Give Hope Where You Live


Krista's Story

Today, Krista is working a job she loves and living in her own rental apartment in Brewster with her three-year-old son, Cameron. But when she came to Housing Assistance in 2020, her life was “falling apart.”

She was going through a divorce, and she’d relapsed. She’d lost custody of her son and her driver’s license after a DUI, then lost her home. 

That’s when she found Housing Assistance. While living in one of the agency’s shelters, she focused on getting back on her feet and in control of her life, graduating from a substance use recovery program, and with help of shelter staff, learning to live independently once again.

In July 2022, Krista achieved a life-long dream by earning her commercial driver’s license (CDL) and began driving big rigs 300 to 400 miles a day.

Her work to improve her life didn’t stop there. Krista also worked with Housing Assistance family empowerment director, Katie Geissler, to apply for a financial rehousing benefit through the state’s HomeBASE program, and found a rental apartment in Brewster, where she’s been for just over a year.

“Krista was a remarkable client. She was so focused on being extremely independent,” said Geissler. Whether it was her recovery, housing stability or her CDL license, “her drive to be successful and to follow through and reach her goals was inspiring.”

Krista is thankful for the help and kind words she received from Housing Assistance staff. “They really worked with me, encouraged me,” she said. “It was a time in my life where I was waving my white flag and they were there to help me back to my feet.”

Leslie's Story

After losing her longtime rental at the beginning of the pandemic, Leslie* was faced with leaving Cape Cod in search of affordable housing or becoming homeless. She chose the latter, braving long nights alone in her van in hotel parking lots.

“I was juggling two jobs – one in retail and one as support staff in healthcare – but I still couldn’t find a rental on the Cape I could afford after my long-term rental was sold,” said the single mom of two grown children. “I wanted to own my home so that it couldn’t be sold out from under me.”

Leslie came to Housing Assistance to apply for a lottery home. While she did not win one of those life-changing opportunities, she did not become discouraged. She took Housing Assistance’s Money Matters and First Time Homebuyers courses to help her work toward her financial goals. All while living in her van over a period of two and a half years.

After many months of hard work and putting money aside, her life changed last fall when she was able to purchase one of Housing Assistance’s deed-restricted condos on the Upper Cape.

Now Leslie knows she’ll always have a safe place to live. She doesn’t have much need for her van anymore either; she now has a car she drives to and from her new home every day.

Leslie credits the support she got at Housing Assistance with helping her achieve her dream.

“They believed in me, and they helped me learn the skills I needed to make my dream of owning my own home become a reality,” she said. “I’m so grateful.”

*Client name changed to protect her privacy 

The Watsons' Story

Jim Watson* enjoys a weather-tight home in Falmouth that is mold-free and complete with a new, energy-efficient heating system.

But when his daughter, Virginia, first called Housing Assistance on his behalf, she was afraid her father might not be able to stay in his family home of 70 years due to health issues and financial limitations.

“His energy bills were high because the house wasn’t very well insulated, so the first step was an energy audit,” she said.

The Housing Assistance Energy Department conducted the audit to help the family understand their options. In addition to weatherization improvements, the Watsons qualified for a new heating system and mold and vermiculite remediation. “When Housing Assistance told me all the ways they could help, I was just blown away. I literally cried,” Virginia said.

The Energy Department works with many service-oriented contractors and also partners with local agencies, businesses and organizations to help clients like the Watsons. In 2022, the Energy Department served 722 clients on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.

Watson is thrilled her father’s home is now both warmer and safer. “I feel like the Energy program might have saved his life,” she said. “It’s such a better feeling to walk in there now.”

She also appreciated the compassion shown by Housing Assistance staff, like Suzanne Smith, the Weatherization Assistance Program coordinator. “Every time I spoke with Suzanne, she asked me how my dad was,” she said. “It was not just business. It was personal.”

That’s all in a day’s work, said Smith. “When our Energy Department staff sees other problems in the home, we look for ways to help,” she said. “We want homeowners to have homes that are energy-efficient and safe in every way.”

*Client names changed to protect their privacy