Community and Supportive Services
Another component of the HOPE VI grant is the Community and Supportive Services (CSS). Through the CSS program, case management services are offered to all families that resided at the former Westview Homes on the date the application was approved.
The Housing Authority's Resident Services Department is responsible for carrying out the CSS program.
The staff meets each week to discuss the progress of each of the relocated residents. The team also shares ideas on upcoming programs and exchange information on agency updates.
Through the weekly meetings, the staff decided to give the Community and Supportive Services a program name, and agreed on "B.E.S.T."
E= Education and
S= Self-Sufficiency for
The Hagerstown Housing Authority's B.E.S.T. Program is modeled after the Authority's successful Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program that gives the residents the opportunity to set goals over a five year period that are concentrated in areas of education, job training, and placement, budgeting and finance, credit repair, transportation and purchasing a home.
The assigned case manager works with each family to help them complete all the activities specified in their goals. Quarterly contacts are made with the residents to review progress, address problems and to provide referrals. Services are individualized in accordance with the strengths, abilities, needs and experiences of the head of household and family members.
Another component of B.E.S.T. is the FRESH START program.
The Employment Specialist created the - "FRESH START" program. In the FRESH START Program, the Employment Specialists meets with the residents to find a job match based on their desire and skills. Residents have been placed in jobs through the assistance of this program. The Employment Specialist receives referrals for the FRESH START program from the "BEST" staff members, other housing staff and self-referrals. Residents are also advised of the employment opportunities throughout the construction of the HOPE VI project.