Despite these challenges, Frayser is full of potential. In 2017, a passionate MassMutual agent inspired us to do more. After learning about the damaging effect payday lenders had on the area, we were ready to act but didn’t have all the answers – we needed take a mutual approach.
In 2018, Frayser welcomed the opportunity to be one of the first neighborhoods to participate in the Live Mutual Project.
Springfield’s North End includes Brightwood, Memorial Square and Liberty Heights. For more than a century, it has been a first home for various immigrant communities. While some have thrived, others experience health and well-being far below the city, regional and state expectations.
Brightwood, Memorial Square and Liberty Heights have unemployment rates of 16%, 31% and 14% respectively, compared to the 3.7% national rate.
55% of Springfield residents graduate from high school, compared to the state average of 85%.
North End residents face challenges accessing financial services. With no banks in the area, people rely on a few ATMs, check-cashing options in bodegas or payday lenders in surrounding neighborhoods.
As the location of MassMutual’s headquarters, Springfield, Massachusetts was a natural place for us to pilot the Live Mutual Project. We work with longstanding partners to support residents’ financial well-being.