A visionary Worcester under fire

While Worcester experiences “unprecedented investment” in downtown development especially, the great influx of cash from outside economic forces neglects, in one advocate’s mind, a broader image of community and risks far more than the city would stand to gain from using the determined, blue-collar progress of Main South as a blueprint for a vibrant, inclusive and sustainable future.

What does WAFT do, anyway? An inside look at Worcester’s anti-foreclosure warriors: Part 2 — The team rallies around an Oak Street family

Neither Donna Berrios nor her husband have been inside their home since the eviction notice was issued five days before. Their son, A.J., not similarly barred by the sometimes ambiguous foreclosure laws, carries out a large textbook. Meanwhile WAFT protesters have assembled for support as group leader Grace Ross angles to keep Berrios in her Oak Street house.

What does WAFT do, anyway? An inside look at Worcester’s anti-foreclosure warriors: Part 1 — Gaining traction and attention

Together a dedicated group of volunteers is tackling the still-daunting number of foreclosure petitions issued in the state by helping residents stay in their homes while exhausting all the archaic, complicated and red-taped remedies in the foreclosure process. “Basically it’s about enforcing the laws that are on the books,” said Grace Ross, the organization’s founder, who was recently honored by New England’s NAACP chapter with a lifetime achievement award for her advocacy work. This is the first in a two-part report chronicling several days in the lives of the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team and the people they try to help.

What does WAFT do, anyway? An inside look at Worcester’s anti-foreclosure warriors: Part 2 — The team rallies around an Oak Street family

Neither Donna Berrios nor her husband have been inside their home since the eviction notice was issued five days before. Their son, A.J., not similarly barred by the sometimes ambiguous foreclosure laws, carries out a large textbook. Meanwhile WAFT protesters have assembled for support as group leader Grace Ross angles to keep Berrios in her Oak Street house.

What does WAFT do, anyway? An inside look at Worcester’s anti-foreclosure warriors: Part 1 — Gaining traction and attention

Together a dedicated group of volunteers is tackling the still-daunting number of foreclosure petitions issued in the state by helping residents stay in their homes while exhausting all the archaic, complicated and red-taped remedies in the foreclosure process. “Basically it’s about enforcing the laws that are on the books,” said Grace Ross, the organization’s founder, who was recently honored by New England’s NAACP chapter with a lifetime achievement award for her advocacy work. This is the first in a two-part report chronicling several days in the lives of the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team and the people they try to help.

Sun Shine: At Broad Meadow Brook volunteers are a natural fit

“We want to be engaged with the community,” says Martha Gach, the conservation coordinator. “We recognize that there is no way the paid staff can do everything that we need to do here, and we also recognize that people want to be involved.” Alex Khan straightens his tie and digs in for an in-depth look at where Worcester and nature and good people collide.

Sun Shine: At Broad Meadow Brook volunteers are a natural fit

“We want to be engaged with the community,” says Martha Gach, the conservation coordinator. “We recognize that there is no way the paid staff can do everything that we need to do here, and we also recognize that people want to be involved.” Alex Khan straightens his tie and digs in for an in-depth look at where Worcester and nature and good people collide.

Sun Shine: YouthWorks building skills, pride in young people

For teens and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds, YouthWorks — a mostly state-funded collaboration backed locally by Worcester Community Action Council and partners — provides more than something for them to do over the summer. It’s a stepping stone to the future. “What Worcester is doing is terrific,” said Anne Berrigan, a program administrator. “YouthWorks is one of the best kept secrets in your town.” Not for long! Alex L. Khan takes an in-depth look at what’s working for these Worcester youths.

Local Business Spotlight: ETAwiz, Worcester-developed app is right on time

“The app is designed [to be] very viral,” said founder Kevin Anderson, noting a component that links the app to a user’s Facebook account for social-media sharing. Employed to fill the “gap in real life social engagement” by allowing app users to post on social media, ETAwiz not only signifies interest in an event, but provides latent attendees a jolt to join in. Alex L. Khan returns to the Sun for an in-depth look under the city’s innovative hood.