Family Self-Sufficiency Program
Through this program, families learn to set and reach goals. Each family has a Case Manager working with them to identify goals that will help them become self-sufficient and economically independent. An escrow account is set up for the resident. A portion of the resident's rent will be set aside in an escrow to be used by the resident to reach the agreed-upon goal.
If a resident wants to participate in the FSS Program, he or she would have to enter into a contract with PRHA for a period of five years. The rent amount on the effective date of the Contract of Participation is considered the baseline rent. As the resident's rent goes up because of increases in earned income, the difference between the new rent and the baseline rent is deposited into the escrow account. For example, if the baseline rent is $50 and the rent increases to $300 due to employment, approximately $250 is deposited into the escrow account each month, resulting in $3,000 saved over a 12-month period. Five years of saving could be used to pay off debts or to put a down payment on a car or to buy a home.
The FSS provides services to the residents such as childcare, transportation, computer classes, money smart classes, Fresh Start classes, homeownership classes, entrepreneurship classes, health education classes, GED classes, credit counseling, personal counseling, parenting skills classes, a quarterly newsletter monthly calendars, college classes at Tidewater Community College (TCC), career assessments and mentoring. The Case Manager and the FSS Coordinator may also recommend other monthly workshops.
The Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority has the following six scholarships available:
- The Virginia Association of Housing and Community Development Officals
- The James Fund (The Norfolk Foundation)
- Public Housing Authorities Directors Association
- E.L. Hamm and Associates Scholarship
- Housing Authority Insurance Group Resident Scholarship
- Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Scholarship
Who is eligible to apply for a scholarship?
All Public Housing and Section 8 graduating seniors or residents that are currently attending college are eligible.
What does the scholarship cover?
The scholarship covers tuition fees and books.
How can you apply?
Contact the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Case Manager at 757-391-2962.
Housekeeping classes are held every second Tuesday and Thursday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Residents are referred to the classes by their Housing Manager or they can attend the classes on their own. The classes are held to improve and educate residents about keeping their homes clean and safe.
PRHA is a partner with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. Every month food is given to any person that is in need. The Foodbank is held at Pheobus Square every second Monday of the month and at Effingham Plaza every fourth Thursday of the month. If you would like to sign up for the Foodbank please contact the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Case Manager at 757-391-2962.
Community Service & Self-Sufficiency Program
This is a HUD-mandated program that enables residents to give back to their communities while enhancing their employability skills. Adults between the ages of 18 and 62 years are required to volunteer 96 hours a year. To be exempted from the program, the person must be disabled or caretakers of disabled.
Girl Scouts Program
Girls between the ages of 11 and 17 years meet once a month to learn leadership skills, self-esteem skills and self-respect.
Health Education Program
Once a month workshops are held to educate residents about living well. The workshops vary from watching your weight to choosing the right doctor. Each month different speakers attend the meetings and discuss the different health issues.
Youth Life Skills Program
Youths between the ages of 10 and 18 years are educated about life skills in the areas of job readiness, scholarships, self-esteem, college preparation, resume writing and volunteering.
Fresh Start Program
PRHA collaborates with Tidewater Community College (TCC), which offers a program called Fresh Start. The Fresh Start Program is one of the major counseling components of the TCC Academic Center. The program was developed in 2003, and it was specifically designed to enhance the participant's self-esteem, socialization, communication, verbal, critical and creative thinking skills. The program was also designed to provide participants with realistic options and alternatives as they pursue and refine employment, career, educational goals, and strategies toward self-sufficiency.
National Fire Prevention Program
Youth residents of all housing parks participate in the National Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest during the month of October.
Community Police Program
The goal of this program is to reduce crimes committed in Public Housing.
Resident Council Organization
PRHA has several Resident Council Organizations that meet once a month to discuss resident issues, activities and problems. The Organizations work hard to help the residents and to improve their communities. If you would like to join the Resident Council or if you have questions please contact the Family Self-Sufficiency Case Manager at 757-391-2962.
Resident Advisory Board (RAB)
PRHA has an Advisory Board that meets once a month with PRHA Management to discuss various concerns, issues, activities and problems that may be affecting the residents and communities. The Board is comprised of individuals who reflect and represent the residents of PRHA's Communities. Any resident that is 18 years old or older may serve on the Board. If you are interested in joining the RAB please contact the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Case Manager at 757-391-2962.