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Saying farewell is always bittersweet. And so it is with 2014, an exciting year in which HAC celebrated its 40th anniversary, opened a day center for the homeless in Hyannis and began work on the first phase of a much-needed project that will bring 40 affordable homes to Nantucket.

As we embark on what we hope will be a fruitful 2015, we talked to a few ardent HACbeat readers to take a look back at 2014 and find out what their favorite stories were from last year.

Opening of the Day Center at NOAH (Michael Sweeney, VP of administration and finance)

A 33-year veteran of HAC, Sweeney has a soft spot for stories that detail new initiatives at the agency.

And that is why his top pick from last year falls into that exact category. “In many ways, the day program is really the culmination of the community, Housing Assistance, Duffy Health Center, Vinfen, the police, all these groups coming together and saying, ‘Hey, we really need to do something here,’” Sweeney said. “To take a group like that, representing all different agencies, and having a united front and asking the state for additional funding for this program is really remarkable.”

Rick Presbrey’s Columns & A Home for the Hesse Family (Matt Pitta, WXTK radio host and MC of HAC’s annual meeting)

When Pitta receives his monthly newsletter, his first stop is always page 3 to read CEO Rick Presbrey’s editorial. “I like to see what Rick is thinking and he always has interesting ideas about what is going on in the housing community,” Pitta said. “And sometimes what he writes has nothing to do with housing, but he finds a way to relate it back to that.”

Pitta said one story published last summer about the Hesse family, living in his hometown of Harwich, was of particular interest to him. “It was a typical situation of the struggle so many families are facing on Cape Cod,” Pitta said. “There was a mom, a dad and their two kids. The father was working two jobs and they were finding it impossible to buy their rental home that was being sold. Then HAC got involved and they were able to purchase it.”

It was indicative of the type of stories he enjoys. “You wonder who is really being helped and is there a face,” he said.

“Those first-person stories of people and families being helped gives you a good understanding of that.”

HAC Client Realizes Dream of Homeownership (Jan Nelson, FSS Coordinator)

As HAC’s coordinator for the Family-Self Sufficiency (FSS) program, Jan Nelson has seen many clients graduate from the program, but few take the next step towards homeownership.

But Adrienne Gonsalves was different. Last year, she did both. And today she could not be happier.

“She absolutely loves her house,” Nelson said, explaining why this feel-good HACbeat story topped her list for 2014.

Your Favorite Articles 

Now that we’ve shared some of our readers’ favorite stories, here are the ones YOU enjoyed most. The following are the top five most read online stories from 2014: 

  1. HAC Celebrates Completion of Great Cove Community
  2. Dream of Owning a Home is Realized
  3. Finding a Home on Cape Cod Thanks to NOAH Shelter
  4. Cape Cod Restaurateur Lends Expertise to NOAH Shelter
  5. Great Cove Community: Affordable Housing