Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Annual Meeting Celebrates Those Making a Difference

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, May 16, 2016 @ 12:47 PM
Annual_Meeting_16-Web6.jpg2016 Volunteer of the Year Ron Winner (second from left) with Tony (from left) and Lorraine Shepley and Ron's wife Wendy Winner.

Nearly five years ago Diane Barry came to Cape Cod at one of the lowest points in her life. She was homeless and struggling with substance abuse.

Her destination was HAC’s Angel House shelter in Hyannis. “I was looking for a new start,” Barry told nearly 300 attendees at HAC’s 42nd Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition last month. “At Angel House I got the support that I needed and I was loved when I couldn’t love myself.”

Today, Barry is happily married, with three children, including a daughter she was able to reconnect with thanks to the support of Angel House. She will be five years sober in November. And she lives in a HAC-owned apartment in Hyannis, calling herself “blessed to be able to stay here on Cape Cod.”

Last year, HAC helped hundreds of people not unlike Barry, making a difference in their lives when they needed it most. At its Annual Meeting, HAC took time to honor those assisting the agency in that effort.

“We help everybody,” CEO Rick Presbrey said in speaking about the importance of HAC’s work. “We spend time with them. We care about them. We try to show them they are important to us and they are important to themselves and they have lots of potential and there are solutions to their problems.”

To that end, 784 volunteers donated 17,835 hours assisting staff in showing clients that they matter. One of those volunteers, Ron Winner, has done so by preparing meals at HAC’s NOAH Shelter and for mothers and their children at Angel House.

HAC recognized Winner with the Volunteer of the Year Award. “Ron shows other people he cares and that gives them hope,” HAC’s Deanna Bussiere said in presenting the award. “Sometimes hope is just what people need to try to change their lives.”

A Challenge to Others

This year’s Business Partner Award was given to Bill and Linda Zammer, owners of Cape Cod Restaurants, who have been longtime supporters of HAC. Mr. Zammer challenged other businesses to step up and help those in need. “That is what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s about us doing it.”

In presenting John and Kathy Ohman, co-founders of FORWARD (Friends Or Relatives With Autism And Related Disabilities) with the 2016 Human Services Partner Award, HAC’s Housing Development Project Manager Kate Ferreira said, “What I admire most about Kathy and John, among other things, is their commitment to their community and their perseverance in seeing things through.” HAC is working with FORWARD to build housing for adults with autism or related disabilities in Dennis. Two of the Ohmans three children are on the autism spectrum.

Annual_Meeting_16-Web11.jpgJohn  (left) and Kathy Ohman (second from right) with HAC CEO Rick Presbrey and HAC Housing Development Project Manager Kate Ferreira. The Ohmans were the recipients of the 2016 Human Services Award.

The Transitional Living Center Committee was the recipient of the Make a Difference Award. The committee is working to find a new site for the living center that will eventually replace HAC’s NOAH Shelter. Its members include Chair Elizabeth Wurfbain, executive director of the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District (BID); Deborah Krau, vice president of the Greater Hyannis Civic Association; Barnstable Police Chief Paul MacDonald; Heidi Nelson, CEO of Duffy Health Center; Paula Schnepp, the regional network coordinator for the Cape & Islands Regional Network to Address Homelessness; Abbott “Sid” Davidson of the Lyndon Paul Lorusso Charitable Foundation; and HAC’s Rick Presbrey.

“We all wanted to recognize this group for the work they’ve done so far and say, you know, let’s keep this going,” Presbrey said. “Let’s keep plowing along and get it done and let’s get something we’re all happy with.”

The meeting ended with HAC paying tribute to former employee and volunteer Mitzi Holmes who passed away at the end of last year. Mitzi’s sister-in-law Margaret and sister Johanna were in attendance with the latter proudly saying, “my sister talked nonstop about HAC and her passion for your work.”

Click this link to see more photos of this year's Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition. 

Tags: HAC Annual Meeting, Annual Meeting, NOAH Shelter, Housing on Cape Cod, The Transitional Living Center, Transitional Living Center of Cape Cod Committee

HAC Works to Find New Location for Shelter

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 @ 01:27 PM
Noah_Shelter-8538.jpgAs community leaders work to find a new location for a new shelter, HAC's NOAH Shelter remains committed to serving those most in need on Cape Cod and the Islands.

HAC continues to move forward with efforts to identify potential sites away from downtown Hyannis that could be used for a new homeless shelter that will eventually replace NOAH on Winter Street.

“I’m all for it because of two things,” HAC CEO Rick Presbrey told the agency at its all-staff meeting last month. “Our present facility is completely inadequate and two, we’re too visible.”

Presbrey is part of a small group of local leaders who sit on The Transitional Living Center of Cape Cod Committee that is working collaboratively to find a new location for a homeless shelter. Members of the committee include Barnstable Police Chief Paul MacDonald; Heidi Nelson, CEO of Duffy Health Center; Abbott “Sid” Davidson of the Lyndon Paul Lorusso Charitable Foundation; Deborah Krau, vice president of the Greater Hyannis Civic Association; Paula Schnepp, the regional network coordinator for the Cape & Islands Regional Network to Address Homelessness; and Elizabeth Wurfbain, executive director of the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District (BID).

“Moving into a less visible location is a good thing for us, a good thing for the clients and a good thing for the town,” Presbrey said, explaining that the move is being precipitated as a way to bolster the businesses in Hyannis. 

He said HAC has a preferred site, but “I don’t know if everyone will agree with it. Will town counsel and will the town manager agree with it? And can we obtain it? Any site is going to be controversial.”

Despite those difficulties, he stressed that it is imperative that this gets done. Presbrey estimated that it will take at least three to four years to site, permit, construct or renovate a current structure to replace NOAH, which has been at its current location for more than three decades. “For 30 years, we have provided sanctuary, showers, beds and meals for the neediest of our population and done it successfully,” Presbrey said.

Today, Presbrey said NOAH “has never been better or healthier than it is now… There are lots of good and great things happening there.”

Help End Homelessness

 

Tags: homelessness, NOAH Shelter, Transitional Living Center of Cape Cod Committee