The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a voluntary five-year program that gives HPD Section 8 participants free services like job training, job placement, training, and education.
Workforce Development Main Office
550 East 142nd Street
Bronx, NY, 10454
Gisela DeJesus, Senior Case Manager
The program also provides financial rewards to participants through a free savings account, resulting in successful graduates earning an average of $7,000.
Sayda A.'s Journey and Success in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program
Sayda A. enrolled in the FSS program in October 2015. When her journey began with FSS, she was dealing with ongoing setbacks; she was working as a Home Health aide making only $10 an hour, and she owed three months back rent. It was hard for her to work long hours and not have time to spend with her three kids, but she was determined to achieve her goals and set an example for them.
As a requirement of the program, all participants, with the help of their Case Manager, must create a five-year plan outlining career-related goals and objectives. Sayda’s plan included obtaining her GED, obtaining employment that led into a career, and learning how to save and build wealth free of any Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) benefits.
By 2016 she was enrolled in a GED program. Her income had increased to $11.60 per hour and she was attending financial counseling sessions regularly at BronxWorks. By the end of that year, Sayda was enrolled in ASA College and became a School Bus matron. Financially, she was also improving. Ms. Arriola no longer received any TANF benefits and had opened a bank account along with an insurance and retirement package from Municipal Credit Union. In 2019 she was hired as a Program Specialist at BronxWorks.
In 2020, Sayda reached the end of her FSS contract. She has an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice from ASA College, a Bachelor’s degree from John Jay College, and has started at the Academy to become a NYC Corrections Officer.
Sayda’s story is a perfect example of hard work and determination. As a mother, she has also been a great example to her kids: her oldest son is a sophomore at SUNY Purchase and her other two kids are excelling at their schools as well. She graduated the FSS program with over $20,000. in her escrow savings account.