Volunteers Kickoff Annual Housing with Love Walk

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Participants in the Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk start up again after a lunch break in East Sandwich.

Participants in the Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk in East Sandwich in 2015.

PROVINCETOWN – Volunteers kicked off the 24th annual Bob Murray Housing with Love Walk Monday morning in Provincetown.

The week-long walk goes through every Cape Cod town before ending in Falmouth.

The walk raises awareness and money to assist local organizations to prevent homelessness and provide affordable housing on Cape Cod.

“Some of it is to bring new affordable housing units online, which is happening all the time,” said Don Jenkins, an official volunteer with the Housing with Love Walk. “And also, some of the work is to help people stay in their apartments.”

Between 300 and 400 participants are expected over the course of the week with about 50 to 60 walking each day, with a small number of walkers who walk all the way to Falmouth.

Participants started at Saint Mary’s Church on Commercial Street in Provincetown and will be walking to Marconi Beach in Wellfleet on Monday. On Tuesday, walkers will travel through Eastham and Orleans before finishing at the General Store in Brewster.

Walkers will start in Chatham and go up through Harwich and Dennis into Yarmouth.

“It’s not contiguous,” Jenkins said. “Each day has its own segment and its mostly for safety and to represent each of the towns that these agencies are a part of.”

Housing Assistance Corporation Director of Community Relations and Fundraising Laura Reckford said the annual event makes a difference in the community.

“It’s a very fun seven days where nine different social service agencies, agencies involved with housing, collaborate together to raise money, to help people find housing,” said Reckford.

Those nine agencies include Champ Homes in Hyannis, the Chatham Ecumenical Council for the Homeless and the Community Development Partnership.

Jenkins said that the average person would need to make $24 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment on Cape Cod, but the average wage of a renter on the Cape is $10.67 an hour.

“An awful lot of the people living under the poverty line here are single parents, single moms with children,” said Jenkins. “They really have no chance to afford a two-bedroom apartment at that price.”

Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf is attending the event and will honor DJ Sullivan, a long-time friend of Murray who walked with him in the event for over a decade.

Since its inception in 1993, the walk has raised over $4.5 million.

Murray was the founder of the Falmouth Housing Corporation and the Harwich Ecumenical Council for the Homeless, before passing away in 2013.

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