Thanks to CHAF's
Open Doors 2013 a Success!
(photo of Jimmy Tingle by Stephen Maclone)
CHAF's fifteen fundraiser was an evening of laughs, inspiration, noshing, and mingling. Our guests enjoyed the humor of our emcee Jimmy Tingle and remarks about CHAF's important work preventing and ending homelessness. In addition, we heard the story of CHAF client D'Andrea, who became homeless after aging out of the foster care system, but thanks to her determination, the persistence of advocates from the Cambridge office of CHAF's agency partner HomeStart, and CHAF funding that helped cover her start-up costs, D'Andrea now has an apartment of her own and is furthering her education.
We'll bring you more stories of D'Andrea and other clients who have benefited greatly from CHAF funding. Until then, we still have a fundraising goal to reach by the end of 2013. As we begin November we are now at $134,000 and inching closer to our annual goal of $150,000 to help 125 families and individuals avoid homelessness or keep the housing they have. Whatever you can give is greatly appreciated!
Cycle of Homelessness
The Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund, CHAF, is committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness in our community. CHAF raises funds to assist the homeless and near homeless with the startup costs of securing permanent housing.
A Citywide Coalition
Founded by the Cambridge Community of Realtors in 1999 as a response to the city's growing numbers of homeless and the desire to maintain diversity in Cambridge, CHAF has grown from a fledgling group of concerned citizens into a citywide coalition including the Cambridge banking community, Harvard University, city officials, individuals and other businesses committed to opening doors for the homeless.
By supplementing rental startup costs, the Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund has assisted more than 1,600 households transition into a stable home from life in a shelter, on the street or on the verge of homeless.
Providing a "Hand Up"
Hopefully, CHAF has dispelled some stereotypes along the way. Many of CHAF's homeless are working families who have fallen on some hard times and need a "hand up" to get back on their feet. It costs CHAF, on average, $800 to prevent one family from falling into homelessness. Once homeless, it costs the state $30,000 to house that family in a shelter for one year. With counseling and follow up support services from our agency partners, 96 percent of the people helped by CHAF are still in their homes a year after receiving assistance.
People like Martha, a young single mom expecting a new baby. Martha worked until the eighth month of her pregnancy and saved most of her security deposit. CHAF gave her the rest so she could move from a shelter to a home of her own. (To read more success stories, click here.)
Building a Strong Community
But the need is still there. Budgets are being cut. HUD's Section 8 funding cuts may cause thousands in
to lose their housing, creating more homeless. If a community is only as strong as its weakest link, we need to do whatever we can to alleviate homelessness.
How You Can Help
CHAF needs your support! Please join us in our ongoing efforts to raise the funds needed to help local families and individuals right here in
CHAF invites and welcomes your participation! Together, we can break the cycle of homelessness.