Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Donor Spotlight: Paul Hebert

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 26, 2018 @ 03:48 PM
Paul Hebert-1.jpgMatt Pitta (left), co-host of last month's Shelter Cape Cod Telethon, interviews longtime HAC supporter Paul Hebert about the region's housing issues. 

When Paul and Carolyn Hebert arrived on Cape Cod in 1981 with their three daughters Aimee, Mary and Meg, finding a home was difficult. “We had to rent for two years because we couldn’t find housing we could afford,” he said. 

Fast forward 36 years later and Paul admitted the situation is even worse. “It was unreasonably high to buy a house back then, but now for people earning basic wages it is nearly impossible and getting more difficult every day,” he said.

It is for this reason that the Heberts have given to HAC for 20 years, highlighted by their most recent $1,000 donation to the agency at its 14th Annual Shelter Cape Cod Telethon last month. Paul made the donation on-air on behalf of the couple’s company, Charitable Redemption Partnership in Yarmouth, which utilizes proceeds from redeemable cans and bottles to support local charities on the Cape such as HAC.

“As a town councilor in Barnstable, I look to Housing Assistance Corporation as the best prepared to care for the least among us who need housing,” Paul said of his longtime support of the agency.

Paul’s history with HAC goes back to the mid-1980s when he convinced former CEO and founder Rick Presbrey to open the NOAH Shelter in Hyannis to provide emergency shelter for homeless individuals.

In 1991, the Heberts took their activism a step further when they started CHAMP Homes to care for homeless adolescents. “We realized there was more to be done and came to understand that there was this next group that was not being served,” Paul explained. “It was the young people, around 18 years of age, who were sleeping in various places in the community whether it was teaming up six to an apartment or couch surfing or sleeping in cars or the woods just to survive.”

The Heberts spent the next 24 years at CHAMP Homes and were recognized for their efforts with the Presbrey Public Service Award in 2006 at HAC’s Annual Meeting.

Though Paul and his wife stepped down from CHAMP Homes in 2015, he remains as passionate about housing issues as he did when he was first introduced to HAC three decades ago. And he views HAC as a pivotal player in addressing those issues on Cape Cod. “I believe Housing Assistance Corporation is a standard bearer,” Paul said. “They hold the flag to deal with this battle so we have to keep supporting them.”

Why I Give: Paul Hebert

As a Barnstable Town Councilor, Paul Hebert paints a grim picture of the housing reality on Cape Cod. “Living on Cape Cod is not a realistic dream for most people,” he said. 

This is why he believes housing development – building more affordable rentals and homes for the Cape’s workforce – is the region’s primary need. “We know Barnstable is short 1,200 rental units,” he said.

Hebert supports HAC because he understands it is best suited to address this need. “We have to build so many rentals and we are so far behind. I don’t know of any other organization that can do a better job and has the capacity to help than Housing Assistance Corporation,” he said.

With the completion of Sachem’s Path on Nantucket, HAC has developed more than 500 units of affordable housing since its inception. It is in the midst of constructing 44 apartments in Bourne and is in the planning stages of building eight affordable and workforce apartments in Hyannis.

Through the Cape Community Housing Partnership, a joint initiative between HAC and Community Development Partnership in Eastham, it is also providing community leaders and residents with the tools to boost affordable housing that is sorely needed in the region.

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Tags: Paul Hebert, Shelter Cape Cod Telethon, CHAMP Homes, Rick Presbrey, Charitable Redemption Partnership, homelessness, Affordable Housing on Cape Cod, Housing on Cape Cod

Taste and See Celebrates 13th Year

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Oct 01, 2014 @ 11:44 AM

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“This is absolutely critical to us,” said Paul Hebert, executive director of CHAMP Homes, said when asked about the importance of Friday’s Taste and See event at Oyster Harbors Club.

The dinner, now in its 13th year, allows attendees the chance to sample an eclectic offering of food from around Cape Cod as 24 local restaurants provide samples of their tastiest dishes.

The highlight of the night, HAC CEO Rick Presbrey said, is the Give a Bed, Create a Dream auction in which attendees purchase the cost of sheltering a homeless person for a night. “It always feels good to see that people would pay for a stranger to spend a night at a homeless shelter,” he said.

Beyond that, he said, the evening is an enjoyable one. “The food is especially good, there are always a lot of people and the venue is beautiful,” he said. “It is always nice to see the community coming together to help people less fortunate than themselves.”

The event was started by Father Mark R. Hession, the former pastor at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville who has since moved on to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Seekonk.

Funds raised go to benefit HAC’s NOAH Shelter, CHAMP Homes in Hyannis, and the Pilot House in Hyannis. Last year’s Give a Bed auction raised roughly $50,000 for these three organizations’ shelter efforts. “Clearly, there is a homeless crisis on the Cape,” Father Hession said. “You don’t really think about it being a problem on the Cape, but there is that invisible community and they are real people who are looking for a way to move on and out of shelter care and have their dignity restored.”

While this year’s Taste and See is sold out people can still support the event by making a Give a Bed donation that will ensure the Cape's homeless have a safe place to stay at night by clicking this link.  

Tags: HAC, Taste and See, Mark Hession, Rick Presbrey, NOAH Shelter, Paul Hebert