From Food Stamps to Full-Time Employment – A Family Self Sufficiency Program Success!

When Mary first joined the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program she was on food stamps, received County cash aid and did not have good prospects for her family’s future.

Today, five years later, Mary is employed full-time by the Santa Clara County Sheriff Department and has attained her AA degree and is working on her Bachelor’s.   Financially, she has done an outstanding job in raising her FICO score and has been diligent in building her Escrow account.

FSS family

Mary and Her Family

Today she is in the process of making a home purchase.

“This has been an amazing adventure,” Mary says. “I am so thankful that I was able to meet some of the greatest encouragers at the FSS Program. I would never in my lifetime have been able to save this money myself, and I am so thankful to be able to graduate from the FSS Program.”

The Family Self Sufficiency Program enables participants to receive ongoing case management and support over a five year period— working toward meeting important life goals. For Mary, it was about being a good example for her children, and becoming a homeowner.

“Mary is the ideal FSS client and has made my job as a case manager very rewarding to witness and be a part of her success,” says Nisa Faragasso, LifeSTEPS Case Manager. “Mary will always be a good example on why the FSS Program exists. She is now truly self-sufficient.”

LifeSTEPS’ Case Manager provided Mary with employment coaching, assistance with college and financial aid information, and ongoing emotional support.

“When I began this program I was on food stamps,” she says. “Today, I am fully employed. This (the FSS program) changed our lives. My kids have seen their Mom start college at the age of 40 and obtain full-time employment!”