A lot can change over the course of five years. Especially when you've thoughtfully mapped out your educational and career goals and the steps needed to reach them. And connected with a mentor who is invested in your well-being. And committed to doing the work to improve relationships, one family meeting at a time.
Transitional Housing for Homeless Survivors of Domestic Violence
Way Finders Supportive Services provide transitional housing for survivors of domestic violence through our Safe Step program. Families are referred by a variety of partner agencies, including domestic violence shelters, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and the Department of Transitional Assistance. In transitional housing, homeless survivors and their children receive supportive services while living in safe units within the community for 18 to 24 months in Way Finders leased apartments.
Way Finders is nonprofit nationally certified by HUD, CHAPA, and the NeighborWorks Nationally Industry Standards. Credit Success is a financial education program that offers educational workshops, individual support, and guidance to anyone in the community. Our program helps families and individuals reach their goals, whether they want to buy a house or a car, pay off student loan debt, or learn how to build excellent credit.
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is a 3-5 year program that provides supportive counseling, financial education and credit success workshops to Way Finders' Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher participants. FSS participants will work one-on-one with Economic Mobility Specialists to develop an action plan to their goals whether it be to secure employment, further education, purchase a home, or start a business.
Way Finders serves as the regional Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) for Hampden and Hampshire counties and administers financial assistance programs such as Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA), and other municipal programs.
Way Finders' METAR team found stable housing for 107 families and individuals with an overall average of $4,000 per household provided for rehousing. 46% of households were placed in market rate apartments and the remainder found subsidized housing.
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:
“To be honest, never in my wildest dreams would I think a single mother of two working two jobs could be in this position. But when I promised my son on Christmas morning that I would buy him and his baby sister a house, I planned to keep that promise regardless of the obstacles I faced.