1. HAPHousing Becomes Way Finders to Reflect Scope of Its Work

    HAPHousing Becomes Way Finders to Reflect Scope of Its Work

    When the Housing Allowance Project opened its doors in 1973, the idea of providing people with assistance to pay their rent was a novel concept.  “Giving people a housing allowance was a radical concept, but poor people were concentrated in projects and high-rises that had become real problems, especially in large cities,” said Peter Gagliardi, president and chief executive officer of Way Finders in Springfield and Holyoke. “Many were poorly built and filled with children who had no place to play other than the hallways and elevators, so the idea was to stop building projects where the poor were all ...

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    1. Giving people a housing allowance was a radical concept, but poor people were concentrated in projects and high-rises that had become real problems, especially in large cities.
    2. Our old name didn't provide a sense of the magnitude of our work.
    3. We started out with a staff of about 20, and this year we have 250 employees who are very mindful of our philosophy.
    4. We started out with nine families and a manager.
    5. The number of people losing their homes was staggering, and we helped families through a partnership with the attorney general's office that saved their homes or allowed them to make a graceful exit without completely ruining their credit.
    6. We also played a leadership role in creating the Western Mass. Nonprofit Housing Developers Group 20 years ago, and partnered with Nueva Esperanza in Holyoke and another organization to restore a number of four-story apartment buildings in South Holyoke.
    7. We know that no organization can do everything, but we have played a leadership role, and collaboration has always been important to us.
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