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Rick Presbrey (from left), Maureen Fitzgerald, Allison Alewine and Michael Sweeney at the RHN Conference.

In Allison Alewine’s home is an area she dubs her altar where she keeps items that are reminders of her purpose in life.

At the end of April, Alewine added an award to the altar that symbolizes her more than 27 years at HAC and helping those who are less fortunate. “That is where the award will be to remind me of what I’m supposed to be doing on this planet,” she said.

Her work was celebrated at the Regional Housing Network (RHN) of Massachusetts’ annual conference at the Devens Common Center where she was presented with the Judy Kelliher Award. Created in honor of Ms. Kelliher, a legislative liaison for RHN who died in July 2009, the award recognizes work being done by consumers, staff and advocates of Housing Consumer Education Centers who assist those in need by giving them the skills and training to enhance their quality of life; educate legislators and constituents on the need for affordable housing; and exhibit the determination necessary to help people turn their lives around.

Alewine was both surprised and humbled to be recognized by her peers. “It did not occur to me that I was doing anything more than the job I took on,” she said, adding that the work HAC does is important to her. “Home has always been a special passion of mine and to deal with folks who don’t even have a house, let alone a home has been what I have felt called to do.”

Her colleagues felt the honor was well-deserved given Alewine’s dedication to HAC. “It is incredibly cool,” said Liz Belcher, an intake and referral counselor at HAC. “She definitely deserves as many awards as she can get.”

While Alewine’s role in HAC has diminished – last September she retired, partially – her importance has not. She continues to work part-time for the non-profit helping raise funds for homelessness prevention through HAC’s Cape Cod Caring Cards program.