Encouraging families to become self-sufficient, that’s the mission of the Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program. The FSS staff network with a variety of social agencies to develop ways to assist individuals with making necessary life changes which are important steps toward economic self-sufficiency. Through the FSS Program individuals and families become actively involved in learning how to work toward the long range goals they have set for themselves.
Benefits of FSS:
One of the most important benefits of the FSS Program is the escrow account for program participants. The escrow account is a savings account which is set up the WMHA. The money is held in savings until the individual or family meets the goals they’ve set for themselves. The amount of money deposited is a direct result of the individual’s or family’s increased contribution to their rent, due to an increase in earnings after joining FSS. Being a part of the FSS Program does not affect housing assistance. Rather, program participants continue to work with their assigned Housing Coordinator to maintain eligibility.
What is expected of the Program Participants?
After signing the Contract of Participation, it is up to the individual or family to start on the path toward self-sufficiency with the support of the FSS staff. This plan may involve finishing school or training program before searching for a job.
What is expected of FSS?
The FSS staff helps individuals and families by working with them to find services and resources they need to reach their goals. This is accomplished through providing information as well as referrals and recommendations. Once an individual or family joins the program, the amount of contact with FSS is determined by the participant’s need. Occasional program assessment surveys are distributed to all participants. In addition, data must be maintained to monitor the progress participants are making towards the goal of self-sufficiency.
Who is eligible to participate in the FSS Program?
The FSS Program is a voluntary program, open to all individuals and families under lease and contract through WMHA’s Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs.
To become a participant of the FSS Program you must
- Fill out an interest form which is included in the recertification packet. Forms can also be picked up from the WMHA office.
- Attend an FSS information session or speak with the FSS staff. At this time potential program participants receive an application to fill out.
- Meet with the FSS staff one-on-one for an assessment.
Once accepted into the FSS Program the application and assessment are used to develop the long range goals and the service plan for program participants. Once completed the participants sign the FSS Contract of Participation. The FSS Contract of Participation is a five year agreement between program participants and WMHA that describes the action plan to be taken and the responsibilities of WMHA and the participant.