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April 2, 2013

Working their way up: Program bringing people out of poverty



“When a young mom, for example, joins Family Self-Sufficiency, we help with referrals for daycares and then the rent is based on income,” Donohue said. “When she joined our program, rent might be $50 a month. But if she gets a job, it might go up to $200 to $300. But that difference goes into a savings account for that family through Housing and Urban Development.”

She said the savings account doesn’t go back to the Housing Authority. Instead, it’s built up to help that family purchase its own home.

But grant funding helps in other ways, she said. Residents can have the $70 fee for their General Education Development diploma test. From there, partnerships with IU Southeast and local hospitals can help them get a college degree or training to become a certified nursing assistant.

She said a new program allows the CNA training on-site, and a new community garden for the facility could be opening soon with the help of a master gardener from IU Southeast.

With more partnerships forming, she said residents have more opportunities to put themselves back on solid ground.

“We want to get plugged into whatever it takes to create growth,” Donohue said. “We want parents who are in public housing to get a lot of tools at their disposable and transition out. We don’t want them to get stuck.”


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