The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded nearly $1.5 million to Greene County ($130,573), Henry County ($176,493), Knox County ($240,000), Peoria ($240,000), Rock Island ($225,000) and Rockford ($480,000) Housing Authorities.
The grants were part of $31 million distributed nationally to housing authorities, resident associations, and non-profit organizations. The initiative is meant to help public housing residents connect to services available in the neighborhood to fine employment and increase their financial independence. Elderly and people with disabilities will also be linked with supportive services that allow them to maintain independent living.
“These grants will provide the springboard to a self sufficient and more independent life for Illinois residents of public housing,” said Midwest Regional Administrator Antonio R. Riley, in a press release.
HUD’S Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) – Service Coordinate Program helps public housing authorities, resident associations, or non-profit organizations hire and maintain service coordinators. These coordinators work directly with residents to assess their needs and connect them with education, job training, and placement programs to help promote their economic self sufficiency. For elderly and persons with disabilities, the service coordinator arranges supportive services that allow them to maintain their self-sufficient lifestyle.
“We need to take a wider view of the needs of public housing residents beyond just housing if we’re to be true to the goal of promoting self sufficiency,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, in a statement. “The caseworkers that housing authorities can hire or keep on staff help thousands of public housing residents connect to opportunities to obtain jobs or increase their incomes that lead to self-sufficiency and improve quality of life.”
The purpose of HUD’s ROSS-Service Coordinators Program is to help local participating families connect with private and public resources to increase income; reduce or eliminate need to welfare assistance; and make progress to economic self-sufficiency.