A newsletter from Housing Assistance Corporation
Volume 25, Issue 1
HACbeat January 2016
Telethon co-host Matt Pitta (left) interviews Cape Cod Academy teacher Larry Brown (right) and his students about a project in which they interviewed homeless clients at the NOAH shelter.
Community Leaders Gather At Shelter Cape Cod Telethon Annual Event Hits Fundraising Record
The twelfth time was a charm for the Shelter Cape Cod Telethon, bringing in a record $100,000 in donations and pledges that will go to support HAC’s shelter programs.
While the total raised was significant, HAC CEO Rick Presbrey noted at the end of the four-hour long telethon, “It’s not about the money. It’s what we can do to improve the services for the families and individuals who are homeless.” Cape Cod Broadcasting’s Matt Pitta who hosted the last two hours of the telethon – WCAI’s Mindy Todd hosted the first two – called the event “a very important night, one of the most important each year for Housing Assistance Corporation as we get together with the community, from one end of Cape Cod to the other, Provincetown to Bourne, and all spots in between.” Though the focus of the telethon is fundraising, it also places a spotlight on the Inside HACbeat homelessness and housing issues facing the p. 2...Starting Life Anew region, mixed in p. 3...Editorial by Rick Presbrey
Telethon co-host Mindy Todd interviews Billy Bishop, who was homeless for 10 years in Hyannis before founding the nonprofit, Homeless Not Hopeless.
(Continued page 4)
p. 5...”New Purpose” p. 6...Realtors Giving Back
Page 2 HACbeat January 2016
NOAH Client Starts Life Anew After Five Years of Homelessness On the first day of December, Peter Tubbs received an early Christmas present – the keys to a new apartment in Hyannis. It represented a major stepping stone for the Cape native who had been homeless for the past five years. He finally had a home of his own. “I’ve kind of been bouncing around. You know displaced, homeless,” he said sitting on a bed inside the second floor of HAC’s NOAH Shelter. The shelter was one of several places he lived as he struggled with substance abuse and the uncertainty of not having a permanent place to call home. “I would stay at friends’ houses. I stayed at my family’s for a few days. I stayed at hotels,” Tubbs said. “Try doing that for a month and you find out you can’t do it because your money runs out and that makes it impossible to get into a place because you’re spending your money on a hotel. But you don’t want to be out on the street.” The 45-year-old Tubbs first came to NOAH roughly three years ago, describing it as “a scary moment because I had never been in that situation before.” He stayed for a few months before leaving, eventually returning a second time this year. Because of his problems with addiction, he said the shelter’s new policy of only allowing sober clients to spend a night at the shelter has “made me feel much safer.” Additionally, he was buoyed by the resources – employment, housing and access to other supportive services – at NOAH. “I feel like they saved my life, really, because I don’t know where I’d be,” Tubbs said. “That’s the truth.”
Peter Tubbs (left) meets with Derick Bussiere, housing search specialist at the NOAH Shelter.
He termed the NOAH Shelter a “stepping stone” to where he moved into on the first day of December, a single room occupancy home, with seven other men, that has a common area and a shared kitchen and bathroom. He has his own bedroom and is one step closer to where he wants to be. His future goals are relatively simple and modest. He wants to utilize his college degree in marine affairs and fisheries. “And certainly, I want to continue on the path I’m at in terms of recovery and making sure I don’t end up in a situation where I’m homeless again,” he said. He credited the NOAH Shelter for giving him another chance. “It feels like I have an opportunity to live again. To have a new life,” he said, just a few hours after he was given the keys to his apartment. “I’m more grateful than I’ve been in a very, very, very long time.” Following his interview for this story, Tubbs shook hands with the shelter’s housing search specialist Derick Bussiere. “Good luck, man,” Bussiere said, before Tubbs walked out of the facility and towards a new life. “You can see in his demeanor how he’s changed,” Bussiere said. “This is why we do it. You count your victories… It is a good thing. And then it is on to the next person.”
Peter Tubbs, who has been homeless for five years, takes part in a video about the NOAH Shelter filmed by Mashpee’s John Gamache.
This past year through the beginning of December, Bussiere said the NOAH Shelter had housed over 130 people like Tubbs, each given a chance to move on with their lives and escape the dangers of homelessness. These are the victories.
Editorial A Cheer for CHAMP Homes it is a moral imperative that Now under the able leadership of Beth Wade, CHAMP Homes in Hyannis wants to create 23 (two people to a room) they do all they can to provide housing for as many people as more housing units for formerly homeless individuals across possible. the street from its main building. The town has not met its state required 10% affordable housing. There is a dramatic What CHAMP doesn’t do is shortage of rental units on the Cape making competition for bring people with lots of money to Hyannis. That is not their every decent and reasonably priced unit fierce. The town, job. But they are making a positive contribution to Hyannis. particularly those residents and businesses in And, from the point of view of a person or near Hyannis, is clamoring for something In fact, I think it is a who has lived here for 41 years, Hyannis to be done about the presence of homeless individuals. moral imperative that is thriving. Does anyone remember when the Mall was built and people worried that Hyannis would be a ghost town? Well, our CHAMP Homes, if you don’t know them, they do all they can award-winning city/village of Hyannis is has been around for many years and has been to provide housing thriving. Great restaurants, great stores, singularly successful in providing housing and great public transportation services, great services for those individuals most in need. for as many people as health care, a diverse population, a firstPaul and Carolyn Hebert, the now-retired class recreation center, fantastic educational founders, dedicated their lives to caring deeply possible. choices, and lots of exciting plans for the for others and creating a fabulous program. I future. might call it miraculous. Recently, as part of the development process, CHAMP personnel went to town CHAMP Homes unquestionably does God’s work. We should hall to discuss their plan and, as often happens, some people all realize how lucky we are to have CHAMP homes in our are vocally opposing the plan. community. Think of all the things we need to be concerned about. Stopping the CHAMP Homes expansion is not one of It isn’t as if CHAMP Homes and their tenants have created them. problems. They haven’t. It isn’t as if CHAMP isn’t filling a need. They are. It isn’t as if the town doesn’t need more In case you are wondering, HAC has nothing to do with affordable units. We do. It isn’t as if CHAMP is making a lot CHAMP Homes. Nobody at HAC is on the Board, we don’t of money. They aren’t. It isn’t as if they are sneaking around. have any contracts or agreements with CHAMP. We are just They aren’t. It isn’t as if CHAMP is seeking favors or hoping admirers of what they have accomplished. And, we are in a to skirt the law. They aren’t. CHAMP is doing what their position to know. mission says they should do and doing it well. In fact, I think
Volunteers Bring Holiday Dinner and Santa to Angel House Clients at Angel House enjoyed a holiday day meal with all the fixings and a visit from St. Nick thanks to the generosity of Ron Winner from Shepley Wood Products, John and Kathy Weisblatt of Harwich, Jack Delaney of West Barnstable, Marianne Sullivan from Sullivan & Sullivan Auctioneers and Ms. Sullivan’s father, Fred Sullivan. Deanna Bussiere from HAC also helped to prepare the meal for the families.
Page 4 HACbeat January 2016
(Continued from page 1: Telethon)
with lighter fare that included musical performances from elementary school students at the St. Pius X Catholic School, Sarah Swain of Harwich and a live, acoustic rendition of “Away in a Manger” by NOAH Shelter director Greg Bar. There were five eighth graders from Cape Cod Academy who spoke about their portrait project in which they interviewed people at HAC’s NOAH Shelter as well as at CHAMP Homes and Homeless Not Hopeless, helping put a face to Cape Cod’s homeless. “What I learned is that these are real people with real stories they want to share with the community,” said eighth grader Maeve Lonergan about the project. On-air guests included Paula Mallard, the facility director at The Village at Cataumet; Jay Coburn, executive director of the Community Development Partnership in Eastham; and Paula Schnepp, the coordinator for the Regional Network on Homelessness. All spoke about the housing challenges facing Cape Cod, starting with Rick Presbrey who pointed out in the first minutes of the telethon that “there’s a big gap between what people earn on Cape Cod and what housing costs.”
For individuals, he said, the housing challenges can be even more cumbersome when someone becomes homeless. Homelessness is an issue that affects those of all ages. Gina Hurley, director of student services for Barnstable Public Schools, said there are 140 students in her district that are homeless. “How does it affect their learning?” she asked. Anne Van Vleck, executive director of CCYP, spoke about the importance of having affordable housing for young professionals. “Housing is an issue for all of the Cape,” she said. “And the homelessness issue which you are doing such important work here tonight is really something that needs people’s attention and focus.” To provide some perspective of its impact on Cape Cod, Dr. Nate Rudman, an emergency room physician at Cape Cod Hospital, said that 91,000 ER hours were dedicated to those who are homeless in 2015, equaling roughly 10 beds per day. And for those suffering from an illness or disease, he said, homelessness can exacerbate the problem. “Imagine having pneumonia and not having a home to go to,” he said. Billy Bishop, former president of Homeless Not Hopeless, has a firsthand knowledge of how difficult homelessness can be. He spent more than a decade living on the streets. “There are nights you can’t stay outside. You will die,” he said. He credited HAC’s NOAH Shelter for keeping him safe. “They saved my life,” he said, repeatedly. The solution to many of the problems related to homelessness, said Gosnold CEO Raymond Tamasi is collaboration among the region’s social services agencies. “The networking of those services has the potential to lift people out of homelessness and, more than that, hopelessness,” he said. At left, Mindy Todd talks to Gina Hurley of Barnstable Public Schools about homeless children in the school system. Above, from left, phone fundraisers include David Willard of Cape Cod Five; Staceanne Sykes and her son Kaden; Cleon Turner and Mary Pat Flynn; and the team from Shepley Wood Products. At far right, HAC’s Alison Reid gets ready to perform a solo of “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”
Thank you 2015 Sponsors!
Bass River Pediatrics
Law Offices of Singer & Singer
Beam Sponsor Briggs Landscape Construction Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Charitable Foundation The Daily Paper Delphi Construction First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union Horsley Witten Group Sullivan & Sullivan Auctioneers Tracker Systems Mortar Sponsor Adam T E.J. Jaxtimer Builder Home Instead Senior Care R.J. Nardone Construction Silva Electric Steve & Sue’s Par-Tee Freeze Sunderland Printing
The team from Today Real Estate had a big turnout at the telethon.
Brick Sponsor Bass River Properties Bradford’s Ace Hardware Cape Cod Insulation Cape Cod Paper Catania Hospitality Group Changes Salon Eastham Discount Oil Franey Mechanical Services Hubbard Paint Moore Automotive Ready Rooter Rusty’s Friends & In-Kind Donors Cape Cod Community Media Center Cape Cod Potato Chips Comcast NBC Universal Dunkin Donuts, Hyannis Green Spot Garden Center Lambert’s Rainbow Fruit Starbuck’s Coffee, Hyannis Subway, Dennis Port
‘New Purpose’ For Orleans Woman
There are moments in life that can change a person’s perspective. Being diagnosed with cancer is one. That happened to Jayne Sully this past July when doctors discovered she had throat cancer. A month later, the 49-yearold South Orleans resident started treatment. “It gave her a purpose,” her husband John Sully said last month in the parking lot of HAC’s NOAH Shelter. That purpose was to “do something for somebody” in need, John said. So Jayne reached out to friends and family in midNovember asking them to donate purses for women living in shelter. She collected 150, half of which went to those at NOAH, Angel House, Carriage House and The Village at Cataumet. The remainder was donated to the Salvation Army. Inside each purse were small items – lip balm, toothpaste, socks, mittens, baby powder and candy – collected by the Sullys, utilizing Facebook to encourage charity in their social network. The couple, who formerly owned The Yardarm in Orleans, also received $700 that was used to purchase gift cards to McDonald’s, Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts that were also placed inside the purses.
Jayne and John Sully arrive at the NOAH Shelter with dozens of pocketbooks to donate to clients.
much to them and we so appreciate it.” For Jayne, who was told a few days later her cancer was in remission, the fundraiser represented a purpose fulfilled. “I had a pretty good health scare myself. I had cancer,” she said. “So I wanted to give something back and I thought giving back to the homeless was the best way to go… After I was diagnosed it put the meaning of Christmas in a whole new light for me.”
Donations came from as far away as Texas, Jayne said. The pair also received a contribution from the front desk staff at the Renaissance Boston Patriot Place Hotel in Foxboro where they stay when attending New England Patriots games. After unloading the last of the purses from their car and bringing them into NOAH, the Sullys were thanked by the shelter’s employment specialist Carolann Gillard. “This lets them know somebody cared enough to put these together and bring them here,” Gillard told the couple. “It means so
John Sully brings a load of pocketbooks into the shelter.
Cape Cod Christmas Cavalcade: A Musical Celebration Musician Chandler Travis brings together dozens of his talented friends every year for the Cape Cod Christmas Cavalcade for the Homeless. This year’s event on December 13 at the Old Jailhouse Tavern in Orleans included the Cape’s own American Idol finalist Siobhan Magnus, as well as a special song dedicated to Joey Spampinato. The event attracted an enthusiastic standing-room-only audience for six hours of entertainment by local musicians, all to benefit the NOAH homeless shelter in Hyannis.
Whole Foods Giving Tree A Gift to Children At HAC’s Shelters A stuffed monkey, building blocks and a Hot Wheels car were just a few of the toys complete strangers bought for children at HAC’s three family shelters last month. They were delivered by Sannie Rocheteau, metro marketing specialist for Whole Foods Market, during the week of Christmas. Customers and staff at the company’s Hyannis store donated the gifts as a way to pay it forward during the holiday season. “This was a lot of fun,” Rocheteau said, inside HAC’s Angel House shelter, the first of three stops on the day that also included a visit to Carriage House in North Falmouth, and The Village at Cataumet in Bourne. In all, presents were purchased for 46 children in HAC’s shelters as a way to give them some joy during the holidays. Rocheteau said that Whole Foods’ Giving Tree was embraced
Sannie Rocheteau (second from left) of Whole Foods poses with HAC’s Mary LeClair (from left), Deanna Bussiere and Lin Rohr.
by the entire community, noting that as she was decorating it customers were placing presents under the tree. “It was really a great experience and we were lucky to all be a part of it,” Rocheteau said.
Realtors Give Welcome Baskets for HAC Clients The most exciting moment for someone in shelter is when they move into permanent housing. But it can also be a scary moment as well. HAC makes that transition a little easier thanks to its Welcome Home Gift Basket program, providing items – kitchen utensils, bath towels, bed sheets, pillow cases, dishes and more – necessary for any home. In December, the program received a boost from the Young Professionals Network of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors (CCIAOR) which collected over a dozen laundry baskets full of home goods that will provide a solid foundation for HAC clients in their new homes. “I receive the requests and I put everything together for the families,” volunteer coordinator Mary EverettPatriquin told Sarah Lapsley, Greg Martin, Sunny Fellman and Patricia Pry of CCIAOR after they dropped off the donations at HAC the week of Christmas, noting the emotional connection to what the gift baskets will mean to those who receive them. “As I’m putting a basket together, I often find I need a tissue.” Fellman, who serves as the chair of CCIAOR’s Young Professionals Network, said the program “fits in so well
Sarah Lapsley (left) and Sunny Fellman of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors with two of the more than dozen laundry baskets of goods collected as part of the drive.
with what we do… We are just so excited being in this industry to be able to give back to local families on the Cape who are in need.” To learn more about the Welcome Home Gift Basket program contact Mary Everett-Patriquin at [email protected]
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www.HAConCapeCod.org 508-771-5400 460 West Main Street Hyannis, MA 02601
Coming Events April 7 HAC’s Annual Meeting & Volunteer Recognition
For details, contact Laura Reckford at 508-771-5400, ext. 273, or [email protected]
July 11 - July 17 Bob Murray Housing With Love Walk
HAC joins other agencies to raise money. For information, contact Deanna Bussiere at 508-771-5400, ext. 270 or [email protected]
September (date TBD) The Big Fix Brewster
HAC coordinates volunteers to make home and landscaping improvements for seniors, the disabled and veterans. For more information, contact Laura Reckford at 508-7715400, ext. 273, or [email protected]
December 8 Shelter Cape Cod Telethon
5-9 p.m. on cable-access channel 98 from Bourne to Provincetown. For more information, contact Deanna Bussiere at 508-771-5400, ext. 270 or [email protected]
Building a community where everyone has a safe, stable and decent place to live.