Housing Walk Carries On In Founder's Memory

Wearing bright yellow T-shirts, comfortable walking shoes and lots of sunscreen, participants in a yearly pilgrimage from Provincetown to Woods Hole are expected to walk 96 miles next week.  It is to raise money for homeless residents and families on the Cape.

The Bob Murray Housing With Love Walk, now in its 22nd year, is especially poignant this year since Falmouth’s zealous affordable housing advocate and founder of the fundraising walk, Robert H. Murray, died last September at the age of 73. He spent 16 years at the helm of the Falmouth Housing Authority.

In his honor, walkers will take turns carrying Mr. Murray’s well-worn sneakers along the route. “It’s a symbolic gesture to make sure his spirit is with us every step of the way,” said Thomas L. Lacey, executive director of the Falmouth Housing Authority. “Bob’s energy will be sorely missed, but it only caused the rest of us to redouble our efforts to carry on his legacy.”

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Mr. Murray organized the first walk 22 years ago and raised about $28,000. Since then, the walk has raised more than $4 million that goes to local housing agencies across Cape Cod. The organizations include the Falmouth Homeless Prevention Program, the Harwich Ecumenical Council for the Homeless, the Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod, the Homeless Prevention Council of Orleans, and St. Vincent de Paul Society of East Sandwich among others.

The walk begins July 14 at St. Mary’s Church in Provincetown and ends on July 20 at Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub on Main Street, Falmouth. Walkers will cover 10 to 15 miles per day on main Cape roadways.

“Bob wanted the walk to be visible and attract attention to our cause,” said Mr. Lacey.

During the last three days, walkers will crisscross Falmouth. Mr. Lacey encourages people to join the effort.

Day five begins at 8 AM on the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne and ends at Cavossa Disposal Corporation, 210 Nathan Ellis Highway (Route 151) at 3 PM. Day six starts at 8:30 AM next to the former Nickelodeon theater on Route 151, heads to Mashpee Commons, and finishes at 2:30 PM on the Falmouth Village Green. The last day starts at 11:30 AM on the Village Green, and will proceed along the bike path to the Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole. At 1 PM, walkers will return to downtown Falmouth by way of the Falmouth Road Race course, ending at Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub & Restaurant at 3:30 PM.

To make a donation, go to murrayhousingwalk.org.

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