The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is funded through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. This is a voluntary program that is available for all HCV participants.
The FSS concept is based on the belief that, given adequate support, families can and want to become independent of the “welfare system”.
HCV participants that enroll in the FSS program develop and follow a personalized plan that is designed to assist the family in achieving goals that they have set for themselves. To help achieve these goals, ECKAN will set up an individual case management program that may include one or all of the following items: education, personal finance (budgeting), parental counseling, housing, health needs, training programs, employment training, etc.
The first part of the program involves the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Director helping the family to meet their basic needs such as food, housing and utilities. The FSS Director then helps the family to identify and build on their strengths and work toward reaching their goals. Persons enrolled in the FSS program are required to meet with the FSS Director a minimum of once a month to review goal achievement and work on problem solving skills.
The FSS program offers an interesting earning escrow account as the main incentive for a family to reach their goals. This escrow account increases as the families increase their earned income. The family will receive the escrow account balance when the contract is fulfilled.
The head of the household must actively seek full-time employment by attending school full-time or attending school part-time and working part time or, receiving job training. The family must remain drug free and must not receive cash assistance during the last year of their contract. In addition all family members of school age must remain in school until they receive a high school diploma and the family must be making measurable strides toward reaching their self-defined, short-term goals.