What makes the difference between a “no” and a “maybe” in terms of getting residents involved in community building work? Between watching from the outside or joining the group? Between seeing a challenge as insurmountable or as something to take on with vigor? Between feeling at a loss (“What can I do?”) or feeling empowered (“Let’s do this!”)?
Way Finders and our partners know that thriving communities start with, and are propelled forward by, the very people who live there: the residents who call the area home, who are raising children and grandchildren there, who are shopping and walking there, and who are running local businesses there. These are the voices that can help transform a community into one that is healthy, safe, and full of life.
The Healthy Hill Initiative (HHI) is a multi-sector collaborative working to improve resident health & well-being in Springfield’s Old Hill neighborhood. Since beginning the Healthy Hill Initiative in 2016 Way Finders has expanded its efforts to the Mason Square community, engaging residents in health and fitness activities, leadership trainings, and advocacy efforts.
Grassroots empowerment for healthy neighborhoods & healthy people
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to meet our nation’s most pressing challenges and advance local solutions.
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.
Congratulations to the Way Finders' Community Building and Engagement team and their partners for being named a Business West western Massachusetts Healthcare Hero for their collaborative work within the Old Hill neighborhood of Springfield through the Healthy Hill Initiative.
William N. DeBerry School, 670 Union Street, Springfield
4:30 pm to 6:45 pm
Springfield College, along with the Old Hill and Upper Hill Neighborhood Councils, Way Finders, and the Partnership for the Renewal of Old Hill, is glad to sponsor the annual Block Party on the Hill on Thursday, Aug. 10, at William N. DeBerry School, located at 670 Union Street in Springfield.
Guests attending will be treated to free food, music, and dancing, while also being encouraged to join their local neighborhood councils. There will be a resource fair with information about health, education, and housing.