Baseball Fever!

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This Thursday, July 10, The Worcester Bravehearts baseball team will be celebrating “Gone to the Birds Night” to help us promote our upcoming September fundraising event, the “Gone to the Birds Gala”.

On this special evening, the players will be wearing one of a kind white and purple jerseys, featuring the Gone to the Birds Logo, that game attendees can bid on. The winning bidders will take home a jersey autographed by their favorite player that night.

As a special treat, we will be giving away “Birds Eye View” a Boston Red Sox themed birdhouse, painted by popular local artist and gigantic BoSox fan, Cheryl Hughes of Leominster, Ma.

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Cheryl and her charismatic artwork are well known in the central Mass community.  She is the owner of the Tinker’s Cart Irish Gift Store in Clinton, a local retail shop that is known for importing quality Irish goods for almost 30 years.

Most recently, Cheryl started Tinker’s Cart Art, a social painting event, hosted at a variety of venues around central Massachusetts and Maine, allowing attendees to get together with friends to paint a featured work of art in just a couple of hours.

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Cheryl’s art nights have become incredibly popular and most nights sell out.  She has also hosted a several painting parties for local organizations to host fundraisers.

Cheryl participated in the Wachusett Chamber’s  regional AppleArt! program, painting three apples for the highly successful regional community art project.  Several of her works of art have been purchased for display at Clinton Hospital,  the UMass Cancer Center in Worcester and The Department of Pediatrics at MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Medical Center.

“Birds Eye View” will be on display during the July 10 Bravehearts game, when they take on the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks this Thursday at 7:05 PM.

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The only way to win this birdhouse is to text the word RCAP to 20222 using your cell phone.  One lucky participant will be randomly selected to win this awesome work of art. Participants may enter as many times as they wish.  A donation of $10 will be added to the participants phone bill or deducted from a prepaid balance for each text made.

All proceeds will support RCAP Solutions Homelessness prevention initiatives and families in Worcester County.

Nonprofit Awareness Day!

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Today, on June 9, 2014, hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders, plus elected officials, come together to celebrate the work of the nonprofit sector and raise awareness of causes throughout the state.

Massachusetts was the first state in the country to have an annual Nonprofit Awareness Day, which was recognized and signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008.

Many Massachusetts residents don’t know the incredible impact nonprofits have on them each and every day. This is why RCAP Solutions is joining the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network to increase awareness of the impact and diversity of the thousands of nonprofits across the state.

 

Here is a snapshot of the impact RCAP Solutions had in 2013:

Housing & Homelessness Prevention:

10,201 - Families served through rental assistance, homelessness prevention, self sufficiency programs and educational services

6,630 - People served through our Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC)

5,937 - Home inspections performed

3,609 - Children received rental assistance

 

*Community Support:

$19,429,800 - Leveraged for communities for water, wastewater and other infrastructure projects

517 - Attended customized workshops & trainings

141 - Communities received technical assistance support

41 - Trainings & workshops performed

 

Lending:

$688,781 - Amount of Home Modification Loans provided to families for structural home improvements

26 - Number of loans administered for caregiving families in central Massachusetts

$205,000 - Value of small business loans given to support five local small businesses

25 - Number of jobs created or saved

 

Property Management:

3,935 - Number of services delivered to residents through Resident Service Coordinator program

430 - Number of people residing in RCAP Solutions ten managed properties

291 - Number of seniors (over 60)

93 - Handicapped or disabled residents

 

*Our Community Resources Program services the Northeastern part of the U.S.,  Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to promote public, environmental and economic health.

#nonprofitsmakesense

The State of Homelessness in America 2014

 

State of Homelessness

The State of Homelessness in America 2014 is the fourth in a series of reports that chart progress in ending homelessness in the United States.

It examines trends in homeless between 2012 and 20 13, trends in populations at-risk of homelessness from 2011 to 2012, trends in assistance available to persons experiencing homelessness, and es tablishes a baseline fr om which to measure  changes in the homeless assistance system enacted by the Homeless  Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act.

This report is intended to be a desk top reference for policymakers, journalists, and community and state leaders.

Chapter 1 presents national and state trends in homeless populations.

Chapter 2 examines trends in populations at-risk of homelessness.

Chapter 3 analyzes beds available to homeless persons and usage of those resources, and establishes a baseline from which to examine shifts from transitional housing t o rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing.

This report uses the most recently available data from a variety of sources: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Census Bureau, and the U .S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Report Highlights: 

On a single night in January 20 13,610,042 people were experiencing homelessness. From 2012 to 2013, a period of continued slow recovery from the Great Recession, overall homelessness decreased by 3.7 percent and homelessness decreased among every major subpopulation—families (7 percent), chronically homeless individuals (7.3 percent), and veterans (7.3 percent).

But nationwide trends do not t ell the full story:
• 31 states saw a decrease in homelessness, while 20 states saw increases in overall homelessness.
• The national rate of homelessness fell to 19 homeless persons per 10 ,000 people in the general population, but the r ate in individual states ranged from 106 in Washington, DC  to 8 in Mississippi.
• The rate of veteran homelessness fell to 27 homeless veterans per 10,000 veterans in the general population, but the rate in individual states ranged from 28 in Wyoming to 156 in Washington, DC.

You may download the full report by clicking here: State of Homelessness 2014

Enterprise Bank sponsoring Gone to the Birds Gala

enterprise bankWe are so pleased to have Enterprise Bank as a major sponsor of our upcoming Gone to the Birds Gala and Birdhouse Auction! Pictured below are Donna Manuel, Assistant Vice President & Branch Relationship Manager and Ray LaFond, Sr. Vice President & Commercial Lending Manager presenting a check for $2,500 to Karen A. Koller, RCAP Solutions President & CEO.

We could not be more grateful for the generous sponsors who have generously made donations to our upcoming event.

For more information about the Gone to the Birds Gala and Birdhouse Auction, including sponsorship information, please visit http://www.rcapsolutions.org/gonetothebirds/

May is Building Safety Month

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This May, FEMA is supporting the 34th Annual
(BSM) to promote the importance of high building standards, protecting the environment, and saving energy.

BSM is a public awareness campaign founded by the International Code Council (ICC). The campaign focuses on public outreach and education to increase the overall safety and sustainability of buildings through the adoption of model building codes and promotion of code enforcement. An array of theme-related community events, safety demonstrations, and educational outreach activities take place during BSM. The overarching theme of BSM is Building Safety: Maximizing Resilience, Minimizing Risks. This theme is supported by weekly building safety sub-themes:

For the fourth consecutive year, President Obama has proclaimed May as National Building Safety Month to underscore that safe building codes and standards have an essential role in decreasing the effects of disasters. As is articulated in Presidential Policy Directive/ PPD-8, National Preparedness, as well as PPD-21, Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, building safety, fire prevention, and energy codes and standards help achieve disaster resilience for our Nation.

Our Nation’s building safety, fire prevention, and energy codes and standards play a critical role in maintaining and ensuring the safety of our buildings and enable our Nation to better prepare, respond, recover, and mitigate from all hazards. Strong building safety, fire prevention, and energy codes and standards also puts the Nation in a better position to deal with future challenges, such as climate change. FEMA supports ICC’s BSM as it strives to help communities reduce the impacts of natural disasters by promoting the importance of high building standards, protecting the environment, and saving energy.

For more information on FEMA’s Building Science Branch, please visit http://www.fema.gov/building-science. For more information on Building Safety Month, visit www.buildingsafetymonth.org.

The RCAP Solutions inspections team performs almost 6,000 housing inspections per year, providing support to an array of families including low income families receiving rental assistance, those in shared housing as well as families participating in the home modification loan program. Our inspectors provide this service to ensure that our clients are provided safe, suitable, quality housing.

Now Renting One Bedroom & Studio Apartments

Settle into your new home!

RCAP Solutions is now renting studio & one bedroom apartments!

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Hubbardston House

Hubbardston House Apartments - 1 Old Princeton Road Cut-Off, Hubbardston, Ma (click link for brochure)

Bolton Country Manor - 600 Main Street, Bolton, Ma (click link for brochure)

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Bolton Country Manor

Beautiful, spacious Studio & One Bedroom Apartments for Adults 62 years and over or mobility impaired (in Hubbardston House only) that meet HUD eligibility income guidelines.

Rents are based on 30% of adjusted gross income, if eligible.  Newly remodeled with modern appliances and carpeting.  On-site laundry facilities, emergency call system, community room, on call maintenance and parking on site.  Small pets are welcome.

For more information call: 

Hubbardston House:  (978) 928-5922

Bolton Country Manor: (978) 779-5007

TTY: (978) 630-6754

Property Applications can be found here:  http://www.rcapsolutions.org/rcap-property-applications/

Gone to the Birds Art Preview “Joy”

We are so proud to present the very first birdhouse donated to the Gone to the Birds Gala and Art Auction!

 

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“Joy” Created by Sheila Flathers, Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Artist Statement:

“Last fall I found myself with some additional time on my hands. Now that I am retired, I found doing this project gave me somewhat of a new lease on life. I welcomed the time to spend doing what I love most; creating things to make others happy. I selected a church because my sister and I thought it would be unique.”

About the Artwork:

This gorgeous birdhouse is a replica of a small-town church, with amazing detail, right down to the stained glass windows.

“The roof is an old tin quilting pattern that my mother passed down to me. Most of the other materials used were things I had acquired in my many years of crafts and that had just been sitting around for years. The shingled steeple and columns were added by two of my friends (Jason and Jeff) at the local hardware store.”

Sheila is a retired Advertising Executive who spent time in Texas and Kansas before settling in Maine 11 years ago.

The Gone to the Birds Gala and Art Auction will be held on September 18, 2014 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in celebration of RCAP Solutions 45th Anniversary.

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If you are an artist – would you like to donate a birdhouse or bird-related artwork to the Gone to the Birds Gala?  It’s a fabulous opportunity for promotion, publicity and philanthropy. Your work will be auctioned by the world famous Skinner Auction House to support RCAP Solutions homelessness prevention initiatives in support of family programs in central Mass.  For more information on donating artwork to this exciting event, please click here.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available to fit every budget size.  For more information, please click here.

For more information about the Gone to the Birds Gala, please visit http://www.rcapsolutions.org/gonetothebirds/

Thank you!

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Thank you to all those who contributed to RCAP Solutions during the Greater Worcester GIVES 24 hour give-a-thon yesterday!

At the end of the day, RCAP Solutions ranked 46th out of 175 local non-profit organizations and received 10 gifts valuing $425!

This is the first time we have participated in an event like this one and are very happy with the results!

Once again, we thank those of you who made a contribution or passed our message along to help spread the word.

Every little bit counts and 100% of the profits will help to fund our programs and services to help support individuals, families and communities.

 

Today is the day!

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This is just a gentle reminder to consider making a donation today to Greater Worcester Gives.

With 12 hours to go, we are on the Leaderboard with 6 gifts and 50% of our $500 goal!

Please visit: https://www.gwgives.org/#npo/rcap-solutions-inc  to make your tax-deductible donation before midnight tonight.

100% of your donation will support our programs. No matter what the size of the donation, it will help to fund programs that support individuals, families and communities.

You do not have to be a Worcester County resident to participate – all donations are welcome!

Thanks so much for your consideration!

 

 

Lend A Hand to Local Families in Need

 

GWG ImageTomorrow, May 6th, RCAP Solutions will be part of Worcester County’s first-ever online giving challenge, Greater Worcester GIVES!

Organized by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Greater Worcester GIVES is a community-wide online giving challenge to inspire people to support local nonprofits during a 24-hour period.

Please support RCAP Solutions by making a donation and help to support local families in need!

Any time after midnight on May 6th, click on this link or enter https://www.gwgives.org/#npo/rcap-solutions-inc in your browser and follow instructions to make an online donation of $25 or more to RCAP Solutions. Your gift is tax-deductible and unrestricted unless you specify otherwise.

 100% of your donation will support our programs. No matter what the size of the donation, it will help to fund programs that support individuals, families and communities.  You do not have to be a Worcester County resident to participate – all donations are welcome!

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Your Donation will help to support people like Brittany Hill, who strive to be self sufficient and want to provide a good life for their family.

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When entering the Family Self Sufficiency Program two years ago, Brittany Hill was tasked with setting goals, which included paying down her debt and obtaining a degree in the medical field.

Within six months, she had enrolled in school and began taking classes towards a degree in radiology. At the end of 2014, Brittany will have completed her associate’s degree in medical office assistance, and is focused on obtaining a four year degree in radiology.

“I want to keep going so that I can get a good job. I got into debt working as a pharmacy technician. The certification program was expensive and my pay was not enough to cover my living expenses with three children and school loans. Even though I worked full time, I quickly went into debt. I fell behind on my payments and was charged penalties. The debt just kept building and I knew I was in trouble.”

Well over $10,000 in debt when she began the program and eager to restore her credit, Brittany is now budgeting her income and paying off debts. “My credit has gone up 57 points since I began the program. I’m leasing a car  and paying off defaulted school loans and old bills.”

Motivated to complete the goals she has set, Brittany wants to work harder.

“RCAP Solutions has helped me to get on my feet and become independent. My counselor helps me to focus on my goals. I can’t say enough about the amazing support I have received.”

Brittany hopes to purchase a home with the escrow funds she will receive when completing the program.

“I plan to take a home ownership certification course and am motivated to own my own home and car. I’ve lived in apartments that were not safe. I want to be a good example for my girls. I want to give them a good life and give them each a college fund. I don’t want them to struggle like I did.”