Ten people graduated from the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara‘s Family Self-Sufficiency program last week, joining a growing group of local residents who are relinquishing their dependence on government aid.

Through a network of community partners, including DRB Mortgage, Rabobank N.A., Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Wescom Credit Union, SBCC Continuing Education, the Internal Revenue Service, Crossroads Staffing and Women’s Economic Ventures, the Family Self-Sufficiency program teaches and trains its participants how to use and save their money through workshops, financial planning and other services.

Participants have gotten out of debt, graduated from college, even purchased homes. HASB says families in the program have tripled their income, become independent from government assistance and put tax dollars to other good uses. Nearly 200 people have graduated from the program.

“Thanks to our dedicated community sponsors, these graduates have been able to make important and lasting changes in their lives,” said Robert Pearson, executive director of HASB. “We congratulate them on the results of their hard work, and we look forward to seeing what they will accomplish in the future.”