"Leave no man behind" are words learned by our military men and women. It's a motto we live by at Helen's Helping Hands.
Our plan is to expand our services and "Leave no man (or woman) behind. Veterans who served our country with honor deserve nothing less."
Helen's Helping Hands works closely with individuals, community non-profits, government entities, associations, and the business community to assist veterans and create a better society. Helen's Helping hands is committed to serving our veterans through healthy partnerships a growing number of individuals, community non-profits, government entities, associations, and foundations. We consider our partners essential to the ongoing success of our programs.
Agencies we partner and cooperate with:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Center for Minority Veterans
Assists eligible veterans in their efforts to receive benefits and services from VA.
Center for Veterans Enterprise
The federal web portal for veterans in business.
U.S. Department of Labor Veterans - Employment and Training Service (VETS)
Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program
Robin Hayes, Co-Founder
Robin Hayes, serves as Executive Director of Helen's Helping Hands, a Massachusetts based nonprofit agency that works to help end homelessness among current and future Brockton area veterans. She works to enable veterans to secure their rights and benefits, and to obtain access to housing,education, counseling, healthcare and employment opportunities. Robin is no stranger to helping veterans and calling attention to the needs of economically disadvantaged veterans in the greater Brockton community. Robin and her mother have been offering transitional housing and day services to Veterans for over 5 years. Robin says of that service" We have been providing rehabilitation, education, employment and training for over 100 Veterans, and we are in the planning process of creating economic development and small business initiatives for even more veterans."
"Our goal is to expand into a full-service, one-stop agency, providing a holistic approach to serving our homeless veteran population."
Robin, who grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and is a proud mother of four. She is also a former Real Estate agent who has always loved to work in the public and community service arena. Robin says, "I was always a care provider as long as I can remember, I always went to my aunts job to help her out with her patients at the nursing homes she worked in. I always enjoyed caring for others in need of help."
Robin "always wanted to become a nurse and work in the hospital when I was younger, then that changed when I became older." Robin says, "There was a time when I wanted to be the voice for the dead and become a crime scene investigator," but Robin thought about it, and decided that she would be too upset if I had to piece together a crime scene that a small child was involved in that would really upset me, and "I would be on the clock 24/7 and that wasn't going to workout because I’m a mother now."
During her many searches for properties as a Real Estate Agent, Robin came across a property that would provide her an opportunity of a life time, to work on an issue dear to her heart - homeless veterans. Working to assist Veterans in need of help. Robin and her mother were able to acquire the property they have today in order to establish the nonprofit “Helen's Helping Hands.” Robin says of Helen’s Helping Hands, “It has been and still is a struggle everyday to operate the program at 100% of what we would like it to be. We know we have a great model, but we also want to develop a strong sustainability plan to make sure that we stay around until there is no more need for our services.” Robin went on to say, “My mom and I have depleted our savings accounts so we could move forward to our dream of changing one life at a time. We feel we are so blessed emotionally but financially... not at all.”
Robin feels that both her and her mother “saw the vision that so many didn't see... and that hurt at first ,trying to defend our reasons of why we were interested in caring for those who society shunned.” Yet Robin says, “That did not deter us from our dream, that just gave us the push that we needed to show those who didn't have the faith in us, we were going to prove you wrong.” Robin and her mother began their journey, purchasing the property, an naming the nonprofit agency, “Helen's Helping Hands,” named after Robin’s grandmother Helen.
Robin explains affectionately, “My nana was a woman of character, a true warrior in her own right, what a strongwoman she was. You could always count on Nana for any and everything. She came from a large family growing up during the depression error in a predominately white neighborhood called South Boston. However she was born in Cambridge Massachusetts then moved to Southie as a teen. She was brought up in a diverse area Cambridge and then had to move and faced the challenges of color around bigotry, hatred and racism in her teenage years, that was not easy for her and her siblings.”
Robin went on to say, “You would've never known it, but that explains why Nana never took any stuff off of anyone. She always taught me to stand up for what you believe in and never to talk about someone behind their back, always be prepared to tell them what you have to say to their face. That resonates with me to this day, and that's something I always taught to my children. I always believed that things happen for a reason, weather
you can make sense out of them then or you make sense out of it later, it will always work out - Good things come to those who wait patiently."
Robin brings her life experiences and wealth of knowledge to public and community service to her work. Robin is working towards completion of her degree in Psychology, as an adult learner at Cambridge College.
Tina Hayes serves as Deputy Director of Helen’s Helping Hands, Tina Hayes can’t talk about Helen’s Helping Hand’s without talking about her mother whose name was Helen. Helen’s Helping Hand’s is named after Tina Hayes mother, Helen.
Tina Hayes grew up in Roxbury Massachusetts, her mother Helen was a college graduate in 1930's from the Bible Institute of Philadelphia she was going to go to Belgium Congo as a missionary during World War 2 but she did her civil duty and worked at the naval ship yard doing various jobs.
A story of family caring and sharing
Tina fondly remembers her mother saying how you would have to turn in the tooth paste tubes so they could be melted down to make bullets to be used during World War 2. Tina’s mother met her soon to be husband, Louis H. Craig while he was stationed at the Navy yard. They eventually had 3 daughters Lois, Tina and Valerie. Tina says” My mother came from Cambridge MA. 1 of 8 children and my father was from Camden Alabama, one of 17 children. My mother never went to the Congo as a missionary but she always did missionary work locally. If a family member came to visit, and decided to stay over for 1 night or 1 month all they needed to do was come."
They didn't need to bring anything with them because "Aunt Helen" would have everything they needed. Growing up during the great depression and coming from a large family she knew how to survive and never threw anything out. I remember a story my mother told me about when she lived in South Boston as a young girl growing up. Her step father owned a house in "Southie" she was about 14 years old so she and 1 of her brothers went down to the fish pier and the fishermen were hanging around fishing, my mother asked if they could have a fish and they replied "yeah, take that one " they motioned to over there, a great big fish about 5 ft. long then all the fishermen bowled over in laughter as she and her brother Norman walked off.
What the fishermen didn't know that her and her brother had a plan, so off they went with the drive and determination to return back for this great big fish. They went back home and took the wheels off of an old pair of roller skates then they attached them to a board long enough to hall off this great big fish. So when they returned back to the pier they went straight over to this 5 ft. fish and rolled it on to the homemade platform they made. The fishermen howled in laughter. The brought the great big fish home, and not only did the family eat for days off of the great big fish; they were able to share some with their neighbors as well. “ Tina says, “So all of my life I've been exposed to the giving and sharing mentality and the experience has carried over into my adulthood where I have passed this trait on to my children. I enjoy very much working and taking care of the disabled veterans, a day does not go by that they don't thank us for caring… and that alone is priceless.”
We provide veteran with immediate emergency assistance, including shelter.
Helen's Helping Hands will be expanding these services over the next two years through your donations, foundation, business and government grants and contracts for services. Learn more HERE