Family Self-Sufficiency Program

Family Self-Sufficiency Program

Family Self-Sufficiency Program

What is the Family Self Sufficiency Program?

The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is designed to assist families in achieving financial independence by helping to remove the barriers that prevent self-sufficiency.  SEMMCHRA helps by connecting families with support services and resources in their communities.  These services can include:

  • Childcare
  • Job Training
  • Career Planning
  • Transportation
  • Education-GED & Post-Secondary
  • Financial Wellness
  • Homeownership Programs
  • Mental Health Services


  • Be a current Housing Choice Voucher recipient or a current Public Housing tenant
  • Be ready to work toward greater financial freedom
  • Agree to remain in SEMMCHRA’s service area for at least 12 months

Participant Obligations

  • The head of household must work toward finding and maintaining suitable employment
  • The head of household must achieve the goals outlined in their individual training and services plan
  • All family members must be free of cash assistance at the time of graduation from the FSS program

To read the full Family Self Sufficiency Action Plan please click HERE

To read the Family Self Sufficiency Newsletter please click HERE

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I participate in the FSS Program?

FSS participants have the chance to earn money in an escrow account.  If a FSS participant reports an increase in earned income and it results in an increase in their rent, a portion of the rent increase is placed into an interest-bearing escrow account.

If the participant graduates from FSS and achieves their program goals, they will be awarded the funds in their escrow account.  Some graduates have used their escrow money to purchase a new car or as a down payment on a house!

What are the steps to participate in the FSS Program?
  1. Complete the FSS Interest Form located on the sidebar of this webpage to request a Pre-Enrollment Application
  2. Complete the FSS Pre-Enrollment Application once it has been emailed to you
  3. Set up a time to discuss your program goals with the FSS Coordinator
  4. Complete and sign the FSS Contract of Participation
  5. Work with the FSS Coordinator to meet your goals
  6. Once all goals are completed, apply for graduation
How long does the Contract of Participation last?

The Contract of Participation lasts for 5 years; however, some participants graduate in less than 5 years.

Do I have to be receiving cash assistance to participate in the FSS Program?

No, you do not have to be receiving cash assistance to participate in the FSS Program.  Any participants receiving cash assistance will need to be off of it prior to graduating

Do I have to be employed to join the FSS Program?

No, you do not have to be employed when enrolling in the FSS Program.

If I graduate from the FSS Program, do I lose my Section 8 Voucher?

No, you do not lose your Section 8 Voucher.  FSS Program graduates can continue to use their Section 8 voucher as long as they meet the Section 8 program requirements.

How do I graduate from the FSS Program?

In order to graduate from the FSS Program and receive any money in your escrow account, the head of household must:

  • Complete all the goals outlined in their Contract for Participation
  • Find and maintain suitable, full-time employment
  • Certify that no household members are receiving cash assistance at the time of graduation
  • Be in good standing with SEMMCHRA

If a participating family has not met the program goals within the time specified in the FSS Contract of Participation, voluntarily leaves the FSS Program, or is terminated from the Section 8 Program any money in their escrow account will be forfeited.

What types of goals do participants set for themselves?

While every participant has different goals for themselves, some common goals are:

  • Improving Credit
  • Developing a Household Budget
  • Starting a Savings Plan
  • Reducing Debt
  • Going Back to School
  • Attending Job Training
  • Purchasing a New Car
  • Pursuing Homeownership
For more information about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program contact:

Alicia Conley

Self Sufficiency and Homeownership Coordinator

134 East Second Street
Wabasha, MN 55981