Jonel relocated to Massachusetts from Connecticut, where, despite working two jobs, she couldn’t afford rent. She lost everything and moved north with her daughter, right before the start of a global pandemic. Her plan—to stay with family—didn’t work out.
“I had no choice but to go into a shelter,” says Jonel. There she connected with programs and people who helped her start over. Today, Jonel pays market rent in Holyoke, works in the food industry, and is saving to get to the next steps in life. To others who are facing housing insecurity, Jonel offers these words: “Don’t be afraid. Look forward, don’t look back. And if you’re serious about changing your life, Way Finders is the way to go.”