FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program, commonly known as FSS, is a five (5) year program designed to help families improve their economic situations and reduce their dependence on welfare programs. The program serves families in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program as well as those who are Public Housing (PH) eligible. Participants will have an assigned FSS coordinator to work with them during their time in the program. Each participant will develop an Individual Training and Services Plan (ITSP) that lists specific goals and activities one must meet in order to achieve economic independence. All program participants will have a final goal of seeking and maintaining suitable employment.
FSS Program Requirements
- Participants must sign a Contract of Participation (COP) and ITSP; and agree to be free of welfare for at least 12 consecutive months prior to their COP end date
- PH participants must meet with FSS coordinator on a quarterly basis – HCV must meet at least bi-annually
- Participants must comply with the terms of their lease, including on time rental payments
- Participants must complete Financial Literacy workshop within 6 months of program enrollment
- Participants must maintain their units and demonstrate good housekeeping skills
Benefits of Enrolling in FSS
- FSS offers assistance in the following areas: Building/restoring credit, Budget development, Asset building, Obtaining GED, Resume preparation, Job preparation (new/better), Career development, Post-secondary/Vocational education…and many others
- Supportive services are offered as needed, to eliminate any barriers to economic independence
Child care assistance
- PH residents have designated units with no stairs and with central heat and air
- HCV participants may establish interest bearing savings accounts (Escrow), without having to put any money in themselves
Money is deposited into an account whenever the participant’s rent increases (Rent at beginning of program – whatever rent increases to during interim/annual exam = Amount deposited into account each month)
Participants may receive interim disbursements while in program
Participants receive full payout at end of program, so long as all goals are met
Most participants’ complete program with $2000 plus in escrow accounts – This money is paid directly to the participant in the form of a check. Participant may use for whatever he/she chooses
- One on one case management services with FSS coordinator
Do I have to stay in the program for five (5) years?
No, each program is voluntary. You may choose to voluntarily withdraw from the program at any time. (NOTE: PH program participants will be required to transfer to a different unit upon voluntary withdrawal)
Can I change my goal(s) after program enrollment?
Yes, you have the opportunity to change your goal(s) within the first three (3) years of signing your COP.
Will I be required to work?
Yes, seeking and maintaining suitable employment is one of the main goals of FSS (unless disabled).
Can I enroll in FSS again if I was previously enrolled?
You may re-enroll under certain conditions. Contact an FSS coordinator for more information.
Can I use escrow funds to pay my utility bill or rent while in the program? (HCV participants)
No, escrow funds cannot be used for utility or rent payment while in the program.
Are RAD residents eligible for FSS participation?
At this time, most RAD residents are not eligible for JHA’s FSS program.
RESIDENT OPPORTUNITIES AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Jackson Housing Authority currently administers a Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) program for its Allenton Heights residents. ROSS links residents of public housing to supportive services and activities, enabling them to make progress towards economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.
Goals of ROSS Program
- Make progress toward economic independence and housing self-sufficiency
- Reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance and increase earned income
- For elderly (age 62+) participants and persons with disabilities, the ROSS program aims to
*Enhance quality of life by connecting residents to services and activities
*Enable participants to age/remain in place
What does ROSS Offer
- Individual needs assessments with each participant
- Case management services and career coaching
- Referrals to community partners for needed services (health care, transportation, child care, job search, digital literacy, after school programs, financial coaching, and many more)
- Facilitation of resident goal setting
If you would like more information on how the ROSS program may benefit you and the services available, contact the ROSS-Services Coordinator: Sheronda Watson -731-422-1671. Ext. 131; firstname.lastname@example.org
Resident Advisory Board/Resident Association
Resident involvement is of the utmost importance. Without you, we don’t have the opportunity to serve. If you are interested in being of part of JHA’s RAB or RA, contact one of the FSS coordinators at 731-422-1671. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at a future meeting.