The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Take a Bite out of Homelessness!

JerseyThe Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Attend the Worcester Sharks Game on Saturday, December 13!

10. Take a BITE out of Homelessness! All proceeds from ticket sales, raffles and the jersey auction will benefit RCAP Solutions local homelessness prevention programs!

9. Catch the Sharks wearing “throwback” IceCats jerseys from 1994!

8. Celebrate 20 years of Hockey in the City of Worcester!

7. Freebies! Attendees will receive a Worcester Hockey Mascot Poster featuring FINZ and Scratch!

6. Former IceCats players will sign autographs with FINZ and Scratch during the intermissions!

5. Tickets purchased through RCAP are great seats and discounted over 50%

4. Create memories! This is a great (and low cost) family night out!

3. All game worn jerseys will be auctioned/raffled off, benefiting RCAP Solutions!

2. Sharks Feeding Frenzy! Specialty Jersey Games have a lot of energy – players (and fans) go wild!

1. See President & CEO Karen Koller drop the puck!

Have a fun night out and support local families at the same time!

What else are you doing on 12.13.14???

Gold Level Discounted Tickets just $12 Each (Face Value of $20)!


Event Includes:
• Sharks vs. Monarchs game
• Game Worn Jersey Auction (live, silent & raffle)
• 50/50 Raffle
• Chuck A Puck Contest
• Autographs, free posters, mascots and much more

Contact Maegen McCaffrey, 978-630-6714, email:

Ticket sales and auction proceeds will benefit RCAP Solutions Client Services Programs, serving over four thousand Worcester county residents and families each year, providing affordable housing, homelessness prevention, home rehabilitation, domestic violence victim support, foreclosure prevention and financial literacy.

Gone to the Birds Gala

On September 18, 2014, RCAP Solutions Celebrated its 45th Anniversary by going to the birds! Over 250 attendees, made up of artists, business professionals, RCAP Solutions supporters and Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce members participated in a birdhouse auction, hosted by Skinner Auctions. Over 100 works of art were auctioned, raising over $16,000. 100% of the proceeds will support housing and homelessness prevention programs for Worcester County families.

We thank the many generous sponsors, talented artists, and the staff and volunteers who donated their time and talents and helped to make this event a great success!

Photos by Andrea Seward, Habakkuk Media Services.


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Facts about Homelessness



  • There are 610,042 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States.
  • Of that number, 222,197 are people in families, and 387,845 are individuals.
  • About 18 percent of the homeless population – 109,132 – are considered chronically homeless.
  • About 9 percent of homeless adults- 57,849 – are veterans.



  • In a recent survey of a single night in Massachusetts in 2013, 19,029 people were homeless, including 7,259 children and 1,253 veterans.
  • Massachusetts is the 7th most expensive state to live in.
  • 44,000 school children in the state do not have a place to live.
  • There has been a 40% increase in homeless individuals statewide between 2011 and 2012.
  • Of the MA residents that receive rental housing support, 47% have children and 16% are elderly. 71% were employed or recently employed.
  • 134,304 renter households in Massachusetts pay more than half their monthly income for housing costs. This is a 22% increase since the 2008 recession hit.
  • There are 2,000 families in motels across the state.



  • In Worcester, homelessness is rising, an increase of 20% since 2012.
  • In Worcester, 2000 families are in emergency shelters and 145 Worcester veterans are homeless, half of them are victims of domestic violence.
  • 56% of Worcester renters are unable to afford $966 average monthly rent for 2 bedroom apt.
  • RCAP is currently servicing 115 homeless families that are sheltered in hotels including over 250 children.
  • Since 2011, RCAP Solutions has helped 775 families with housing stabilization.
  • RCAP Solutions has distributed over $6,000,000 in stabilization funds since 2011.

100% of funds received from the Gone to the Birds Gala on Thursday, September 18, will support our homelessness prevention programs.

One Month Till We’re Gone to the Birds!

Today marks ONE MONTH until the Gone to the Birds Gala! And the Birdhouse Auction items keep rolling in…As of today, we have 117 items in house. We hope you are as excited as we are, it should be a fantastic event! Don’t wait, purchase your tickets today!

The Stone Birdhouse

Now that we are counting down these last few weeks until the Gone to the Birds Gala, we will highlight several birdhouses and works of art per day, so you can preview all of the amazing pieces that will be featured in the Birdhouse Auction in support of Homelessness Prevention!

“The Stone Birdhouse” created by Christopher Camosse, General Manager of Camosse Masonry Supply in Worcester. This unique (and heavy!) work of art was created using reclaimed stone and brick to create a birdhouse that will last a lifetime.

The Hidden Cost of Suburban Poverty

During April 2014, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston conducted its semiannual New England Community Outlook Survey. The survey covered topics ranging from the availability of credit for small businesses to emerging issues facing lower-income communities; this time the survey also included three questions specific to issues affecting suburban lower-income communities.  New England’s population is split between rural areas, small metropolitan areas, urban centers, and suburban areas surrounding the urban centers. In the past, due to the urban bias of respondents, many New England Community Outlook Survey reports focused on the lower- and moderate-income urban experience. In January 2014, the survey was revised somewhat to shed light on the challenges facing New England’s rural communities, and this report focuses on low- and moderate-income households that till now haven’t been widely acknowledged as living within New England’s suburban communities.  

factoid1-cropStruggling suburban families are emerging from anonymity.  In April 2014, a Boston Globe article looked at emerging food stamp usage in the gentrifying town of Bristol, Rhode Island, New Hampshire Business Magazine devoted its June 2014 cover story to the working poor, and the August 2014 issue of National Geographic Magazine highlighted the “The New Face of Hunger.”

Roughly 1.8 million of the people living in New England’s suburban communities have experienced poverty in the last 12 months; more than 125,000 of them are children under the age of five.  Equally startling is the fact that 25.3% of New England’s suburban households currently receive food stamps.

All too often, low- and moderate-income (LMI) families live in suburban neighborhoods that are replete with wealth but devoid of the social service networks available to urban families in need.    This New England Community Outlook Survey Report tries to shine light on the challenges they face, with a particular focus on Connecticut.

With much of its population dispersed among the largest cities, Connecticut presented a unique opportunity to examine a largely suburban state with a relatively high median family income, in which many lower-income families seemingly “are lost in the suburbs.”  We looked at two specific metropolitan areas in Connecticut – Hartford and New Haven – where lower-income suburban families are struggling to cope with the high cost of affordable child care and making sacrifices to pay for the daily commute to work, both of which pose a risk to household financial stability.  It is worth noting, however, that the challenges described could apply to any suburban neighborhood in New England.

We encourage you to review the Report and share it with those who might have an interest.


Federal Report on Housing, Transportation and Economic Growth

report coverRCAP Solutions staff provided Technical Assistance to one of these projects in Washington County, Maine through a small national sub-agreement. These types of collaboration efforts reduce duplication of services.


August 7, 2014

Federal Report Highlights Five Years of Progress Providing Communities with Affordable Housing, Efficient Transportation and Economic Growth

WASHINGTON – In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released “Five Years of Learning from Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments,” a report demonstrating how the three agencies are cooperating to help communities provide more housing choices, make transportation systems more efficient and reliable, and create vibrant neighborhoods that attract business development and jobs while protecting the environment.

“The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is about achieving one goal: expanding opportunity for American families,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “These targeted investments are bringing more affordable housing and transportation options, and more economic resilience to regions that were hard hit by the economic crisis. In partnership with local leaders, I am convinced that the investments our agencies have made will enhance the health and wealth of communities for decades to come.”

“The Partnership is helping us align our transportation investments with the goals of providing affordable housing and preserving the environment,” said DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Together with HUD and EPA, we are making fundamental changes in how we work together to benefit all Americans and provide new ladders of opportunity for many.”
“Communities know better than anyone else what they need,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, we at the federal level are organizing ourselves to give communities tools to address economic and environmental challenges in the way that works best for them.”

Since 2009, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities has been working to ensure that HUD, DOT, EPA and other federal agency investments better serve communities that were hard hit by the economic recession. Through its efforts, more than $4 billion has been awarded to 1,000 communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. In addition to funding, many communities have also received technical assistance to help plan economic development and leverage private and other public resources to maximize the Partnership’s investments. For example:

  • Partnership-funded regional planning efforts in New York and New Jersey laid a strong foundation for recovery from Superstorm Sandy because communities in the region had already been collaborating on development issues.
  • Partnership grants helped Memphis, Tenn., create a master plan for redeveloping the area around its airport, as well as develop a plan to improve bike and pedestrian paths and spur revitalization in a midtown neighborhood.
  • Partnership funding helped the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota develop a regional plan to define the community’s future. It could be a model for other rural Native American communities as well.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities has also fundamentally changed the way that HUD, EPA and DOT evaluate and award competitive grants and technical assistance. The three agencies collaborate to review and select applications for many grants and technical assistance opportunities, such as DOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants, HUD’s Community Challenge Grants, and EPA’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grants. This collaboration ensures that federal investments maximize resources for communities.

To download the report:

45 Days ’till we’re Gone to the Birds!

45 days till Gala

It’s only 45 days until The Gone to the Birds Gala and Birdhouse Auction!

As we count down the days to our 45th Anniversary Celebration, we will provide you with RCAP trivia, testimonials and spotlight the artists that have contiributed to our exciting Birdhouse Auction, so please check in with us regularly…  It should be a fun-filled 45 days!

Visit for more information about the Gala, artists, sponsors, tickets, etc.

It will be an event to remember!


RCAP Fact #1:

Last year, we serviced 10,210 families through rental assistance, homelessness prevention initiatives, self sufficiency programs and Housing Consumer Education Center services.

That’s almost 28 families per day!

Worcester Bravehearts Letter to the Editor


Friday, July 11, 2014

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

To the Editor:

On behalf of everyone at RCAP Solutions, I would like to thank the Worcester Bravehearts, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the residents of Worcester for their generosity and support for our recent “Gone to the Birds Night” at Hanover Insurance Park.

The event, coupled with the Worcester Chamber’s Business After Hours event, featured the first-ever Bravehearts jersey auction and a special birdhouse raffle which raised over $2,200 for homelessness prevention initiatives throughout Worcester Country.

We will not soon forget the excitement on the faces of the children at the game as the players signed their jerseys. The entire night was a wonderful and gratifying experience that made us proud to a part of the community we serve!

Special thanks also go out to the incredible Bravehearts staff, Cheryl Hughes of Clinton for the birdhouse donation and artist Mark Waitkus of West Boylston for the signed Bravehearts print.

We thank the volunteers and those in the community who supported this fundraising initiative. The outstanding show of support proves that the people of the Worcester region stand with RCAP Solutions and our mission of fostering personal and public self-reliance and improving the quality of life for individuals and families in the communities where we live.

Most sincerely,

KAK Signature

Karen A. Koller, CAE

President & CEO, RCAP Solutions