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CENTRAL FALLSâ€”Since emigrating to the United States 14 years ago, Filomena Montiero had nurtured a couple of dreams: becoming a nurse and owning her own home. Thanks to the Central Falls Housing Authority's Family Self-Sufficiency program,â€ť she is part of the way there on both goals.
Montiero recently graduated from the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program, an initiative that seeks to improve the lives of parents receiving Central Falls Section 8 housing assistance.
The FSS program was established in 1995 to help low-income parents living in Central Falls by providing extra support so they can complete their education, join the workforce, and become economically self-sufficient. Participants earn funds over a five-year period of participation in the program based on their wage increases and the amount that they pay for housing. The CHA deposits the increased rental charges that a participant pays as his or her earnings rise into an escrow account that can be used for a housing down payment, to obtain further education, improve credit standings or some other purpose.
Montiero, the mother of two daughters, ages 17 and 25, joined the FSS program in 2008 with aspirations of returning to school and learning English. She has taken classes at the Community College of Rhode Island to improve her English and also to obtain certification as a nursing assistant. She is now employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a local private emergency clinic.
For full story, see Monday's print edition of The Times.