IMPORTANT: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has changed the application process for emergency rental assistance! Click here to learn more
An inside look at Way Finders’ Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES)
At the heart of Way Finders’ Competitive Integrated Employment Services? Listening. And following a client’s lead.
“We look at a client’s background, we look at their interests, we look at what barriers may be in the way of those. And we run with it! They lead, we follow,” says Job Developer Erika Serrano. “We’re there to follow and support our clients. It’s their life and we’re here to help them along their journey.”
Janishka Alvarado of Springfield, who joined the program in 2022, is here for it. All of it! “I love everything, everything. I love Erika. The way she helped me, the way she hears me, the way she talks to me about what may be best for me. I love the way she works with me.”
2022 Way Finders Toy Drive: Making it happen for kids (and their moms)
At our Springfield Housing Center earlier this week, the items we collected for our annual Toy Drive were carefully sorted by age groups—from infant to age 13—and arranged on tables. A big stack of Walmart gift cards for older children was at the ready.
And then our housing case managers arrived to select items for the children on their lists. Housing Case Manager Lisset Lolandes-Acosta came in full costume to ‘shop’ for the families she supports, who are among the more than 700 children living in Way Finders’ Emergency Shelter Programs and other properties.
“Thank you so much, this is absolutely amazing. We are beyond grateful to be able to provide for our families. This time of giving is, for me, so exciting, that’s why I dressed up! So it’s amazing on my end, and it’s amazing on their end. The giving and the receiving.”
Top Way Finders’ moments of 2022
A look at some of Way Finders’ top moments of 2022, including new developments, initiatives, and advocacy efforts.
A granddaughter. An inspector. An Evelyn: Introducing 2022 FSS Program grad Wendy Padilla
“I always feel there’s no job you can’t do when you have children to support,” says 2022 Family Self-Sufficiency Program graduate Wendy Padilla of Springfield. “I would take any job as long as it brought in a paycheck.”
The mother of two grown daughters, who has experience working in retail and the food industry, is raising her five-year-old granddaughter.
Staff Spotlight: Melanie Nunez, Homeownership Advisor
The best kind of coach? Someone you can trust to have a rock-solid gameplan and ready answers. Who can visualize and articulate the path forward. Who shows compassion, especially when you’re down.
There’s a new landlord in Westfield: Introducing first-time homeowner Luz Caballero
In Westfield this Thanksgiving, one extended family will have a special reason to give thanks.
“They can’t wait, everybody keeps calling about coming over!” says new homeowner Luz Caballero, a 2022 graduate of Way Finders’ Family Self-Sufficiency Program. “I said, ‘Let me move in first!’”
A year of thank-you moments brings the perfect bungalow within reach
As she reflects on her path to homeownership, Patty cuts right to the chase: “I’ll park a forty-foot bus for you in a little space. I’ll change the oil in your car, build you cabinets. But don’t ask me to be on the computer!”
A quest, a champion, and the drive for stability
Felicia Berard of Indian Orchard, a single mother of three, is back on the quest. “It’s a major goal for me, I’ve been trying a very long time, I want to buy a home before I turn 40,” she says with a laugh.
Sterile Processing Program: opening up career pathways in health care
For Lee Codrington, the opportunity to forge a new career pathway in health care—as a sterile processing technician—came at just the right moment.
From hurricane to homeownership: the reinvention of Idalis Rios
When Idalis Rios and her daughters left Puerto Rico for Springfield in 2017, in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria, she arrived with $600—a gift from her grandfather to help her survive.