Senior Health and Leadership in Springfield
Whether taking a vigorous chair aerobics class or walking through the Old Hill neighborhood, a group of seniors from Springfield are becoming healthier and transforming their community in the process.
Community Gardens at Way Finders Properties
The spring and summer seasons of 2018 will be remembered as times of abundance by the families living at Butternut Farm in Amherst. As part of our ongoing Resident Engagement Initiative, which began in 2017, we learned that the most successful way to manage a property requires open communication and teamwork with our residents.
Ivan Felix Creates a Path to a Successful Future
Ivan Felix is a 31-year-old Section 8 participant from Puerto Rico who enrolled in our Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program in 2016. When he joined the program he was struggling with keeping a job and managing his finances. He couldn't picture himself with a successful future. He had no high school education, income, credit, transportation, health insurance, or support.
Claudia Brito Finds a Job that Fits
Claudia is a single mother of two children who struggled to find a stable job that paid the bills AND left time to take care for her family. In 2018 she received stabilization funds to move from shelter into her own apartment. During this time she was working part-time as a Certified Nursing Assistant, however, the stabilization funds and her part-time wages were not enough to sustain her apartment and family long term – she knew she needed a full-time job.
Ivelisse Morales buys her first home
Ivelisse, who endured domestic violence, multiple threats of eviction, dependence on emergency assistance programs and a house fire that left her and her two kids homeless less than one year ago, now purchased her first home. This is her story, in her own words:
Butternut Farm Community Tag Sale
Butternut Farm is a mixed-income development featuring 27 apartments. Many units offer decks or patios as well as laundry facilities, storage areas, play areas, and parking spaces. Over the past year, the community at Butternut Farm has evolved due to Way Finders' new Resident Engagement Initiative. On Sunday, September 16th, Butternut Farm held its first Community Tag Sale.
The Healthy Hill Initiative in Action
Hi, I'm Beatrice Dewberry, Community Building and Engagement Manager at Way Finders. I have the good fortune to manage the Healthy Hill Initiative. It's a five year public health initiative that focuses on one neighborhood in Springfield, the Old Hill neighborhood. We were able to secure funding through the BUILD Health Challenge in 2015 for a two-year planning grant. And then, through community and investment tax credit funds, we were able to leverage those credits to secure additional funding through Baystate Health, to actually implement the Healthy Hill Initiative.
Charles Winston and his Road to Homeownership
Charles came to Way Finders in 1997. At that time, he was unemployed and needed our assistance to secure a Section 8 housing voucher. Years later, Charles, now a single father, learned about his opportunity to participate in the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program – and that was the beginning of his journey to where he is today.
Imagine the desperation of living on the streets with two young children. This was Derek's reality until he was referred to Way Finders. We were able to help him find a short-term housing solution and a temporary job.
Francisco got hurt on the job and after several months, couldn’t pay the rent. He and his three-year old daughter ended up in a Way Finders’ temporary shelter. While he recovered from his injury, he took advantage of job readiness training and landed a full time job.