About WAVE

Who We Serve

WAVE is an approved Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and an approved HUD Housing Counseling Agency that serves low to moderate income (LMI) families.

Our long-term, holistic education program with wrap around supportive services address:

  • Home Ownership
  • Eviction/Foreclosure
  • Homelessness Prevention
  • Financial Stability
  • Restoration of Hope
  • Post Traumatic Stress
WAVE’s commitment to poverty reduction and financial empowerment goes beyond the word "commitment.”

Individuals

Families

Communities

The WAVE Story

Charlise Smith knows first-hand how trauma can affect a person. As a young child, Charlise’s mother, Willissae, was brutally murdered.

As an adult, Charlise found herself once again the victim of severe trauma. On October 23, 2012, as a Housing Regional Manager, Charlise was stabbed five times by a severely distraught tenant who suffered from mental health issues while being evicted. Although her physical wounds healed, Charlise had to face the emotional wounds stemming back from her childhood. She knew there had to be a path to help her move from traumatized fear toward a successful, progressive life.

Charlise accepted the WAVE of hope God sent her, which led her back to serving the people and the communities who needed her most. She founded the organization Willissae’s Agency for Vision and Empowerment (WAVE), named in honor of her mother.

Mission and Vision

Our Mission

We create housing and economic stability for at-risk individuals in low-income communities through personal empowerment, skill set development, problem solving and wealth building.

Our  Vision

At WAVE, we envision a future where individuals impacted by trauma reclaim their lives with dignity and strength. As a PHFA/HUD Certified Agency, we are committed to transforming lives by fostering resilience and well-being through targeted counseling and education. Our goal is to empower each person we serve, guiding them towards a healthier, more fulfilling future, anchored in personal growth and sustained recovery.

Our Approach

Problem Solving

Advocacy

Wealth Building

Meet Our Team

WAVE group photo of team members laughing
WAVE executive director wearing purple dress smiling

Charlise Smith

Executive Director

Charlise Smith is the Founding Executive Director of Willissae’s Agency For Vision and Empowerment, WAVE. Named after her mother, Charlise made the decision to dedicate the agency, its purpose and mission to support the people and communities that had the greatest emotional, physical and financial need.

Charlise is a strong, successful, compassionate businesswoman. She has been in the real estate industry for 15 years and is a real estate broker of record in the State of Pennsylvania. Never one to stop learning, Charlise received her Certified Occupancy Specialist (COS) Designation, Certified Tax Credit Compliance Professional (C3P) Designation, and Public Housing Management Certification. Charlise holds an Associate Degree in Computer Science.

Our Staff

Chrystyn Ballard

Housing Counselor

Dallas Washington

Dallas Washington

Housing Counselor

Jenise Lewis

Jenise Lewis

Administrative Assistant | Intake Specialist

WAVE team member wearing white dress smiling

Chrystyn Ballard

Lead Housing Counselor

WAVE team member wearing black tshirt smiling

Dallas Washington

Housing Counselor

WAVE team member wearing black blazer smiling

Tijuana Weston

Housing Counselor

WAVE executive director wearing a blue shirt smiling

Latosha Mills

Housing Counselor

WAVE executive director wearing a black suit smiling

Lynae Solomon

Housing Counselor

WAVE team member wearing tan blazer smiling

Jenise Lewis

Administrative Assistant

Naomi Carty

Naomi Carty

Life Skills Development Consultant

Ashleigh Pollard

READY Life Skills Consultant

Oliva T. Payne

READY Life Skills Consultant

WAVE team member wearing white dress smiling

Chrystyn Ballard

Lead Housing Counselor

WAVE team member wearing black tshirt smiling

Dallas Washington

Housing Counselor

Oliva T. Payne

READY Life Skills Consultant

Board of Directors

Dr. Tammy Lineburg

President

Shawna Solomon

Vice President

Denise Graham

Treasurer

Marcia Black

Secretary

Jacquline Hale

Bianca Sparrow

Jahlese Royster

Tanis Scott