Two women have graduated from the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program after they completed the goals they set for themselves. Goals set by the women would attribute to a better life for their families.
Yvonne Sifuentes and Francine Desma have worked for several years towards their goals with the help of the FSS program.
The FSS program enables HUD-Assisted families to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies.
Sifuentes has been in the program for seven years. She is a hard working and motivated individual who worked in the medical field and intends to move up in that field. Her goals were to enroll in the GED program to help her advance in the medical field. She is currently searching for a home to purchase.
Desma has been in the program for five years. Desman has a bright future and has consistently worked the program. She is an extremely driven individual. Her goal was to receive her Bachelor of Applied Science in Legal Studies. She completed that goal in December 2016. She graduated from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. She is currently working for a law firm in Corpus Christi and is pursuing employment with the state of Texas.
Public Housing Agencies (PHA) work in collaboration with a Program Coordinating Committee (PCC) to secure commitments of public and private resources for the operation of the FSS program, to develop the PHA’s FSS Action Plan which is the framework, and to implement the program.
The Robstown Housing Authority selects families to participate in the program, which is strictly voluntary. Families are screened for interest, and motivation to participate in the FSS program as long as the factors used by the PHA are those which solely measure the family’s interest and motivation.
The head of each participating family executes an FSS contract that specifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The term of the FSS contract is generally five years.
Some of the services coordinated through the program include: child care, transportation, education, job training, employment counseling, financial literacy, and homeownership counseling among others.
An interest-bearing escrow account is established by the PHA for each participating family.
Any increases in the family’s rent as a result of increased earned income during the family’s participation in the program result in a credit to the family’s escrow account. Once a family graduates from the program, they may access the escrow and use it for any purpose.
For more information on the FSS program contact the Robstown Housing Authority at 361-387-4525.