Hard work, dedication and focus paid off for family Self-Sufficiency participants Kiley Trice, Shawna Wilks, Andria Weber, and Heather and Kevin Torres.
The four families enrolled in the FSS Program five years ago, and in the past few months, each has graduated from the program after achieving their goals and maintaining full-time employment for at least one year. They each received a Graduation Certificate and an escrow check for funds accrued during their participation period.
The Northeast Oregon Housing Authority Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a voluntary goal oriented, monetary incentive program available to Section 8 tenants. Participants are given five years to achieve their goals which may be as simple as a job promotion or as extensive as obtaining a college degree. As the family progresses through their goals and their earned income increases, funds are deposited into an escrow account for them. If they achieve all of their goals and are employed at the end of their five year contract, they receive the escrow account balance for whatever use they want.
HEATHER AND KEVIN TORRES enrolled in the FSS Program in 2007, and extended their Contract of Participation beyond the original five years in order to complete their goals. They graduated July 31, 2013.
Kevin is employed full-time as an assembler at Al-Ko and Heather works full-time as a Nutrition Aide at Eastern Oregon University’s Head Start Program. They have two sons, Joshua, 16, and Dylan, 12, and a daughter, Leeannette, 8.
They were able to exit the Section 8 voucher program, and are in every sense of the word “Self-Sufficient.”
ANDRIA WEBER lives in Baker City, where she has been employed at New Directions Northwest as an intake counselor for the past five years. She enrolled in the FSS Program in 2009, and achieved her goals early so she requested an early graduation from our program. She is the single mother of two sons, Ford, 19, and Blaze, 10. Andria also holds down several part-time jobs which helped her achieve her goal of paying down her debts and qualifying for a homeownership loan. Through the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority’s Homeownership Program, Andria bought her own home in 2011 .
SHAWNA WILKS enrolled in the FSS Program in September 2008. She works full-time at Cloud 9 Bakery in Enterprise, and is the single mother of a daughter, Destany, 5, and a son, Elijah, 8. She is considering purchasing a home, using the escrow funds she received upon graduation. During her FSS participation, she purchased a computer and began studying on-line, always with her goal of furthering her education in mind.
KILEY TRICE enrolled in the FSS Program in October 2008. She is the single mother of two daughters, Hayden, 5, and Jordan, 6. Kiley has worked as an assistant medical technician/receptionist for a La Grande ophthalmologist for six years. She has achieved her goals of improving her credit history and paid off debts, and has taken on-line accounting courses to improve her skills. Kiley received her escrow funds and met with a financial planner as one of her final FSS assignments. Together they discussed investment options available to Kiley before she made her decision on how to expend her funds. She graduated October 1.
If you are interested in joining the FSS family, please call us today. We will help you achieve your career goals, identify any barriers to success, and provide all the encouragement and support that you need to succeed. We will connect you to local service providers for childcare, transportation, education, career counseling, job placement and training, financial planning and budgeting, health and parenting skills, legal services and stress management. The FSS Coordinators are Di Lyn Larsen-Hill and Julie Fletcher, and you can reach us at 541-963-5360, ext. 32.
by Di Lyn Larsen-Hill