Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The primary goal of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) is to assist families to achieve short- and long-term goals toward a lifetime of economic success and family self-sufficiency. View the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Brochure (PDF) for an overview of the program.

Family Self Sufficiency represents a bold, comprehensive approach in helping families leave the welfare system or low-paying jobs and improve their family's financial situation. Families are offered a ladder of opportunity to achieve economic independence for themselves and their families.

Referral Services

The Family Self-Sufficiency Program links participants with health and human service agencies and the private sector to help them achieve economic independence. With housing as a stabilizing force, families are able to invest their energy in other efforts such as obtaining employment, increasing education, participate in job skills training, etc. necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.

Referral services may include:

  • Child Care Career
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Counseling
  • General Education Development (GED) Preparation
  • Individual Counseling
  • Job Search / Job Skill Development
  • Medical / Dental Needs
  • Parenting Skills
  • Planning Resume Preparation
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Recreational Needs
  • Self-Esteem Building
  • Support Groups

Program Process

  1. Each participating family signs a Contract of Participation, which lists the services available to the family and the goals and obligations the family agrees to complete.
  2. Each family's contract package will be individually tailored to the specific needs of the family for services, training, counseling and other assistance the family needs to become self-sufficient.
  3. The head of the household or designated adult member must agree to seek and retain employment. This does not however, restrict the head of the household from training or advancing their education and then becoming employed.
  4. The Contract of Participation is for up to five years, but may be extended for two additional years for good cause. It may be modified as family circumstances change, if these changes are mutually agreeable to the family and the Housing Authority.
  5. Termination and withdrawal from the FSS Program will not affect the housing assistance the family is receiving.

Program Incentives / Escrow Account

The FSS escrow account offers the family the opportunity to save for the future. During the term of the Contract of Participation, the Housing Authority will establish an interest-bearing escrow account. The amount of the escrow account reflects what would normally be an increase in the rent due to an increase in the family's earned income.

The family may withdraw the funds in the escrow account when they have met their final goals and are no longer receiving Federal, State or Public welfare assistance for at least one year. The family may use the final disbursement of the escrow funds without restriction.

The Housing Authority may authorize a partial disbursement of the escrow funds for contract-related expenses if the family has completed specific interim goals. Contract-related expenses may include, but are not limited to:

  • Business start-up expenses
  • Job training expenses
  • School tuition and fees
  • Vehicle when public transportation is unavailable or inaccessible to the family

More Information

For more information, contact the Resident Initiatives Department at 724-287-6797.