Motorcyclists make their way over the Bourne Bridge and to HAC’s Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth.
Tag Archive for: The Village at Cataumet
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|Cape Cod Five’s Joe Beasley (from left), HAC’s Maintenance Supervisor Keith Trott, Cape Cod Five’s Elaine Sweeney, and Paula Mallard, the facility director for the Village at Cataumet.
Over the course of one day at the beginning of last month, roughly 40 interns from Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank came together to give HAC’s Village at Cataumet a much needed facelift.
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|A child at the Village at Cataumet pets Zima the cockatoo, one of several animals to visit the Bourne shelter.
His name – Harold – was friendly enough. But his appearance, now that was an entirely different matter.
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|Mary Kjendal (from left), Mircea Dumitrescu and Lindsay Clough were a few of the parishioners from St. Michael the Archangel Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cotuit who organized an Easter-themed party for children at The Village at Cataumet last month.
To someone living in shelter, a few moments of normalcy can be a gift. And once a month at the Village at Cataumet, a group of parishioners from St. Michael the Archangel Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cotuit, share that gift to children living in the Bourne shelter.
It comes in the form of a few hours of play.
Last month, the itinerary looked like this: decorating Easter-themed cookies followed by a visit from the Easter bunny followed by an Easter egg hunt outside. If it sounds like fun, that’s because it was.
“They do such a great job and organize such fun activities,” said Paula Mallard, facility director at the Village at Cataumet. “It is fun for the families and a nice change of pace for them.”
Over the past year, the church has been scheduling monthly activities at the shelter which are geared towards children. Last summer, they organized a cookout for the clients. And in February, each child decorated a picture frame with their picture in it which was given to their parents.
“I like interacting with the kids,” said nine-year-old Mary Kjendal from St. Michael. “It is really fun making them happy.”
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|Both HAC staff and The Village at Cataumet staff and clients were joined by representatives from Cape Cod Senior Residences during a dedication for the shelter’s new playground last month.
What do you get when you combine two swings, a climbing cargo net, a slide and a faux rock wall? A whole lot of fun.
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|A young boy from The Village at Cataumet tends to the garden as staff, volunteers and clients fill the garden beds with compost and loam.
You don’t [usually] see people who work at a place put so much care and attention into it. I think it is amazing.” That statement was made at the end of June by Jeff, a father staying at The Village at Cataumet, as he joined several staff members, clients and volunteers from Valley Farm Community Garden filling three newly installed garden beds in the rear of the shelter with a mix of compost and loam before planting an array of vegetables that included tomatoes, peas, spinach, kale, eggplant, squash, beets, cucumbers and herbs.
A little more than two months later, the garden is flourishing. Jeff has continued his involvement, watering the beds every day. And case manager Laura Kiernan is set to teach clients at The Village at Cataumet how to make a dish using eggplant.
“It is going great,” said Paula Mallard, the facility director at The Village at Cataumet. “It’s great that we have some fresh vegetables and fresh food for the clients.”
The garden is the latest of several improvements that have been made at the shelter in recent months; a new floor and refrigerator were installed in the kitchen earlier this year.
This project was spearheaded by members of the Valley Farm Community Garden, including Diane Speers, Carolee Packard, Joe Pacheco and Mike Ryan. As they worked to fill the beds, each measuring 36 square feet, with loam, Mallard spoke about the benefits it will provide for clients. “Gardening can be very therapeutic,” she said. “This can be a way people can relax and garden.”
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Living in a homeless shelter can be overwhelming, often forcing one to overlook the minor and major aspects of life while concentrating on the necessity of finding permanent housing. Read more