Updated Intake Schedule for HCEC & RAFT Applicants

Intake Schedule for HCEC & RAFT applicants (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition)

 RCAP Solutions Worcester Office: 12 East Worcester Street, 2nd Floor, Worcester

Tuesdays & Fridays: 9:00 am – 11:00 am – Walk ins accepted

(Friday hours beginning January 12, 2018)

 

Other walk-in locations throughout Central MA:

Mondays: 9:30 am – 11:00 am, NewVue Communities, 470 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA

Tuesdays: 9:00 am – 11:00 am (First Tuesday of each month), North Quabbin Patch, 423 Main Street, Athol, MA

Fridays: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Southbridge Community Connections, 346 Main St, Southbridge, MA

 

Please note: HomeBASE applications are submitted and approved at DTA only.

If someone has been deemed EA eligible by DTA and qualifies for HomeBASE, then he/she should call Tina Ext. 6707 to schedule a front door intake.

Questions should be directed to Tracey, 978-630-6741 or Esmerelda, 978-630-6734

A Successful Partnership Gets Results!

Bottled water in storage. Hubbardston House was spending $350/month to provide bottled water to its 36 residents.

A Successful Partnership Gets Results! The Do Not Drink Order Lifted at Hubbardston House

Hubbardston House Apartments is a beautiful 36-unit, elderly and disabled residential home set in the rural central Massachusetts Town of Hubbardston and managed by RCAP Solutions. The affordable housing complex experienced a nitrate contamination issue with their drinking water and was issued a “Do Not Drink Order” from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

The Hubbardston House Apartments Property Manager, Elizabeth Tatro met with residents to explain the situation. “Our residents were able to bathe, cook and wash with the water, just not drink,” she explained. “We reminded the residents each month in our newsletter and with posted announcements.”

Residents were mindful not to drink the water and were provided with a bottled water dispenser and free bottled water in each unit. Because of the high acidic levels causing corrosion, the water was a blue/green tinge, which caused the sinks, toilets and tubs to stain and residents were advised not to wash light colored clothes as they could become stained.

A team of technical specialists led by Jim Starbard, Massachusetts State Lead for the Rural Community Development Division at RCAP Solutions with extensive background in water and environmental issues worked with the Property Management at Hubbardston House. “We were able to identify the contamination source by fully evaluating the property’s on-site wastewater treatment system,” he explained. “We discovered that the system was not installed as designed.”

Under Construction: Water tanks are installed during the onsite wastewater system upgrade.

The team oversaw the construction of the on-site wastewater system and since that repair, the Nitrate levels have abated to levels acceptable under state drinking water standards. “Our team also helped property management with a variety of compliance issues including previous sanitary survey consent orders,” continued Starbard. “Finally, we provided long-term planning for the community’s drinking water system, to ensure continued compliance and long-term sustainability.”

“I really appreciated Jim’s expertise, he always knew the best course of action for us to take with every situation,” commented Tatro.

The residents were recently notified that the do not drink order had been lifted and that the water was completely safe to drink. While the announcement was met with cautious optimism and many questions, the residents are happy to be able to drink the water again and fully utilize nature’s most valuable resource.

“It is just such a relief, having the do not drink order lifted,” commented Tatro. “As a leasing agent for the property I would be showing potential residents this beautiful facility with all these wonderful amenities and would then have to tell them that they can’t drink the water. It was frustrating.”

Because Hubbardston House is considered a public water system; an entity that provides water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances to at least 25 people, the property manager will continue to test the water levels each month to ensure that it’s meeting all the necessary requirements and is safe for public consumption.

Guide to Worcester County Services for New Residents Affected by Natural Disasters

Worcester County welcomes our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico & USVI.  If you are in Worcester County because you have been displaced by natural disaster, please take the following steps in order to access services and attain self-sufficiency.

Step 1: Register with FEMA. FEMA Individual Assistance Program provides disaster survivors with information , support services, and a way to access and apply for disaster assistance. Visit www.disasterassistance.gov. FEMA Helpline: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY: 1-800-462-7585.

Step 2: Register with Massachusetts. Mass 211 responds immediately during times of crisis, directing callers to the most appropriate services for their needs. Dial 2-1-1. If you are unable to reach 2-1-1 via your telephone/cellphone, call 1-877-211-MASS (6277), TYY: 1-508-370-4890. For more information visit http://mass211.org/

Step 3: Register with Centro. Centro will conduct an intake and needs assessment and develop a care plan for you and/or your family. Based on this care plan, Centro will either provide services or refer you to the appropriate community partner for assistance. Call 508-798-1900 or visit www.centroinc.org.

Additional Services:

Housing: RCAP Solutions will conduct an intake and needs assessment, then assist by providing services or refer you to another more appropriate community partner for assistance.  Call 800-488-1969, TTY: 978-630-6754 or visit www.rcapsolutions.org/individual-and-family-resources

Schools: Register children in school at the Worcester Public Schools Parent Information Welcome Center. 508-799-3299, www.worcesterschools.org.

Health Care: Free, confidential, multi-lingual health care and referral services available. Family Health Center of Worcester: 26 Queen Street, Worcester, 508-860-7700, TTY: 508-860-7750. Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center: 508-852-1805.

Veterans Support: Financial assistance provided to veterans and their families displaced by natural disaster who lived in Massachusetts for over one day. Veterans Inc.: 800-482-2565, www.veteransinic.org.

 

RCAP Solutions Selected as Hannaford Cause Bag Beneficiary

RCAP Solutions, Inc. was selected as a beneficiary of the Hannaford Cause Bag program for the month of November.

The Hannaford Cause Bag program is designed to support local nonprofits through the sale of their reusable Hannaford Helps bag.

RCAP Solutions, Inc. was selected by Hannaford store leadership as the November beneficiary of the program at the 21 Timpany Boulevard, Gardner, MA Hannaford store. For every Hannaford Helps reusable bag with the good karma message purchased at the Hannaford Store in Gardner, MA during the month of November, RCAP Solutions, Inc. will receive a $1 donation.

“This is an exciting opportunity for RCAP Solutions as we kick off our holiday season giving campaign,” said Karen A. Koller, President & CEO. “Our focus this year is to raise funds to help Puerto Rican hurricane victims. With this initiative, we’re providing an opportunity for the greater Gardner area to support those in the U.S. Caribbean territories as they struggle to rebuild their lives and stabilize their future.”

The funds raised will be divided into two distinct categories. The first will be directed towards the immediate need of providing emergency housing and support services to those who have chosen to resettle either temporarily or permanently in Massachusetts. The second will be deployed over the coming months to assist with reconstruction and economic recovery projects to those on the island of Puerto Rico.

“RCAP Solutions is uniquely positioned to help those who have been devastated by the recent hurricanes,” continued Koller. “With our housing efforts in Worcester County and a seasoned technical assistance team in Puerto Rico, RCAP Solutions is ready and able to meet the needs of those who so desperately need our vital services.”

RCAP Solutions has set a goal of raising $20,000 during the holiday season to support these two important initiatives.

About RCAP Solutions, Inc.

Established in 1969, RCAP Solutions mission is to foster personal and public self-reliance and improve the quality of life for individuals, families and the communities in which they live. RCAP Solutions is a comprehensive nonprofit community development corporation that works with communities of all sizes to address a broad range of needs. RCAP Solutions is part of a coordinated nationwide network with an integrated, multi-faceted approach to delivering high-quality services customized to each community’s unique requirements. For more information, please visit http://www.rcapsolutions.org/.

For more information on the Hannaford Cause Bag program, visit hannaford.bags4mycause.com.

New RAFT Intake Hours & Locations

RCAP Solutions has reinstated its intake and orientation for RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) applicants.

Our new hours are:

  • Tuesdays:  9:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Thursdays:  4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Office hours are located at our Worcester office, 12 East Worcester Street, 2nd Floor, Worcester.

Starting Monday, August 14th, we will be expanding our intake hours to include additional locations throughout Central Mass.

The expanded hours and locations are provided by our housing counselors in order to better serve the growing needs of our clients.

The RAFT Program is a homelessness prevention program funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). RAFT provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. For more information, visit http://www.mass.gov/hed/housing/stabilization/residential-assistance-for-families-in-transition.html

Housing Consumer Education Center Informational Session

Please note: This event is geared towards practitioners and other housing agencies. Not for individuals seeking housing assistance.

Meet the Housing Consumer Education Center Staff!

Learn about:

  • First Time Homebuyer Program
  • Tenancy Program
  • Financial Wellness and Coaching
  • Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)

 

Friday, June 30, 2017. From 1 – 3PM

12 East Worcester Street, 2nd Floor, Worcester

Light refreshments will be served

Advance registration requested, please R.S.V.P. to:

Belmaris Roman, HCEC Housing Counselor

Phone: (978) 630-6788

broman@rcapsolutions.org

Free Landlord and Tenant Workshops


How To Be A Good Tenant

Your Legal Rights & Responsibilities

Learn from professional housing counselors:

  • Planning your search for a rental unit
  • How to begin your search
  • Know your rights as a tenant
  • Tenant’s responsibilities
  • Rental Subsides
  • Avoiding Eviction

 Monday, June 5, 2017   ~   10 – 11:30 AM

RCAP Solutions – 12 East Worcester Street, 2nd Floor Worcester



How To Be A Good Landlord

Your Legal Rights & Preparing a Unit for Tenancy

Presented by Attorney Scott Wrenn, PC

Topics will include:

  • Buying a Rental Property
  • Prepping your Unit for Rental
  • Screening Prospective Tenants
  • Advertising your units
  • Written Lease Agreements
  • Security Deposits
  • Statements of Condition
  • Landlords Duty to Repair
  • Quiet Enjoyment
  • Summary Process

Wednesday, June 14 , 2017   ~   6 – 8 PM

NewVue Communities – 470 Main Street, Fitchburg

Please park on the right at the Shack’s parking lot or at the Main Street Garage (free 2-hour parking)



Register today!

Belmaris Roman, HCEC Counselor and Housing Search Specialist

Due to limited space, pre-registration is required.

RAFT Services Suspended

Please be advised that RCAP Solutions, Inc. is temporarily suspending intake and orientation for RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) applicants until further notice. We will most likely not resume taking applications prior to the start of the next fiscal year (July 1st) unless additional funds become available. At this juncture we have expended/committed all FY’17 funds available.

Please be advised that all applicants who have applied prior to the shut down and were not approved will need to begin the process again when we re-open in July.

 

For more information, please contact:

Tracey Weeden, Director of Counseling & Homeless Services

12 East Worcester Street, Worcester, MA 01604

Phone: 978-630-6741, Email: tweeden@rcapsolutions.org

 

We apologize for any inconvenience.

May Housing & Financial Wellness Workshops

HCEC Logo

Don’t Miss Our Upcoming Housing
& Financial Wellness Workshops!
__________________________________
 
First Time Home Buyer Certification:
May 16, 17, & 18, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Must attend all three classes per HUD guidelines
Cost: $55 Per Household
Participants will receive the required certificate that is stipulated in most FTHB loan product and DPA programs. This workshop will guide the homebuyer through the home buying process with professionals in the each field. Introducing the home buying team; Lender, Realtor, Inspector, Home owner Insurance Rep, and Attorney.
______________________________
Upcoming Financial Wellness Workshops:
 
Credit 101
May 10, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Participants will understand how to develop good credit, how to maintain credit and how to use credit wisely. 
Budgeting
May 24, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Participants will develop own personal spending plan, learn how to track spending and understand why/how to save toward increasing personal net worth (extreme couponing).
Financial Planning
June 28, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Participants will provide an in-depth look at savings and investing in the future, along with putting together a personal plan to meet their financial goals; Purchasing a home, Life Insurance, Retirement plan.
Registration/More Information:
Please contact Belmaris Roman
978.630.6788, broman@rcapsolutions.org
Space is limited, registration required.  
 
Location: 
RCAP Solutions
12 East Worcester St, 2nd Floor, Worcester, MA
____________________________________________________
 
Online Homebuyer Workshop
The Road Home
Cost: $100 Per Household
This is an online, self-paced workshop. You must complete the course within 30 days of registration.

Click here to register

 
Proudly Sponsored by:

 

RCAP Solutions Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) offers answers to a wide range of questions about housing problems.  Tenants, landlords, prospective buyers and homeowners can access information designed to maximize housing stability, strengthen investments and minimize disputes.

RCAP Solutions is one of nine member agencies of the statewide Regional Housing Network of Massachusetts, acting as the Housing Consumer Education Center for the Worcester County Region.  These agencies offer housing assistance, services, and information to low and moderate income residents of Massachusetts.

 

RCAP Solutions is an organization that has adopted The National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling, a set of guidelines for quality homeownership and counseling services. Industry professionals who adopt these standards can be trusted to provide consistent, high quality advice.  For more information, please visit www.homeownershipstandards.org

Purses for SafeStep

bagsThe purses have arrived at RCAP!

These 30+ purses, filled with toiletries, cosmetics and other necessities will be given out this holiday season to the families in our SafeStep Emergency Assistance Shelters, for victims of domestic violence. These families are homeless as a result of fleeing an abusive situation and often leave their homes, support system and communities with no belongings at all and must start completely over.

Special thanks to Heather Goodsell, the coordinator of Project Purses for her generous support again this year!

Support RCAP Solutions’ SafeStep Shelter Program!

donation amts to ss familiesDomestic abuse victims and their families often escape their abusers with nothing but the clothes on their back to call their own.

RCAP Solutions’ SafeStep Emergency Assistance Shelter provides shelter, housing and stabilization services for these fragile and homeless families at their most desperate time of need.

Your donation will mean more families will be provided with food, toiletries, and furnished homes when they enter the SafeStep program.

Please click here to make a donation and help us reach our goal of raising $10,000 this holiday season to help Worcester County families in need.

To learn more about SafeStep, please click here.