The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) began in October of 1996, and is an employment program. This structured program is designed to help families in GJHA’s subsidized housing program address the barriers to becoming financially self-sufficient.
The program serves GJHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program recipients whose household income is at or below 50% of the Average Median Income (AMI) for Mesa County. Each family signs a five-year Contract of Participation. In special circumstances, a family may have an additional two years to complete the goals if they were unable, through no fault of their own, to reach their goals. This contract addresses the responsibilities of the family and the GJHA. An Individual Training and Services Plan addresses the specific goals for the family.
The self-sufficiency potential of participating families is developed through:
- Information and referral to partner human service providers - The program coordinator is able to direct the family to appropriate resources not provided by Doors 2 Success, such as support with childcare, healthcare, workforce center, etc.
- Intense case management intervention that address the challenges our FSS Families face in becoming self-sufficient - This includes education and training in important life and employment skills such as budgeting, “Bridges Out of Poverty”, tenant education, resume building, etc.
- Escrow Account - Federal regulations require voucher recipients to pay 30% of their adjusted income for rent, with the GJHA paying the portion of the rent that exceeds that amount directly to the property owner. Any increase in the families earnings will increase the percentage of rent they pay, and thus decreasing the amount the GJHA pays. This savings to the GJHA is then placed in an escrow account for the family. These escrow earnings may be used to help them achieve interim goals while participating in the program, such as school tuition, employment training and emergency needs. Upon completion of the program, the balance of the escrow account is released to the family.
- Revolving Loan Fund - This self-supporting loan fund (established with United Way funds), fulfills the gap when there is no other means to assist clients with unexpected expenses. The applicant must be employed, receive a regular income and comply with all requirements of the FSS program. The maximum amount of a loan is $500 per year, with a minimum of $100. Requests from the loan fund must be approved by the Supportive Services Supervisor with final approval by the Director of Supportive Services.