April 19, 2022

RSJ Spotlight: A Better Way JJJ

Racial & Social Justice Partner Spotlight Series

Each month we will be spotlighting an organization or individual in our community who is putting in the work to create real and lasting change for a more equitable Spokane.

Our Racial & Social Justice Partner Spotlight this April is Chauncey Jones and A Better Way JJJ.


3 minute read


What roles do you serve in the community and what are your titles?

Chauncey serves as the Community Engagement Board Liaison with Spokane Public Schools’ Department of Family & Community Engagement. Previously he has worked with the school district to mentor youth, but recently he has been able to transform that passion into an established role. As the Board Liaison, Chauncey works with families of students who have missed a lot of school and have been placed on the BECCA Bill. The board helps identify barriers students are facing, connecting them with school & community resources that can help eliminate the barriers to engagement and keep them in school.

Chauncey, along with his cousin Jerry also serves as a member of A Better Way JJJ, a real estate investment company that focuses on affordable housing. Partnering with Habitat for Humanity-Spokane and Greenstone New Beginnings, A Better Way JJJ looks to increase affordable homeownership. As A Better Way has grown, Chauncey has helped launch a nonprofit related to the work they do at A Better Way, called Take Up The Cause. Take Up the Cause is made up of board members who are impacting the Spokane community in so many ways.

What mission or vision guides your work?

Chauncey’s personal mission is to build generational wealth for his family and affordable housing for our community. By creating a for profit company with a compassionate lens, he was able to get the best of both worlds and find alignment with his mission. He finds it important to “nurture our soil here” in all of the work he does. Investment in real estate is only part of what he does in Spokane, most of the work he does is investing in the residents and community here.

How do you live out this mission?

Growing up Chauncey didn’t always have stable housing, so building something to share with his family is incredibly important to him. That’s why he pursued his dream of starting a real estate investment company, A Better Way, with his cousin. A Better Way invests in the community and provides people with a path to owning something, starting with taking accountability and building stability alongside supportive community partners.

When Chauncey got started with real estate investment he didn’t know just how much of an impact he would have on the tenants and community members he came into contact with. His vision to create barrier-free affordable housing stands in stark contrast to the housing crisis and rapidly inflating prices we have become accustomed to recently.

Chauncey reinvests in the community by utilizing local companies for repairs and renovations. As for his tenants, he shows them what they can accomplish by partnering with local nonprofits to get them connected with the wrap-around services they need to create long-term stability. He works with people across the community to make sure they know that they are not alone in their journey to get from surviving to thriving, providing tools along the way that they can continue to utilize. Organizations like Spokane Housing Authority, Catholic Charities, Frontier Behavioral Health, and others help to secure deposits and provide treatment when needed. By partnering with community organizations, Chauncey is able to protect his business, keep rent fair, and support the growth of his tenants at the same time.

What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most?

If you ask Chauncey, he’ll tell you that the work he does isn’t work at all to him. He’s found a way to live, making his dreams come true while helping others build their dreams as well. He gets to utilize spaces like the MLK Center, partner with the Carl Maxey Center, and be on the board at Spark Central which makes him feel fully immersed in community and blessed by his surroundings.

At the same time he gets to watch people grow alongside himself as they find pathways to their goals and learn how to be better advocates for themselves. “Iron sharpens iron” just as Chauncey nurtures his community as the community nurtures him and his family.

How long have you been doing this work and what drew you in?

Chauncey is the kind of person who likes to continually challenge himself. When things get predictable, he recognizes that it’s time to dream bigger. To live meaningfully and mindfully, that is always part of the goal, so Chauncey finds ways to align his life’s work with that goal in mind. Because when he is filling himself up while filling others up, it doesn’t feel like work, it isn’t a job, he’s just living out his dreams.

How can folks get involved or support you?

If you’re interested in supporting A Better Way, reach out to abetterway509@gmail.com to find a way to get involved. To support the new nonprofit the Joneses are launching, email them at takeupthecause1@gmail.com. More news on Take Up The Cause will be coming soon, so look out for their announcements to find out what comes next.


YWCA Spokane’s Racial & Social Justice Committee

Our vision is to strive to be a consistently accurate resource for information on racial, ethnic, and cultural awareness to promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity in employment, in business practices, and in the care and services provided throughout the communities we serve.  For 2022, the RSJ Committee is focusing on

  • Community Partnerships
    • Enhance outreach efforts to community partners and liaisons to share ideas, support each other with action, and solidify connections. View the list of our RSJ Partners.
  • Events
    • Develop and host or co-host events to connect various groups of community members to share and understand each other’s stories. Events include movie nights, Stand Against Racism, equity & growth Challenge, and Transformations Camp for youth.
  • Education & Training
    • Provide training to YWCA staff, board of directors, mission partners and the community to allow awareness of subconscious thoughts or attitudes that affect our perceptions about people, the decisions we make, and the impact on our community.

Join the conversation with our Facebook Group and learn more about our RSJ Committee here.

CHECK OUT OUR PREVIOUS SPOTLIGHTS

If you or someone you know should have their advocacy work highlighted through our RSJ Spotlight series, please email our equity coordinator, larae@ywcaspokane.org.

By: Rachel Dannen

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