This year, we’re excited to announce our Walk for Hope is going virtual! This means you can walk wherever you are and take meaningful steps to connect our neighbors in need to safe, stable housing.
Scheduled for Saturday, June 27 at 2 pm, the walk allows you to set the route and length that is best suited for you. Walk around your neighborhood, your yard or a nearby park, all while maintaining proper social distancing etiquette.
“The pandemic has vividly demonstrated the need for safe, stable housing for people at all income levels,” said Chief Development Officer Anne Van Vleck. “Walkers can register to raise money online similar to a traditional walk-a-thon, and they can join our Facebook event and share images of their walk to raise awareness and funds for our neighbors who are really struggling right now.”
Since the pandemic started, requests from residents seeking financial assistance with their rent and mortgage have increased over 500% in comparison to the average month. Housing Assistance has responded by creating the Workforce Housing Relief Fund to support households that do not qualify for public assistance but have lost income and are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage.
People can register online for the Walk for Hope as a walker, fundraiser, or a walker and a fundraiser. People can also support the event by making a donation and by joining the event on Housing Assistance’s Facebook page.
You can sign up as an individual or create/join a team. By creating a team, you can use the event to connect with friends, family, colleagues, or members of your church or civic group. Encourage each other as you make progress towards your goal of raising awareness and funds to help us address housing issues on Cape Cod and the Islands.
Last year, over a dozen members of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation participated in the Walk for Hope. Rabbi Elias Lieberman said they will do so once again because “the need certainly hasn’t changed. If anything, it’s grown more severe which is why we are committed to joining this virtual effort.”
Participants are encouraged to chronicle their progress leading up to the walk on social media, tagging Housing Assistance in their photos and videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. On the day of the event, they can walk wherever they want, on a treadmill, in their yard, around their neighborhood, or in a park while adhering to social distancing protocols.
“By going virtual, the Walk for Hope allows people to create teams of friends, family, and colleagues and remain connected during this time that we are apart,” said Van Vleck. “It’s a great opportunity to give back, build community and ensure basic needs like housing can be met, not only now, but post-pandemic.”
Rev. John Rice of Yarmouth, a longtime champion of Housing Assistance’s work, is another 2019 Walk for Hope participant who will be returning for this year’s virtual iteration. “It gives me an opportunity to participate in the community’s concerns and efforts to do something to provide safe housing for those in need,” he said. “And it allows me to be connected virtually with others who are also concerned and want to help.”
Housing Assistance is also seeking sponsors for this year’s walk. Businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Housing Assistance Event and Resource Development Coordinator Deanna Bussiere at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 508-771-5400, ext. 270.
Current Walk for Hope sponsors include Bass River Pediatric Associates in South Yarmouth; Klein Hornig LLP of Boston; Pine Harbor Wood Products of Hyannis; McGrath Post & Beam Corp. of Harwich; Hyannis Honda; Monomoy Fuel Company of Chatham; Lawrence Lynch Corp. of Falmouth; Hubbard Paint & Wallpaper of South Dennis; Cape Cod Oil Company of Provincetown; and Sunderland Printing of Hyannis.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that safe, stable housing is more important than ever. By participating in the Walk for Hope, you’ll be providing that stability for our clients at a time when they need it most.