$100,000 Urban Agenda Grant was recently awarded to Springfield WORKS, the lead applicant in a team including Home City Development, Inc. as the primary partner. The funds will be used to facilitate a community-wide collaboration, with the Western Mass Economic Development Council to manage, coordinate, and support the work of numerous participating program partner organizations, in efforts to support families in Springfield achieve economic stability. The funds will go towards the 2Generation/Whole Family Approach to Pathways to Careers and Home Ownership Program, which is a holistic, creative, and collaborative approach that helps low-income families access career development tools and training to successfully position individuals on a positive career trajectory. This program will focus onadults and children, addressing the gaps and barriers within multiple systems, including the “cliff effect” which makes transitioning out of state-assistance programs challenging. This project also brings a gender and racial equity lens to workforce strategies.
“This is an important partnership that helps families achieve economic gains without fear of losing an important safety net like housing.” Said Tom Kegelman, Executive Director of Home City Development, Inc.
Home City Development is the main partner in this project, which means that all program participants are Home City Development residents. The program will incorporate the Springfield WORKS’ 2Gen/ Whole Family Approach to Careers with Home City Development’s HUD Family Self Sufficiency program. Other partners include Dress for Success of Western Mass, HCS Head Start, EforAll, Families First, Springfield Partners for Community Action, and MassHire Springfield.
Springfield WORKS leverages employer partners including Baystate Health, MGM Springfield, United Personnel/Masis, Springfield Public Schools, and others for career pathway opportunities.
“Collaborative partnerships that include wrap around supports, employers and training partners, help remove barriers to ensure that pathways to quality jobs are open and accessible.” Said Anne Kandilis, Director of Springfield WORKS.
This effort is part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Program for 2022, which totals $2.5 million in awards to 30 projects in 26 communities. The Urban Agenda Grant, a Program administered by MA Department of Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, is designed to tap into unique local assets in communities around the Commonwealth, to develop customized support systems that meet the needs of their residents, versus a “one-size-fits-all” directive from government. This highly collaborative, community specific approach utilizes the resources and connections that already exist in each community across the Commonwealth.
About Springfield WORKS: Springfield WORKS facilitates ongoing, collaboration between a wide variety of employment programs, family-focused organizations, and local employers. working towards removing systemic and racial barriers to success and creating pathways to economic opportunity and well-being for Springfield families.
About Home City Development, Inc.: Home City Development, Inc. is a non-profit, resident-centered developer of multi-family and mixed-use properties in Western Massachusetts. HCDI was founded as Better Homes Inc. in 1968 by the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. For 50+ years, HCDI has facilitated community stability and growth in collaboration with its residents. The Resident Engagement program at HCDI works together with residents to build on their strengths, reach their goals and build healthy futures.