WAMS works with civic, public and private partners to create program vehicles aimed at helping our community and the people who live here, overcome complex and interrelated personal and social challenges. From developing the first Habitat for Humanity and AIDS housing programs in Massachusetts to championing the ‘housing first’ model and leading the regional effort to preserve Chapter 40B, WAMS has been a longtime leader and community partner in the effort to create stable and affordable housing for low-income residents. Today, WAMS efforts also encompass a commitment to finding credible strategies to reduce poverty and increase economic mobility for families and individuals struggling to connect with the new structures of economic opportunity.
We believe that Tim Garvin, CEO and President of United Way of Central MA said it best at a recent WAMS gathering of people working hard to support struggling families:
“If we have people in the 4th generation living in the same lack of safety and stability… not learning to read, not getting good jobs, then it’s not working.”
While there are many important pieces to the puzzle, we know, as EmPath (formerly the Crittenton Women’s Union) so aptly describes and demonstrates, that “real solutions require long-term holistic approaches based on current research on the cost of living, labor market analysis on where the jobs are, and comprehensive mentoring approaches.”
We also know that jobs that pay self-sufficient wages require education and training. And yet, for many children, playing catch-up with their peers begins well before kindergarten, and summers that offer learning for others are for them only summers of falling behind.
For these and so many other reasons, WAMS is committed to working with everyone and anyone who is interested in creating sustainable change for struggling Massachusetts families, including the youth who are as interested in being a part of today as they are in being a part of “the future,” and all who lead them.