East Cambridge Savings Bank was honored to be the lead sponsor of the 20th annual Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund (CHAF) Open Doors for the Homeless fundraiser. Founded in 1999 by Cambridge realtors who were concerned about homelessness and the rising cost of housing in their community, CHAF strives to intervene before a family is homeless.
East Cambridge Savings Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Gilda Nogueira welcomed the attendees and spoke about the unique model of intervention and prevention that has cemented CHAF as a vital member of the Cambridge community. “CHAF’s approach, which strives to keep families in stable housing before they experience homelessness, not only costs significantly less, it also has a positive effect that goes far beyond the question of if a family will have a safe place to stay. We all know that when people have stable housing, particularly children and young people, they are healthier, safer, and more productive members of our society. The ability to find and keep work or make it through a school day is closely tied to a stable living situation” Nogueira said.
Since 1999, CHAF has raised nearly $2.5 million and assisted 2,000 households to find or maintain housing. Notably, 90% of all funds raised go directly to aiding residents and families facing homelessness and its costs only $1,250 to prevent a family from becoming homeless-as opposed to $30,000 per year to house a family in a shelter.