Family Self Sufficiency Program.

Families that receive federal government rental assistance can get additional help and counseling from the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. Individuals can get case management, help finding jobs and employment training, financial workshops, and support from other families who receive government assistance. The Family Self-Sufficiency program will try to provide participants with resources and services to help them move towards economic independence and financial stability over the long term.

Participants in the program can include people who receive rental and housing assistance from the government, such as section 8, public housing or disability assistance, homeless prevention, and those who are staying in transitional housing, among others. The primary objective is to assist families and individuals who are currently receiving federal government rental assistance move to economic independence and become self-sufficient so that they are free of any state and federal governmental assistance over the mid to long term.

Most states will allow almost all Housing Choice Voucher Program participants as well as Public Housing residents to be considered for the FSS Program in their state.

Participants in government housing programs and in particular the head of the household of each participating family must sign an FSS contract, which is usually a multi-year agreement that ensures full participation. The contract will establish the responsibilities and rights of both parties. The 5-year FSS contract will go over terms of the arrangement and it will cover specific goals and services for each family, and the contract is binding on the client.

The Family Self-Sufficiency program provides services, including, but not limited to, the following. Participants are provided the opportunity to meet with a highly trained case manager and other FSS families to get assistance and counseling such as:

  • Credit repair/debt reduction/home ownership – Learn how to improve credit and reduce debts with the goal of buying a home.
  • Resume writing and job finding – Get feedback on your resume, and improve your career search for jobs. Also you may be able to network. Find how to improve your career prospects and income.
  • Support – Get encouragement, hear others stories, and bridge the social isolation that is characteristic of people who are struggling or families in distress.

 

 

 

 

  • Job openings and referrals – Get information about local charities, non-profits and local community services as well as current job openings.
  • Financial assistance and grants for higher education – Find where to turn to for private and government grants, scholarships, and aid for higher education and job training.
  • Revolving Loan Fund – Many locations can direct people to low interest loans so that they can possibly refinance to pay down debts and get back on track with paying bills.
  • Saving accounts – Most state Family Self-Sufficiency programs enable a participant to establish a saving account for their long term self sufficiency. The account will be an interest-bearing FSS escrow account, and it will be established by your local housing authority for each family. What will happen is that an escrow credit, which will be based on increases in earned income of the family, is credited to this savings account during the term of the FSS contract. Then, when the family goes through the program and completes the contract, and when no member of the family is receiving cash welfare assistance from the government, then the amount of the FSS account is paid out by the housing authority to the head of the family.

Many of the resources offered by the Family Self-Sufficiency occur in monthly workshops, and others are offered in standard meetings and counseling sessions.

When you enroll in government housing such as section 8, the Family Self-Sufficiency program should be explained to you and you should be enrolled it in. However you can call your local housing authority to learn more as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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