The Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund (CHAF), is a community effort to prevent and end homelessness by raising funds to assist with the startup costs (i.e., first/last month’s rent and security deposit) necessary to secure permanent housing. CHAF was founded in 1999 by the Cambridge Community of Realtors and since then has raised over $2 million to assist more than 1,800 households transition from life in a shelter, on the street, or on the verge of homeless into stable homes.
In May of 2015 the City of Cambridge published the “Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Cambridge” which focuses on the goals of prevention, intervention and permanent supportive housing. But obstacles such as the high cost of housing and a lack of subsidies remain. This past year, CHAF has done more than ever to help accomplish these goals, not only by providing financial assistance to those in need, but also by providing advocacy within the office of CHAF’s partner organization, HomeStart Inc. When a family needs assistance getting off the streets, they now have the opportunity to visit Case Managers at HomeStart, Inc. who will help search for housing, negotiate with landlords and assist with budget preparation for their clients.
On November 18th, 2015 Robert Paul Properties Cambridge agent’s attended the 17th annual fundraiser, Open Doors For The Homeless. The event was held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge and was filled with wonderful people committed to strengthening the Cambridge Community. From 5:30 to 8:30 they enjoyed jazz music provided by The Bertam Lehmann Band , delicious hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and heard from speakers on behalf of CHAF and Homestart, Inc. The event helped to raise $142,000, which will support the goals of preventing and someday ending homelessness in Cambridge. If you missed the event, you can still donate here.