Harwich Ecumenical Council for Housing

HECH was founded in 1990 by a group of caring residents and concerned clergy to address the crisis of homelessness in Harwich and its surrounding towns. In its early years, volunteers donated time and money to locate housing for families facing imminent homelessness and to provide solutions to other housing challenges. Much of the support for their efforts was generated from the Housing with Love Walk which was created by founding Board Member, Bob Murray. Hundreds of local residents have been walking from Provincetown to Falmouth every July for 21 years to ensure that the needs of year-round families continue to be heard and addressed.

Since its creation, HECH has grown into a professionally managed, multi-service organization, while still maintaining its grassroots commitment to low and moderate income families. HECH has developed housing providing both rental and homeownership opportunities to stabilize Cape communities. Today, HECH self-manages a portfolio of 54 rental units. It also administers rental assistance programs funded by local municipalities; runs town funded housing rehabilitation programs for emergency home repairs for qualifying residents; manages the Libby Arnold Stevens Resident Stabilization Fund providing emergency assistance to residents of Barnstable County;  and continues to actively help families’ access resources and assistance from a variety of available sources. In 1993, HECH founded The Children’s Center, located on Sisson Road in Harwich. This successful year-round childcare program serves 27 families from Wellfleet to Yarmouth each year and is an important resource for working families. HECH administers the Libby Arnold Stevens Scholarship Fund for Working Families and the Libby Arnold Stevens Endowment Fund for The Children’s Center, both of which help The Children’s Center carry out its mission of providing affordable childcare solutions for working families.

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