Mission Moments

From sunrise to sunset, Dee Canales ushers families through turmoil toward stability

SPRINGFIELD – Diana “Dee” Canales’ workdays start shortly after sunrise, typically sitting at her desk in a small office she shares with another family case manager for CHD’s Homelessness and Housing Services.  She pores over neatly kept notes in neatly kept notebooksthat chronicle the outlines of a tightly-managed schedule. Her days are, nonetheless, rarely predictable. […]

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Youth, Revisited

At 17, Omar never thought he’d be chasing sobriety. His high school sophomore year was heady. He began smoking weed and drinking beers. It seemed fun. It felt manageable — almost like a rite of passage. Lot of his friends were doing it. He was a standout on his suburban high school’s baseball team. A […]

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CHD Staff Going Above and Beyond: At a higher altitude

It’s a sunny, cold day in late November. Skies are blue but the wind whipping off the water at the Quabbin Reservoir is unforgiving and lashes their cheeks. Some of the boys are reasonably dressed for the hike ahead of them. Others are not, though they have been counseled. They quicken their steps out of […]

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From Hurricane Maria, to homelessness, to independence

When Julio Cruz’s home in Puerto Rico was wiped out by Hurricane Maria in 2017, he and his family were forced to live on a basketball court in the outdoors for nearly a week. He, and his wife and two children were among the earliest evacuees off the devastated island. The Cruzes traveled to live […]

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