NHA's Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program helps reduce the dependency of low-income families on TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), federal, state, and/or local subsidies. To date, many families have graduated from FSS - embarking on rewarding careers in a range of fields. FSS graduates have used their savings for down payments on homes, to pay for schooling, to purchase cars, to pay off debt and more.
How the Program Works
FSS is open to Housing Choice Voucher Program participants who are in good standing and have a genuine desire to change. Under the program, the head of household works with a case manager to establish goals and develop a personalized action plan to meet those goals. Services are tailored to the participant's needs and include: skills assessment, GED preparation, career planning, computer literacy and skills training, money management workshops, child care referrals and credit repair workshops.
One of the most attractive components of the program is a savings program. As FSS participants reach their goals, and their earned income increases, NHA deposits an amount matching the increase into an escrow account. Once FSS participants achieve all of their established goals, including maintaining full-time employment, they receive all of the money in the account, plus interest.
Participation in the FSS Program is voluntary, but strongly recommended for voucher program participants. Once a participant is accepted into the FSS program, he/she must sign a Contract of Participation and together with NHA staff, will develop an Individual Training and Service Plan (ITSP).
The term of the Contract of Participation is up to five years, or until the participant reaches his/her goals. During that time, participants must accomplish the goals identified by their ITSP. Participants are advised to complete an educational program (degree or job training), and seek and maintain a job.
Completion of the FSS Program is a great way to create a better life for you and your family.
Benefits of the FSS program include:
- Personal counseling
- Career counseling
- Educational counseling
- Educational seminars/workshops (e.g., nutrition, parenting skills, GED preparation, ESL, money management and obtaining the proper basic skills and education needed to enter the workplace through NHA's Workforce Learning Link program).
- Job Preparation assistance
- Assistance with educational institution and financial aid applications
- Assistance with defaulted student loan situations
- Assistance with credit repair
- Group activities
- FSS Escrow accounts
- Homeownership counseling
- Referral services
Family Success Centers
The Family Success Center provides access to complex government systems via community coordinators. They are staffed by members of the community and are supported by the local municipal government and community. No appointment necessary, walk-ins welcomed. Clients are referred to services providers.
FSCs are located throughout Newark:
48 North Munn Avenue
Seth Boyden Terrace
755 Frelinghuysen Avenue
Friendly Fuld Neighborhood Centers
Friendly Fuld Neighborhood Centers, Inc. is a private not-for-profit multi-service agency established in 1971, with the merger of the Friendly Fuld Neighborhood House founded in 1926. The purpose is to improve the condition of Newark residents by providing the community with diverse services to meet the social, emotional, educational and cultural needs of individuals and families. The Friendly Fuld Neighborhood Centers program provides a continuum of services which enables people to help themselves to a better way of life.
Friendly Fuld Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
165 Court Street
Workforce Learning Link
Workforce Learning Link is a free program in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Newark Workforce Investment Board. The program is open to all public housing residents and affords participants the opportunity to get the proper basic skills and education needed to enter the workplace.
Monday through Friday participants study for the GED examination, develop basic computer skills, explore the basic education for more than 100 job prescriptions and learn about other educational opportunities, job readiness and development.
An applicant must meet a minimum of the following criteria: No high school diploma or GED; low reading and math skills and a history of poor or substandard work ethics. A participant may be referred to the program via the Family Self-Sufficiency program, Division of Labor, Newark Works and other Essex County agencies.
The classroom is equipped with 19 computers. The actual day is structured to resemble a 7-hour workday: sessions are held Monday to Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The students begin the day by participating in group discussions and working on pre-scheduled assignments provided by the instructor. The rest of the day is spent completing course assignments, enhancing computer skills, journal writing, constructing resumes, job search and dealing with issues that may hinder the participants' success.
The duration of the prescribed course is approximately 24 weeks (six months). Enrollees are re-evaluated after 12 weeks to determine academic progress and only at the discretion of the instructor may they be extended for an additional 12 weeks.
The WLL program has formed an indelible bond with some of the rich and diverse cultural and educational institutions in Newark such as: The Newark Public Library, The Newark Museum, The New Jersey Historical Society, Essex County College, Rutgers University, Seton Hall, and NJIT.
Workforce Learning Link
500 Broad Street
(973) 273-6248 or (973) 273-6289