctelethon16 webThe excitement of a community coming together to help their own was in full evidence at the Shelter Cape Cod Telethon, which took place last month on December 11. It was a festive affair as people from throughout the Cape gathered at Cape Cod Community Media Center in Dennisport for the five-hour television show. It was aired on local cable access channels  throughout the Cape.

 

Housing Assistance Corporation set an ambitious fundraising goal for this year’s telethon of $100,000, which is in sight as more donations continue to come in. The telethon featured video and live performances, special guests and, new this year, students reading essays on the topic of homelessness.

 

This was a banner year for the event on several counts. For the past nine years, the telethon was called the NOAH Telethon and funds raised went only to the NOAH Shelter in Hyannis. But this year the event had a new name and a new mission. It was called the Shelter Cape Cod Telethon and instead of just benefiting the NOAH Shelter, it also benefited HAC’s three family shelters: the Village at Cataumet in Bourne, Angel House in Hyannis and Carriage House in North Falmouth.

 

Among the special guests at this year’s telethon was NOAH Shelter manager Greg Bar, who spoke eloquently to the telethon’s host, Mindy Todd, about what homelessness is like from the front lines. Before the telethon, he interviewed some of the clients from NOAH Shelter as well as staff about the issue of homelessness and read those comments on the air.

 

One of the NOAH clients said, "I’m grateful this place is here. I can’t say the word grateful enough." Another said, "I feel well-supported because I asked for help and I’ve been given it."  Mr. Bar said of the clients at NOAH, "It’s hardest to ask for help when you hurt the worst. That’s where these people are at. Just by virtue of walking into the place, they are asking for help. That’s a tough thing."

Besides Mr. Bar, other HAC staffers who went on air to talk about the plight of the homeless on Cape Cod were Cindi Maule, Director of HAC’s family services, Paula Mallard and Yvonne Rivers from the Village at Cataumet, and Amy Brigham from Angel House.

 

The list of musical performers who recorded videos for the event was extensive. Local DJ Suzanne Tonaire served as the mistress of ceremonies in introducing the musical performers, which included the choirs from St. Pius X School and North Falmouth Elementary School, as well as the Falmouth Chorale.

 

In addition, Rabbi Elias Lieberman of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation performed live the song, "I Am Home."

 

During the broadcast, a number of people offered their perspective on the problem of homelessness on Cape Cod. Among them were Dr. Nate Rudman, an emergency room doctor at Cape Cod Hospital and HAC board member, who talked about health issues experienced by the chronically homeless. Cyndy Jones, founder of Heroes in Transition, talked about her agency’s desire to help veterans with various needs.

 

Perhaps the highlight of the show was 12 fourth and fifth grade students from Nathaniel H. Wixon Innovative School in South Dennis who read essays on the topic of "What Homelessness Means To Me." At least two of the students had personal experiences with their own family being homeless.

 

The event was hosted by Mindy Todd, host of The Point on WCAI, with assistance from co-hosts Sean Corcoran, also of WCAI; Paul  Pronovost, editor of The Cape Cod Times; Matt Pitta of WXTK; and Rick Presbrey, President and CEO of Housing Assistance Corporation.

 

Several local politicians taped messages of support for the telethon and two politicians, State Representative Brian Mannal of Hyannis and County Commissioner Sheila Lyons of Wellfleet, made appearances in person to throw their support behind the cause of helping homeless Cape Codders.

Tags: NOAH Telethon, housing assistance corporation, NOAH Shelter, Village at Cataumet, Carriage House, Angel House, NOAH

Telethon Highlights Stories About Homelessness

Posted by Laura Reckford on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 06:30 PM

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Talking about the weeks and months she was homeless was so painful for one former Project Prevention client, she found it difficult to tell the story.

Her story will be just one of many that will be a part of the Shelter Cape Cod Telethon on Wednesday, December 11.

The telethon is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Housing Assistance Corporation. This year, the telethon is benefiting all four of HAC's shelters: NOAH Shelter, Angel House in Hyannis, Carriage House in North Falmouth, and the Village at Cataumet in Bourne.

Besides stories from shelter clients, there will be interviews with shelter staff and music from local school choirs throughout the Cape.

School choirs that have recorded performances for the telethon include Sandwich Soul Show Choir; North Falmouth Elementary School Choir; Cape Cod Academy Lower School Choir in Osterville; St. Pius X Elementary School Choir in South Yarmouth; Nauset Regional High School Honors Chorus; and Nauset Regional High School Treble Chorus.

Other musical groups and singers whose performances will air during the telethon are Falmouth Chorale, Falmouth, Sarah Swain, Katherine King, Molly Parmenter, Heather Cox, Allison Reed, David Kuehn, and Allen McGarry.

A video of Cape Cod Conservatory Ballet Ensemble will be shown.

And Rabbi Elias Lieberman of Falmouth Jewish Congregation will perform live.

The telethon is hosted by Minday Todd of WCAI with co-hosts Rick Presbrey, HAC President/CEO; Paul Pronovost, Cape Cod Times editor-in-chief; Matt Pitta of WXTK; and Sean Corcoran of WCAI.

The show airs live on December 11 from 4 to 9 p.m. on the Cape's local cable access channels and is also streamed live on the web at www.CapeMedia .org. Tune in and give to help homeless families on Cape Cod get back on their feet.

To donate to the telethon, go to sheltercapecodtelethon.org.

Tags: Homeless on Cape Cod, Homeless, NOAH Telethon, housing assistance corporation, NOAH Shelter, Village at Cataumet, Carriage House, Angel House, NOAH

NAACP Honors HAC’s Greg Bar For Commitment ‘Above & Beyond'

Posted by Laura Reckford on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 @ 03:00 PM

HAC's Greg Bar with his award from the NAACP

Each year the NAACP Cape Cod branch gives awards to people who step out beyond their roles, who go “above and beyond” to help people in the community, as NAACP Cape Cod branch vice president John Reed said. At this year’s award ceremony, which took place May 19 at Hyannis Heritage Hotel, HAC’s own Greg Bar was honored.

Greg Bar’s title at HAC is Housing Search Specialist in the Individuals Services Department. He has a desk at NOAH and an office in HAC’s West Main Street headquarters.

His job puts him on the front lines of the Cape’s often hidden world of homeless men and women who bed down for the night in wooded areas or in shelters.

“He is the unsung hero,” Mr. Reed  said.

Mr. Reed said the key to Greg’s success is that the people he serves trust him. “He’s a person they can go to for help,” he said.

Greg's wife Karin Bar, also a HAC employee, kept the NAACP honor a surprise, so he did not know he would receive the award until a few minutes before the ceremony when the pair drove up to the hotel.

“I was stunned and honored,” Greg said. The award acknowledged Greg’s work at HAC with the NOAH shelter and also at New Road, the church he founded in 2005. The church is on Route 28 (Falmouth Road) at Phinney’s Lane in Hyannis. Greg said some call the non-denominational church, the “un-church,” because of its outward focus on service to the community.

Greg said the timing of the award had significance for him. The previous Monday before the award ceremony, he had been a little bit dejected—“I felt a little ‘dip,’” is how he put it. The award got rid of the “dip.”

“I don’t do what I do to get any kind of anything, but to be recognized for this, it reaffirmed we’re spot-on with what we’re doing as a church,” he said.

 “The honor went pretty deep in my heart,” he said.

Greg has been a pastor since 1983. He started at a church in Greenwich, Connecticut and later ran a church on Martha’s Vineyard, the Vineyard Assembly of God.

He has worked at HAC since 2006, starting out as a volunteer at the NOAH shelter. He works both in the HAC headquarters at West Main Street and at the NOAH shelter on Winter Street.

Through his job at HAC, Greg helps people navigate through rough times, connecting them with other services. He counsels them, “gives them hope and makes them feel cared for.”

He said he tells them, “I will stick with you until this gets solved. I’m not going to give up on you.” It is that caring attitude that the NAACP chose to honor.

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