News, Ideas & Impact

September 21, 2022

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.

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August 16, 2022

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. 

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June 30, 2022

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.

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June 7, 2022

Meet community leader Gerardo Torres: “We are supposed to be together, be helping each other”

Essential to the collaborative work that is community building and engagement? Vision—to see potential in residents. To see ways to build trust. To see sparks of hope. But no matter how much preparation goes into bringing such visions to life, there comes a time when the key pieces—the venue, the speakers, the topics—are set. And there’s nothing left to do but close your eyes and let go. And hope there's someone like community leader Gerardo Torres there to catch the ball.

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May 9, 2022

The FSS Program: the right setting, the right time, the right ears

Spotted in front of the Way Finders Housing Center at 1780 Main Street in Springfield on Monday, March 28, 2022? Two women, all smiles. One escrow check, to the tune of $3,500.

This brief exchange—between Way Finders FSS Specialist Evelyn Baez and check recipient Nicole Camacho Torres, a 2022 Family Self-Sufficiency Program graduate—was the culmination of many years of work and effort. 

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April 26, 2022

Coming back from setbacks: “Cynthia’s in victory mode right now”

Sometimes the weight of feeling that you aren’t yet where you’re supposed to be—personally or professionally—can be crushing. Compounded by upheavals to daily life brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, this weight can be too much to bear alone. For Cynthia of Springfield, participating in Way Finders’ Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program has meant that she didn’t have to go it alone. 

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April 19, 2022

A pandemic-driven path to homeownership: Meet 2021 FSS graduate Shari Mendez

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives, taken lives, and reshaped how we go about living our lives. For Shari Mendez, who works at a nursing home and is raising six children, the stress of the pandemic was felt both at home and at work.  

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April 6, 2022

“I’m back in the league!”—a profile in patience and perseverance

Growth, pride, confidence, happiness. These are intangible—yet transformational—takeaways from Shlaunia Howard’s experience with Way Finders.

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March 24, 2022

Holding out for her dream: FSS graduate Daisy Martinez achieves a decades-long goal

On August 27, 2021, Daisy Martinez did something for the first time in 40 years: She called a place other than Orchard Street in Springfield her home.

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March 14, 2022

2021 graduate Frances Rojas on the FSS Program: Questions that count, conversations that matter

Some questions scratch the surface. Others keep us on our toes—and moving in the right direction. Or, in the case of 2021 FSS graduate Frances Rojas, toward purchasing her first home. 

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