June 8, 2021

From Shelter to Affordable Housing

 

 

A safe place to call home? It’s one where you can step outside and connect with neighbors. Where you can relish the relief that comes from quiet, violence-free nights. Where you can regroup each day and catch your breath. Where you can safely live in the moment and purposefully plan for the future. Where you can watch—with more joy than stress—as your children grow.  

These are aspects of daily life that all parents want and need for their families. But for Jetsabeth Rodriguez, a resident of Way Finder’s 27-unit property at Butternut Farm in Amherst, these foundational cornerstones were not always a given. 

At age 18, Jetsabeth was struggling to pay $750 in rent and support herself and her daughter. Complications, obstacles and a domestic violence situation led her, a few years later, to the point where she slept in her car for a week with her two children. 

Today, Jetsabeth has a place she is proud to call home and where her daughters’ smiles punctuate each day. “It’s just the best feeling ever,” Jetsabeth says. 

“Me, as their mother, I see their happy faces. They want to be home all the time," Jetsabeth says. “I know that by my living here, I’m going to be able to accomplish my goal of getting my house within three to five years. And I’m also gaining some trust in people. I’m beyond happy.” 

Jetsabeth’s journey was shaped by a transformational experience with Way Finders’ Safe Step program, which provides 18-24 months of supportive housing to survivors of domestic violence. In addition to financial assistance with rent, Jetsabeth received guidance from staff members who grew to feel more like family. They also helped her find her way home to Butternut Farm. 

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