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Critical Employment Skills Access Available Through Public Housing Assistance

In the latest OVAE Connection - Issue 179 - January 9, 2014, the following announcement is made:

"The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded almost $57 million in grants through the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) to aid families who receive housing assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV). The goal of the awards is to facilitate their access to education, job training, and employment, thus promoting family self-sufficiency through the attainment of the skills needed to compete for family sustaining employment. The program will also help public housing authorities throughout the nation hire or retain more than 1,000 service coordinators. These coordinators work directly with families by connecting them to the specific support services that meet their individual employment needs. Adult education providers and community college staff in these regions are encouraged to reach out to these locally funded programs to coordinate referrals and leverage resources with HCV-FSS partners.

Services provided include: education and job training and placement opportunities, childcare, counseling, transportation, and computer and financial literacy services. The HCV-FSS program also encourages innovative strategies that link HCV assistance with other resources to enable participating families to find employment, increase their earned income, reduce or eliminate their need for rental or welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency."

The link at "locally funded programs" provides the names of the grant recipients in each state and the amounts each grantee received, but does not say how the grantees proposed to use the award.  Do any of you know about the plans for your area?  It seems like the members of this group ought to be involved in this program, and I'm just wondering if you are, and how you are. We have a lot of expertise that would be of use to these grantees, and I hope the plans involve you. Please share what you know.

Donna Brian

SME Career Pathways

 

Comments

Donna Brian's picture
One hundred

Hi Career Pathways CoP,

The more I look at the above announcement, the more I think this is a golden opportunity for Career Pathways people to develop partnerships that will greatly improve the effectiveness of this grant money.  Take another look at the last sentence in the first paragraph of the announcement:  "Adult education providers and community college staff in these regions are encouraged to reach out to these locally funded programs to coordinate referrals and leverage resources with HCV-FSS partners."  Doesn't it seem that this statement is putting the responsibility on us to partner with these grantees to leverage the funds to provide the most "bang for the buck?"  "The goal of the awards is to facilitate their access to education, job training, and employment, thus promoting family self-sufficiency through the attainment of the skills needed to compete for family sustaining employment."  Use the link at  locally funded programs to find out what group is getting the grant in your area to know who to contact, and let us know what happens!  This Community of Practice is a support group to share experiences and bounce ideas off of, and I really look forward to hearing your stories!

Donna Brian

SME, Career Pathways