What is the Family Self-Sufficiency Program?
The Housing Authority of the City of Prichard (HACP) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program helps families achieve financial independence. The FSS program can help families repair their credit and get out of debt, earn a college degree, find good paying jobs and purchase homes. It has worked for many families, and it can work for your.
Who Can Join FSS?
You must be a Housing Choice Voucher participant or resident in a HACP property to be eligible for FSS. The program is open to all members of the household, who are at least 18 years of age. The only requirements are a desire to become self-sufficient and a willingness to take the necessary steps to do so.
How Does FSS Work?
Individuals who volunteer for the program enter into a five-year contract with the HACP. This contract contains an action plan developed by the FSS member with the assistance of a FSS coordinator. The action plan identifies goals and outlines specific activities and services necessary to achieve them.
Usually, as FSS members reach their goals, their earned income increases and so does their rent. When this happens, PHA deposits an amount equal to the rent increase into a savings account every month for the member and his or her family. When the FSS contract is successfully completed, the member receives all the money in the savings account plus any interest.
What Kind of Services does FSS Offer?
Some services are provided directly by FSS and some are provided through referrals to outside organizations. When possible, FSS refers member to services near their home, job or school. Services include:
- Skills assessment testing
- Career planning and counseling
- Vocational training and GED preparation
- Job readiness workshops
- Educational programs
- Employment services
- Credit counseling
- Child care
The services you receive will be based on your goals and your plan of action. For example, an FSS member who wants to obtain a career in nursing as a goal might receive skills testing to determine his or her academic level; referral to a college or university with an accredited nursing program and assistance in locating child care services so that the member, if a parent, can attend school. Once the training is completed, FSS will assist the member in finding full time employment.
What Makes FSS Different?
- Choice: You are free to choose your own goals-based on your vision of life for you and your family. How well and how quickly you succeed depends on you and your willingness to work with FSS.
- Personal Attention: The FSS Coordinator is there to work on your behalf helping you to reach your goals one step at a time and encouraging you to reach the next level of self-sufficiency. Your FSS coordinator is an advocate, mentor and friend.
- Respect: Whatever you conceive, you can achieve. FSS staff members will always respect your ideas, choices, and lifestyle, and help you to make your dreams whatever they may be a reality.
Membership in FSS entitles you and members of your household to all types of FREE services, including:
- Career Planning: Your FSS family advisor will help you develop an educational plan to meet your stated career goals-whether it is getting a GED, sharpening your computer skills or earning a college degree.
- Life Skills: Members of FSS are invited to educational workshops.
Topics include: resume preparation, interviewing and job search techniques as well as life skills such as time management, household budgeting and credit repair.
- Employment Assistance: FSS holds events for the purpose of helping FSS members become gainfully employed.
- Homeownership: The Housing Authority of the City of Prichard's Affordable Homes Program assists families who qualify for homeownership.