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An opportunity for families living in YMHA-assisted housing to become self-sufficient by increasing their earned income.

What is the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program?

The FSS Program helps families with YMHA Housing Choice Vouchers or living in YMHA Public Housing take the steps to find and maintain stable employment and establish savings accounts that will lead to self-sufficiency. It is an opportunity to invest in your future—whether you want to finish school, find a better job, or secure the childcare and transportation you need to stay employed.

Participation in the FSS Program is voluntary. If you choose to participate, you will sign a five-year contract and develop a personal plan for becoming self-sufficient. After signing the contract, it is up to you to work toward your goals, with the support of the FSS Coordinators.

Are you eligible for FSS?

If you currently have a Housing Choice Voucher from YMHA or live in YMHA Public Housing, are able to work, and want to become self-sufficient, you may be eligible. The first step is to place your name on our FSS waiting list. As slots in the program open up, you will be invited to attend an FSS orientation meeting, where you will learn more about program enrollment and participation requirements. Any family with an outstanding debt to YMHA must have an executed repayment agreement and be current in payments to place their name on the FSS waiting list.

How can you save the money needed to achieve your goals?

YMHA establishes an interest-bearing escrow (savings) account for each FSS participant. As you work toward your goals, and your earned income increases, YMHA makes contributions to this account. Your family’s annual income, earned income, and rent when you begin the program will be used to determine the amount credited to your FSS escrow account because of increases in earned income.

If you complete your FSS goals and contract, you receive a check equal to the amount in your FSS account. The savings can sometimes be used while you are in the FSS program to pay for costs related to achieving your goals. FSS participants use their savings for many things, including buying cars, paying for school tuition, and credit repair.

The Keys to FSS Success

Achieving self-sufficiency is hard work, but YMHA will be your partner in making it happen!

What you will do:

  1. Complete the FSS Aapplication to put your name on the FSS waiting list (This is not an application for YMHA housing.)
  2. Attend an orientation meeting when you receive an invitation letter from YMHA
  3. Sign a contract with YMHA with your self-sufficiency goals
  4. Work to achieve your contract goals
  5. Meet periodically with an FSS Coordinator to discuss progress and service needs
  6. Provide required documentation of goal-related activities

What YMHA will do:

  1. Help you develop a self-sufficiency plan
  2. Link you with programs and services to meet your goals
  3. Advise you on how to overcome barriers that may arise to achieving your goals
  4. Administer your escrow savings account

Support Services

Case Management; Homeownership; Credit Counseling, Education; Job Training; Trasnsportation; Child Care; Utility Assistance;

FSS Graduation

You graduate from FSS, and receive the funds in your escrow account, when you meet or certify all of the following:

  • Completed your contract goals within 5 years (YMHA may extend the term of the contract for up to an additional two years for “good cause”.)
  • You have achieved and maintained suitable employment
  • No family member is on cash assistance for one year
  • You are in good standing with YMHA

A family that has not met its family responsibilities within the times specified in their FSS contract, or has been terminated from the FSS, HCV or Public Housing program, will not receive the funds in the escrow account.

For more information about the FSS program, or to have an FSS Coordinator contact you for an appointment, please download the following:

1. I'M INTERESTED FORM

2. FSS BROCHURE

Sheyra Vazquez
Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator
 330-744-2161  Ext. 212

svazquez@ymhaonline.com 

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