Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority - Enriching Lives in the Community for 80 Years

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The CMHA Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program

What is the Family Self-Sufficiency Program?

Program meetingFamily Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program established in 1990 to help HCVP and LIPH programs residents to obtain employment that will lead to economic independence and self-sufficiency.

 

The FSS program is available to all families receiving CMHA rental assistance. It is voluntary and designed to assist families in becoming self-sufficient so they will no longer need to rely on public assistance. This program is available to all CMHA residents and the only requirement is the desire, willingness and commitment to make a change in their life and to take the steps necessary to become self-sufficient. Hundreds of families all over the country are already making better lives for themselves through this program.

 

CMHA residents will be linked to supportive programs such as job training, educational opportunities, homeownership training/counseling, financial literacy, counseling, after school programs, child care, health care, housekeeping services and English as a Second Language.

 

How does the FSS Program Work?

The FSS program is a voluntary program that provides support and assistance to CMHA residents and their families for up to five years. The purpose of this program is to help families with the assistance of community partners to become self-sufficient by attaining established goals. The Head of the Household enters into an agreement with CMHA in which an Individual Training Service Plan (ITSP) is developed to identify the family's employment goals. It outlines the activities and services required to achieve these goals. Regular contact with the FSS Coordinator is essential. An FSS Coordinator will support the FSS participant, take an interest in their future, and will refer them to public agencies and resources available in Cuyahoga County. FSS Coordinators will assist the FSS participants in achieving their objectives by combining housing assistance with a number of other services.  We can assure better coordination and provide the maximum benefits needed to obtain self-sufficiency. In this five year program (some families need less time), families can establish an escrow account (a savings account) that is often used to help pay for such things as a college education, a car, and/or the down payment on a new home.

 

Escrow Account:

CMHA will establish an escrow account (savings account) when participants join the FSS Program.  This is approximately 30% of a participant’s monthly adjusted income.  Increases in rent due to increases in earned income are put into an escrow. This escrow account will be awarded to the FSS participant when they have successfully completed their FSS Contract of Participation. This account automatically saves escrow for the FSS participant and could help to reach any goals or personal endeavors they may have. The amount of money earned in an escrow account depends upon your participation. 

 

Goals

A participant’s goals are specific to each person.  They are designed to guide participants toward self-sufficiency.  CMHA can assist with career counseling to help determine the best careers that will help participants succeed in a field that uses their natural abilities.  An individual’s goals can include completing an educational or training program, credit building or repair, personal development, getting a better-paying job, home ownership, or another idea that suits their own personal dreams. 

 

Life’s experiences can change one’s goals and aspirations.  For this reason, participants can change their goals up to their fourth year in the program.  After four years in the program, the goals listed in the participant’s file must be completed in order to graduate from the program.

 

What will be required?

COMMITMENT!  Participants will bring their own unique talents, skills and strengths to the FSS Program. CMHA will require participants to be determined and committed in completing the activities listed in their Individual Training Service Plan (ITSP). The FSS participant needs to keep in touch with the FSS Coordinator regarding their progress towards self-sufficiency. The FSS participant will be asked to meet with their FSS Coordinator twice a year in order to discuss and update their goals and activities. The FSS participant must possess motivation and initiative in their quest for economic independence. The FSS Coordinator is just a guide.

 

Program Coordinating Council (PCC):

Program Coordinating CouncilThe PCC represents various community organizations that provide their time, resources and expertise in supporting the FSS Program.  It is because of this support that the program is successful and that so many of the participants are able to turn their lives around and achieve their goals.  CMHA FSS PCC Members are:

 

  • Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland

  • Catholic Charities

  • Ohio Means Jobs

  • Sherwin Williams

  • Cleveland Public Theater

  • Care Alliance

  • Seeds of Literacy

  • Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC)

  • Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)

  • Towards Employment

  • Fifth/Third Bank

 

After joining FSS and  working with numerous resources, graduates leave the FSS Program having set their own goals, worked to achieve those goals, and changed their own lives to realize dreams they thought were never before possible.

 

The FSS program offers Workshops/Seminars to any CMHA resident. Please refer to the FSS calendar and plan to attend.

 

Are you ready to start changing and improving your life?

PDF document Download the FSS Application

 

Please contact the FSS Team:

 

FSS Coordinators:

 

Trisha Fomby

216-271-2769

fombyt@cmha.net

Eric Williams

216-271-2431

williamse@cmha.net

William Willis

216-271-2879

williswi@cmha.net

Dione Taylor

216-271-2193

TAYLORD@cmha.net

 

Ana Santiago

FSS Manager

216-271-2125

santiagoa@cmha.net

 

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program 2016 Accomplishments

Low Income Public Housing (LIPH)

New Recruits  

49

Successful Graduates 

1

Attending 3 or More Seminars & Workshops    

29

Enrolled in GED Program

10

Enrolled in Post-Secondary Education 

8

Program Involved in Job Retention Activities 

26

Individualized Financial Counseling

57

Homeownership Counseling

12

Families Serviced

149

Families Enrolled in Job Training

28

Obtained Associates Degree

2

Obtained Bachelor’s Degree

1

Obtained Certification from Technical School 

6

Obtained Employment / Apprenticeship

38

Employment increased from Part-time to Full-time

11

Received Promotions or New Jobs

13

Maintained Employment Greater than one year

20

TOTAL FSS PROGRAM

New Recruits     

120

Successful Graduates

14

Participants Attending 3 or More Seminars & Workshops 

117

Enrolled in GED Program

24

Enrolled in Post-Secondary Educational Program

59

Involved in Job Retention Activities

77

Individualized Financial Counseling

116

Homeownership Counseling

71

Families Serviced by Coordinators

373

Families Enrolled in Job Training

57

Obtained Associates Degree

7

Obtained Bachelor’s Degree

3

Obtained Master’s Degree

3

Obtained Certification from Technical School

17

Obtained Employment / Apprenticeship

100

Employment increased from Part-time to Full-time

64

Received Promotions or New Jobs

53

Maintained Employment Greater than one year

109

RAD Participants (New Construction)

3

Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP)

New Recruits      71
Successful Graduates 13
Attending 3 or More Seminars & Workshops  88
Enrolled in GED Program 14
Enrolled in Post-Secondary Education  51
Program Involved in Job Retention Activities 51
Individualized Financial Counseling  59
Homeownership Counseling 59
Families Serviced 224
Families Enrolled in Job Training 29
Obtained Associates Degree 5
Obtained Bachelor’s Degree 2
Obtained Master’s Degree 3
Obtained Certification from Technical School  11
Obtained Employment / Apprenticeship 62
Employment increased from Part-time to Full-time 53
Received Promotions or New Jobs 40
Maintained Employment Greater than one year 89

2016 WORKSHOP & SEMINAR SERIES

13 Workshops were offered to participants

 

Seminar/Workshop

Date 

Attendees

Resume/ Interviewing Workshop

2/24

26

Job Etiquette

3/23

23

Financial Literacy  

4/20

67

Partner Fair

5/25

48

Motivational Mixer

7/13

108

Homeownership

8/24

53

Housekeeping Class

9/8

28

HCVP Seminar

9/21

27

FSS Goals Updates 

10/4

34

Credit Repair e-Bus

10/19

128

Effective Parenting

11/3

29

Budgeting

11/16

43