Two women have graduated from the Family Self-Sufficiency program in Floyd County with more than $10,000 between them.
LeAnn Hale and Diana Gillispie both completed their program in Family Self Sufficiency last week and are now reaping the benefits from its participation.
According to Sarah Lumpkins with the Floyd County Housing Authority, Hale is graduating with just under $7,000 and Gillispie with just under $4,000. Gillispie’s graduation date was originally set for 2014, but she has reached all of her benchmarks early.
“If they can reach their goals before their time is up, we go ahead and graduate them,” said Lumpkins. Both families are so financially secure that neither qualifies for HUD housing or rental assistance.
“They’re income is so great, that they are both over the income limit,” said Lumpkins.
Both Gillispie and Hall are now employed full time, and Hall is also in school.
Essentially, the participant pays rent into the system for assisted living. That money is then put into escrow, and upon completion of the program, is returned to the participant.
“We’re able to give them support and reward them when they are successful,” Lumpkins said.
According to HUD, communities are encouraged to develop local strategies to help assisted families obtain employment that will lead to economic independence and self-sufficiency. Public housing works with welfare agencies, schools, business and other local partners to develop a comprehensive program that gives participating FSS family members the skills and experience to enable them to obtain employment that pays a living wage.
Lumpkins says she has had at least one graduate from the program each year since she has worked there. “Its a successful program and we want to get the word out about it.”
The objective of the program is to reduce the dependency of low-income families on welfare assistance and on Section 8, public, or any federal, state or local rent or home ownership subsidies.
Lumpkins says the FSS program provides participants access to eduction, job training, counseling and other forms of social service assistance. “The goal is to help people become self-sufficient, and to accomplish their goals.”