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Posted on 05.14.2014 1:27 p.m.

Housing Authority to Honor New Graduates of Family Self-Sufficiency Program

Source: Flannery Hill for the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara

The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara will honor eight amazing Santa Barbara residents who have completed the organization’s Family Self-Sufficiency program during a ceremony and dinner on Thursday at the Villa Santa Fe, 418 Santa Fe Place in Santa Barbara.

FSS graduate Cecily Ortega will be the keynote speaker for this special event.

The Housing Authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency program is an initiative designed to help move families receiving housing assistance and related government subsidies to a more independent lifestyle, free of governmental assistance. Ultimately, FSS aims to help participants achieve their own personal goals and greater socio-economic advancement, including college degrees, professional careers and first-time home ownership.

The Housing Authority is proud to announce that from this group of 10, two are off of housing assistance. To date, 232 individuals have graduated from FSS and 46 are now homeowners. From the time the families enroll in FSS to the time they graduate, families literally triple their income, saving government funding and recycling tax dollars.

To enable FSS participants to achieve self-sufficiency, the Housing Authority partners with a group of community agencies. The Program Coordinating Committee is comprised of representatives of the Family Service Agency, Workforce Resource Center, California Rural Legal Assistance Center, Women’s Economic Ventures, Department of Rehabilitation, SBCC Continuing Education, Union Bank, World Financial Group, Primerica Financial Services, New Beginnings Counseling Center and the Department of Social Services.

This network of service providers offers program vision and coordination, life-skills, entrepreneurial training, financial literacy workshops, academic counseling, vocational rehabilitation, family counseling and job placement.

“The Housing Commission and staff look forward to celebrating another amazing and hardworking group of graduates from its Family Self-Sufficiency program. Our highly successful FSS program which focuses on low income families brings together needed tools, guidance and learning opportunities required for anyone’s socio–economic advancement. Our Family Self-Sufficiency graduates have reached a huge milestone as a result of hard work and perseverance,” said Rob Pearson, CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. “Thanks to the commitment and collaborative efforts of our Program Coordinating Committee comprised of local businesses, educators and social service agencies our graduates have been able to acquire the skills necessary to become independent of governmental assistance and truly be self-sufficient.  \FSS gives people the needed hand-up versus a hand-out and we are all better because of it.”

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.

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