The FSS success for the month of October is Ludia. Ms. Ludia is a remarkable person. Ludia started as an FSS participant many years ago. She was raising her son and worked for the New Albany Housing Authority on a grant that helped our elderly age in place. Ludia graduated from FSS and seemed to be on solid ground. Unfortunately, the grant ended and so did the job. Ludia then spent several years working short term jobs. She managed to get her son enrolled and sent off to college. After a while she found that she needed the wrap- around supports from the FSS program so she re-enrolled in 2012. Soon after re-enrolling she began working at Wal-Mart, she was happy and started saving money. She saved enough to purchase a car. Ludia had difficulty standing all day and had to resign after 2 years of working at Wal-Mart. So now she was back to square one. But Ludia was not alone. Life throws curve balls sometimes! Ludia just kept moving. Each day she’d come to the computer lab in the FSS office and apply for jobs. She came to the FSS workshops. She volunteered for neighborhood clean-ups, the Fresh Stop Market, and always had a gentle grateful spirit. Well, things have paid off for Ms. Ludia, she is now working part-time with Experience Works in the FSS office as a front desk receptionist. The entire FSS office is a better place to have Ludia greeting all who come in. Ludia is a true success and proves that each day is an opportunity just waiting to be taken.
The FSS Success for September is Catherine. Cat is a very special person. She is a single mom of two children and has always struggled to make ends meet. Cat was in the Family Self-Sufficiency program several years ago. In Cat’s very own words “I was young and not ready to appreciate all the great support and programs that were available to me and my kids. I was just trying to pay my rent and survive. I had to grow up do things my way”. Cat never gave up. She was able to obtain a Certified Nurse Assistant Certificate and get a good local job. As the years went by, Cat never forgot about FSS. She recently reconnected with the FSS department. WOW! She applied and was assigned to Paula, her eager and helpful case manager. This time Cat is more determined than ever. Paula and Cat are working together to achieve success. Cat was just hired on at Floyd Memorial Hospital. This is a dream come true for her. She is now enrolled in FSS and getting ready to tackle credit repair so she can buy a house for her family with the New Albany Housing Authority Home ownership program. Cat is determined to follow through with the goals she has set for herself. She attended a budgeting workshop in August and is well on her way to great things!
The FSS success for July is Sabrina H. Sabrina is a success for so many reasons! She is a remarkable young lady. Sabrina moved into the New Albany Housing Authority at the young age of 18. She had survived being a teen mom with no place to call home. Many people facing this circumstance would get the keys for their apartment and call it a day. Well not Sabrina. She had goals. She immediately signed up for the Family Self Sufficiency program. In May of 2015 Sabrina met with her case manager at the FSS office and decided that she wanted to complete High School and receive her diploma. One year later Sabrina walked across the stage at New Albany High School and graduated with her class! Sabrina has decided she would like to work in the Medical field. She has maintained employment at a local Retirement home and now plans to enroll in a C.N.A. course. Sabrina keeps pushing forward for her growing family and the dream that she will achieve her goals! Sabrina plans to buy a house with the help and guidance from all her supports at the New Albany Housing Authority. Congratulations Sabrina!
Shannon is a FSS success! Shannon B. first joined FSS when she was barely out of high school. Shannon was a single mom and this was her first apartment. Well, Shannon had more growing up to do and after 2 years decided to move out of the NAHA neighborhood. After a few years of paying market rent and struggling, Shannon moved back to NAHA in 2012. This time she joined FSS and really plugged into the program. With the help she received from her case manager, Shannon got a job and began paying a higher rent, which resulted in her getting a monthly escrow deposit. Shannon attends meetings that will benefit her and her growing family that are being offered through FSS office. How time flies!! Shannon has been diligently working, she has a savings account, a plan to buy a house soon, and a bright future.
The success for April 2016 is Daniel Rodgers. Daniel relocated to Southern Indiana from Chicago, Illinois. Moving to New Albany was a big change for him. He did not have any family or friends in our community. He had no automobile to get around and was faced with not being able to work. He had worked his whole life. Daniel had several surgeries which left him feeling isolated. He started reading the “NAHA Neighborhoods” monthly newsletter and learned about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. He called and offered to volunteer for the FSS office. That was 5 months ago and boredom flew out the window quickly! Daniel is scheduled once a week, but is usually in the office or at workshops several times a week. He helps with clerical, cooking, sorting donations and just about anything else we need help from him to do! Daniel is a joy and pleasure to have here at FSS. He has become a big part of the FSS office. Willa Banet and Toni Powers work alongside Daniel and affectionately refer to him as their Teddy Bear! Daniel has become a big part of our community and he always has a big smile and a kind, giving heart to share with our community! If you stop in the FSS office chances are you will run into Daniel.
To find out about all the great ways to volunteer just give us a call! (812) 206-2065.
Carmen is a BIG FSS success, she joined the FSS program in 2011. Carmen grew up in the Parkview Broademeade neighborhood, graduated high school then became a single mom. She applied for her own apartment and moved right up the street from her mother. Carmen knew she wanted a good job and was needing some guidance. With the support of her case worker at FSS she enrolled in C.N.A. classes and graduated with high honors. The same senior living facility where she completed her C.N.A. hours hired her on as a Nursing Assistant. Carmen worked full time and had many struggles. In the beginning she didn’t have a car and would walk to and from her job. Slowly things got better.Carmen set her goals, she got her driver’s license, and she then got a car. Carmen’s rent went up with the new job, it was difficult but she knew that each time she paid her rent on time she was also saving money in her FSS Escrow Account. Carmen stayed focused! She met with her credit repair person, and she attended her FSS monthly meetings and lived her life. She got married and even had another baby. The four and a half years that she was in the FSS program went by very fast. Carmen’s dreams came true and she was able to buy her dream home. She closed on her house February 2016 and is moving forward with her family. Carmen said that this is only the beginning for her! We wish her the very, very best as she moves forward!
Hello, my name is LaErica Kelly. I was born and raised in Kentucky. I’m the oldest of four children and I graduated from Waggener High School in 1994. I have a wonderful son who is 20 years of age and who recently made me a grandma! In July of 2010, after five years of struggle, the Good Lord relocated me to the New Albany Housing Authority. In October of 2010 I got a job at the Dollar Tree and was employed there for four years.
In March of 2011, I was introduced to the Family Self Sufficiency Program. I got involved and met Lisa, Linda, Amanda, Stacy and Dee. They all kept me motivated, uplifted and inspired. They encouraged me to attend plenty of meetings that put me back on “the road to success”. Now that I have reached many of my goals, kept a new job and continue to pay my rent on time, I am glad to graduate from the FSS Program and receive my Escrow check. Stay positive, motivated, and believe that God will make it happen. The sky is the limit.
Iesha is our Family Self-Sufficiency highlight this month because she is a woman who has refused to give up. Like many of us, life has thrown Iesha’s family some difficult times. She relocated to New Albany with little more than her children and the clothes on their backs. She had no support group and was starting over from the ground floor. She immediately enrolled in the NAHA FSS program and at the first meeting she attended she found herself helping staff to serve snacks to other clients. She then volunteered at the FSS front desk until she found a job. Her involvement with her case manager and her willingness to always volunteer paid off. After maintaining her job for over 6 months a private donor called Iesha’s Family Self Sufficiency case manager. The person who called had a van that they felt compelled to give to a deserving family in need of transportation assistance. Iesha fit all the criteria that was needed and was the lucky person to receive this generous gift. Iesha is rebuilding her life and is determined to soar high. She is working hard, surrounded by positive supports from the FSS staff and is accomplishing great things.
The FSS Success for the month of July 2015 is Jerica, a single mom who is willing to go to any length to succeed.
Jerica moved into her apartment without feeling like she had a support system. She said “being a single mother of two, without a job, is HARD WORK” and that joining the FSS program made her feel “like a part of a family.” She was able to get encouragement, support, and the help she needed to start working toward her goals. Jerica jumped right into the FSS program by attending meetings and signing up for a twelve-week program for single mothers. One of Jerica’s first steps was to find a job, but without transportation and childcare she felt defeated. But she didn’t give up and said “the people at FSS took me to interviews and gave me the tools I needed to get the outcomes I wanted.” Jerica just landed not one, but two jobs, and she is ecstatic.
We are also very proud of her hard work. When asked if we could showcase Jerica she agreed and wanted to add “if you are wanting to become a better you….the FSS family is where you should be.”
Randi joined our program in the spring of 2012 as participant of the Family Scholar House Program. Randi is a single mother of two boys and was going to Ivy Tech full time and even made the dean’s list! Randi decided that she was going to take a break from school and find a job. Then, in May of last year, she found a job at Floyd Memorial Hospital working part time. She was then offered full time hours in January. This actually caused her to go over income for housing assistance (which is a good thing!) and she was able to graduate the Family Self Sufficiency program. She received her escrow check and moved to a home in Georgetown! We are very proud of Randi and know that she will continue to make great progress in life!
Tanisha Durrett has faced many challenges in her life before being connected to Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. Being a single mom of three kids ages 16, 18 and 20 was not an easy task, plus she had trouble finding a decent paying job in an accounting firm after graduating from Spalding University in 2009. During this transition of job searching she and her family were homeless for a year, but she kept her head held high and heard about Community Service Revitalization’s “Foundational Leaders” course for entrepreneurs in Louisville, KY. The course helped with business coaching, client referrals, networking, etc. and opened the doors for her to apply for a business loan. She is now the proud owner and operator of Tanisha’s Mobile Bookkeeping Service with the unique niche and tagline “I Come to You”.
In July 2013, Tanisha began volunteering her services answering the phone and helping residents with résumé writing. It was shortly after then that she begin working with New Albany Housing Authority (NAHA). She would like to personally thank the FSS staff and Karen Gadd for encouraging her to apply within.
When Kena Chatman relocated here from Louisville, KY she had made a conscience decision to leave her old life and past behind her. Kena was literally starting her life over. She moved into New Albany Housing and was given information about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. She had no job, was struggling to plug into positive role models and said that she needed support and encouragement. Well that is what she found at FSS. Kena joined the FSS Program in August 2014 and she has been very dedicated and committed to doing all she can to learn and grow personally and professionally. Kena started off by attending the Dress for Success “Going Places” networking workshops and stated that it helped her find confidence within. Kena then attended other FSS workshops and programs including financial meetings with Fifth Third Bank, personal empowerment meetings sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Southern Indiana and Habitat for Humanity meetings for building a home. Kena has recently been certified as a Tax Preparer with H&R block and has Kena has never given up. Kena was hired in February 2015 working full-time at Amazon. Kena is a woman of determination and is the woman who defied the odds.
Wow! Not wanting to sound like a cliché’ but…REALLY? Yes it is 2015. It’s hard to believe…Starting off the New Year we wanted our FSS success to be special.
We did not have to look too hard or long to come up with Mr. Jerry Broughton. Jerry is a great example of what results we strive for in the families we work with here at the New Albany Housing Authority. FSS met Jerry back in 2009. He was a single father and needed help so one of the first things he did was enroll in parenting classes that were being held here at NAHA. It was very apparent that Jerry was willing to go to any length to learn, grow and move forward. Jerry regularly attended the monthly FSS mandatory meetings and there were many nights where Jerry was the only man in a sea of women. That never stopped him. Jerry volunteered at the drop of a hat whether we needed extra help. Jerry was always available with a huge smile and positive attitude and he never gave up on wanting to do more. He applied for any job he could find. He worked as a childcare bus driver, in factories and even here at the agency as a maintenance worker. At one point Jerry was up for his big dream job driving for TARC and he went through the entire hiring process only to find, at the very end, he failed the vision test. Jerry not only failed the test but was informed he was legally blind and needed to apply for disability. Faced with another obstacle that would have stopped most folks Jerry was still not giving up. He was determined to push through this setback and keep moving forward. He applied for even more jobs! He was hired on as a temporary employee at Ford driving cars from the plant onto trains to be shipped across the country. He did such a great job and was so well liked for his hard work and upbeat attitude that he was hired on as a regular employee. He proudly admits that he is making BIG money! Here we are 6 years after meeting Jerry and he and little Jerry, his son, are moving into a big house in Louisville. When asked if we could use his story in our report Jerry enthusiastically said yes and wanted to add, “I feel like I am a prime example of how FSS can help people achieve success.”
Our Christmas success is FSS participant, Tarrah who first started attending FSS meetings in September of this year. Tarrah came to her very first FSS orientation with her head down. She was overwhelmed and struggling with many setbacks. She had two small boys and was close to giving up all hope. She had lost her job, car,and home before she landed here at NAHA. Tarrah started attending the FSS meetings, then she met the case managers at the FSS office. She had many days where she wanted to give up, but with the encouragement and support of her case manager she kept trying. Tarrah then got a huge Christmas surprise…she got a job! She starts her job this month and she once again has hope and joy. She is looking forward to 2015 and will continue to work closely with her case manager and accomplish goals that will bring her even more success!
We celebrated many FSS successes in March, but most notably was one of our most recent graduates. While in the FSS program this young woman accomplished so many things. She started out with us as a single young mother without a job, car or any idea what she wanted to do. Her mother is a NAHA resident who relocated from Mexico and speaks no English which left our client and her siblings without many of the community connections that one would normally be exposed to if it weren’t for a language barrier. The FSS case managers were able to provide direction and supports that this client so desperately needed. While participating in FSS she received vital referrals to local agencies such as: Hispanic Coalition, The Housing Partnership, Inc. and Kentuckiana College Access Center. She completed her C.N.A. courses and started working at a local child care facility. She got a car, enrolled in college and is now working toward an Early Childhood Development Certification. She completed all of her credit repair and homeownership counseling courses and is looking to purchase a house. She is recently married and anxious to start a new chapter of her life in her own home. We wish her well!
Aneshia is a successful graduate of Family Self Sufficiency. While enrolled in the FSS program she worked 30 hours a week at New Hope, providing day services to disabled clients. She held down her job while going to school full time. As is a single parent, she was still able to attend FSS workshops, and become a group leader at the Single Mothers In Life Equipped program. Aneshia attended all the home buyer education workshops, successfully repaired her credit, moved out of public housing and obtained her Bachelor’s degree for I.U.S. She is now working as a Case Worker for the Department of Child Protection Services and it working on purchasing a home.
Aneshia is truly an exceptional person and we are so proud of her accomplishments. We wish her the very best!
In August 2010, Eyna joined the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. Eyna was new to the New Albany area and was without a job or a car. She was a new mom settling in to make a life for herself and her young son. Eyna made a conscience decision not to let her past get in the way of her future and worked to overcome the many hurdles placed in her way. Eyna attended GED classes and, at times, the daily struggles of life would get to be overwhelming and she would lose her motivation, throw in the towel and quit. Even though Eyna would stop attending her GED classes she kept in contact with her FSS case manager, attended Zumba, worked with the First Steps program to address her small son’s needs and she remained open to suggestions. Eyna volunteered at the FSS office then she got a job. Even after a lot of ups and downs she never totally gave up on getting her GED. She decided that no matter what she was going to stay dedicated to her dreams and focus on the important things in life. Can you guess what happened?
Eyna obtained her GED in July 2013!!
Eyna is very bright, smart, and determined. Eyna will now continue her education and pursue a degree in interior design. The sky is the limit for her!
Amanda is another successful graduate from the FSS program! Amanda is a single mother who had no training or much job experience when she first came onto the program. She received her dental assisting certification while on the program, and she also completed a five part financial literacy program that she heard about through FSS. That motivated her to pay off her credit card debt to improve her credit score. In addition to paying off her debt Amanda also started a savings account. Now Amanda has been working for 2 years at the same company and was recently promoted to full time! Even though Amanda is no longer on the FSS program she is still motivated to purchase a house, and is continuing credit counseling here at the Family Self Sufficiency Office.
Jerry recently graduated from the Family Self-Sufficiency Program and while we are happy for him we must admit we will be sad to see him go. Jerry was one of the FSS Program’s most dedicated volunteers. We knew that if we were in a pinch and needed someone to help out, Jerry would put his personal business on hold and pitch right in. While on the FSS Program Jerry also took advantage of the many workshops we offer – from parenting and budgeting to goal setting and career exploration.
We wish Jerry all the best as he moves forward with his goal of purchasing a home for his family.
Devon is another FSS Success! Devon has overcome many struggles in his life, but he never gave up his journey to follow his dreams. Devon relocated here from Louisville and is not the type of guy that likes to take suggestions from other people. But since becoming enrolled in the FSS program he has developed healthy relationships with staff and especially his case manager, Stacy. He shows up for meetings, works on educational goals and just completed a 9-month Barber College Degree. He is now a Master Barber! This accomplishment is just the beginning for what lies down the road for Devon. FSS has introduced him to great leaders to help keep him motivated and on target with his life goals. He is looking to use his natural leadership abilities to become an instructor for the barber college so that he can be a role model for other men.
Rebecca just graduated from Indiana University Southeast with her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. Rebecca's path to graduation was not easy. She is a single mother of four children ages 2-12. She had to learn how to juggle being a full time mom, going to school full time, and childcare. It was not until her senior year that she received childcare through RVR. Before that she had to occasionally withdraw from classes and receive an incomplete because her childcare would fall through. Rebecca never gave up, even though at the time it seemed like that would be easier. She recently started a community garden here on NAHA property during her last semester of college because she has a true passion in helping others and her community. FSS is very proud of Rebecca for accomplishing her goals and continuing to work hard every day!
Monfrida is our latest FSS participant that we need to brag about!
Monfrida is highly motivated and a true FSS success! Monfrida joined Family Self-Sufficiency in June 2012 with a high determination to succeed. Monfrida’s FSS Case Manager helped her lay out her goal plan and she is now working hard to accomplish all she wants in life. Monfrida has attended Daybreak with Northside, she is active with her monthly FSS meetings and always has good input for things she’d like to see happen to improve her life, while always thinking of others. When the FSS department got word that the New Albany Parks Department was hiring for a position we immediately referred Monfrida for the job. She was soon interviewed and then hired. Monfrida says “I love my new job,” and it shows! She is also working toward getting her G.E.D. at the FSS office every Tuesday thru Thursday from 8:30 to 12:30.
Amanda is a single mother of four and receives child support about 25% of the time. She was stuck working dead-end jobs that she did not enjoy and where she did not have opportunities to move up. In 2010, she made the decision to join the Family Self Sufficiency program. Amanda kept in regular contact with her case manager and when she became unemployed this past June her case manager told her about any and every job that she might be interested in. She even helped her apply for many jobs – one of which was at a doctor’s office working with medical records. In August Amanda got that job! After she was there for only two weeks she was asked if she would like to be trained to be a medical assistant because of her great attitude and willingness to learn! She is currently in the process of being trained as a medical assistant and after she is fully trained she will be getting a significant pay raise. The skills she is learning are very useful for her future. Amanda said that this is her favorite job and she loves working there because she gets to work with people and she is not in front of a computer all day. She is receiving escrow money from being in the program, working and paying her rent on time!
We are so proud of Amanda and we knew she could do it all along!
This month we would like to bring your attention to a young lady who has made numerous accomplishments in the short time that she has been involved in the Family Self-Sufficiency program. Charmaine is a single mom who realized early on that she needed some changes in her life that would create a more positive atmosphere for her and her new baby. Her first step was finding a employment so she started working third shift at a part time job.
This schedule quickly took a toll on her and her newborn baby. Charmaine knew that this was not what she wanted out of life and that she wanted something better for her family. She also knew that she needed an education to achieve her goals. She attended the GED classes we offered at 300 Erni Avenue, and prepared for the test. Charmaine passed the test with flying colors!!! Now Charmaine is completing her C.N.A. certification and is well on her way towards a successful future.
Charmaine is being honored this year at the GED graduation ceremony for her dedication and hard work. We couldn’t be more proud of her!!!
Congratulations Charmaine and keep up the good work!
Vernella is going to school full-time while working full-time and hopes to run her own business someday. She’s a determined woman and her spirit is contagious. Vernella is destined for many great things in her life and we’re happy to have been a part of her journey.
We are very proud to count Vernella as an FSS Graduate.
Kindra Bailey graduated from Linda’s Public Housing FSS caseload this month. When Kindra came to the FSS program she was working two dead-end jobs. She was in the back area of one place washing dishes with headphones on because she didn’t like dealing with people and would prefer to isolate herself. Now Kindra is working at two jobs that she actually enjoys. Kindra accomplished many goals while on our program. She completed the “Going Places Network” training with Dress for Success (located on Guthrie Green in Louisville). This is a twelve-week course which covers all aspects of applying for employment and keeping a job once secured. They cover everything including doing mock interviews to providing a top-notch interview suit and education on how to complete a successful job search and maintain one’s life after the addition of a job. Kindra also now has a checking account and was able to utilize our escrow program to build up a savings account. Kindra is also seeing a mentor though Choices for Women and has been able to overcome many personal issues and continues to grow.
We are very proud to count Kindra as an FSS Graduate.
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with the New Albany Housing Authority and the Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
Case #1- Terry (real name withheld)
Five years ago Terry found herself in crisis and moved into an apartment at the New Albany Housing Authority. She was a single mother with 4 small children, no job or much of an education beyond high school. Through NAHA and the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Terry was able to get the support she needed for her and her family’s future. Terry got a full-time job that paid minimum wage and put her children in school and daycare. The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) knew that if Terry was to succeed and move out of public housing then she would need more than just a job paying minimum wage; she would need a career. That’s when Terry enrolled in college. There have been many struggles along the way, but through it all Terry has received guidance, encouragement and support from the case managers at FSS. That support, along with Terry’s inner drive to succeed, has helped change her life and give her and her children a bright future. Terry has just completed her nursing degree and is well-equipped to join the workforce. Soon she and her family will be leaving NAHA and making way for the next success story to join Family
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with the New Albany Housing Authority and the Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
Case #2 - Jane (real name withheld)
Jane was a single mom, who had only known life in public housing and grocery shopping with food stamps. She was a third generation single mother and the odds were stacked against her to do anything differently. Jane enrolled in Family Self-Sufficiency and soon after got a job. Through case management and life skills workshops Jane began to blossom. She enrolled in college and skyrocketed to success. Jane transitioned from public housing to Section 8 and then completed home ownership education courses so that she could purchase a home for her and her two little boys. The day Jane moved into her house her FSS case managers were there to help with anything she needed – just as they had done throughout her entire time in the program. Jane stood looking at her beautiful house and then turned over her shoulder and said to her case manager, “This is just the beginning.” Since graduating from FSS and purchasing her home, Jane is now in a Master’s Degree program and working full-time. She is now talking to her little boys about the importance of staying in school, earning good grades and how they too will go to college because they live in a community that sees the potential in every underdog out there and works to help get them ahead.