News, Ideas & Impact

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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February 23, 2022

Finding the space—physically, emotionally, financially—to rebuild paves the way to brighter days

When asked to sum up her experience with housing before she connected with Way Finders, Jessica Diaz, a native of Springfield and mother of four, presses a hand to her forehead. She shakes her head at the memory: “It was just waitlist, after waitlist, after waitlist.” 

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January 31, 2022

David Rios - First-time Homebuyer

David Rios and his wife Jacqueline graciously caught up with Way Finders shortly after they closed on their first home: a 1909 four-bedroom house in Springfield.

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January 31, 2022

She rents. She buys. She soars! FSS graduate and new homeowner Shakina Gladden

To avoid certain disappointments, parents have been known to keep a thing or two from their kids until the last minute—tentative plans for a playdate, an outing that calls for good weather—in case things fall through.

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January 4, 2022

Yamaris Rivera - Holyoke Community Advocate

Yamaris Rivera, who works as a family engagement coordinator at the H.B. Lawrence School in Holyoke, has been involved with Way Finders and the Chestnut Community Alliance since 2016. Through this connection, she has gotten to know the community and its needs more closely, both of which have greatly benefited her work.

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