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FSS Graduate Stories


Below are a few stories, experiences and comments from our Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) graduates. These stories show the ups and downs but most importantly the successes of these individuals, and their words are inspirational!

"My experience with the FSS program was very pleasant. They offered different workshops, programs, and assistance. The program helped me achieve things I didn't think I could do. When I had questions or needed to be pointed in the right direction they always were able to assist. Even during a pandemic they made sure to keep in communication with me and still offer knowledgeable information. It's definitely a great program and I will be sharing my experience with others."  - Anonymous, September 2021 Graduate


"Joining the FSS program was one of the best decisions I made thus far in my life. I joined at a time when I was at rock bottom. I was 4 weeks post heart surgery, no income, and a long road to recovery. The program was so extremely helpful. I believe that the best part was being held accountable for plans and goals you set in place. My caseworkers were so encouraging and made me feel accomplished every time I reached a goal. I graduated in under two years. But without the support of my caseworkers I don't believe it would have happened. I highly recommend you join the program. It helps you set goals, helps you hold yourself accountable and makes you feel good about yourself every time you accomplish another goal! 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Anonymous, December 2020 Graduate


"Hello, My name is Keishana.... I am a participant with the DuPage Housing Authority and now a graduate of the FSS (Family Self Sufficiently program). Three years ago, I relocated from Chicago to DuPage county. I'm a single mother of three children and with the violence in Chicago plus lack of resources I knew it was time for a change. In Aug 2017, my family and I moved into our new apartment in Willowbrook. Later, that week I went to the Financial Fitness workshop with FSS. Everyone was so nice and resourceful. There I met with Scott (DuPage Housing Authority) he introduces me to my case worker and team members. Within a month I had an appointment to meet with her one on one. In my first meeting me spoken about my goals and accomplishments that I want to work on. My focus was school, budgeting, and homeownership. FSS gave me the resources to help me with my goals. They gave information for HOME DUPAGE, they assisted with tuition fees and books for College of DuPage and guide me through setting up a saving account with DuPage Credit Union. Our monthly meeting was important because they held me accountable for reaching my goals. By breaking each goal down, it made it so much easier to accomplish my goals and to become more self-sufficient. FSS was that support that I needed to keep going and to stay motivated. I've graduated from this program Oct 2020. In less than 18 months I'll graduate from college with a BSN, I've learned to set a budget and save money, and I'm planning to become a homeowner Spring 2021. This is all from working with the FSS program. I would 100% recommend this program to anyone. Moving here three years ago changed my life and I can't wait to give back to DuPage County. Thank you so much DuPage Housing Authority and FSS program." - Keishana, October 2020 Graduate

"The Family Self Sufficiency Program has been a great experience for me over the past five years. When I first started in the program, I had just completed my Bachelors in Public Health from CSU and received my section 8 voucher. I heard about this program where it taught you life skills, offered home buying classes, showed you how to set goals and accomplish them. I went to a meeting one night and signed up.

I was assigned Flora Spencer-Turcios and she has been a great case worker. While in the program I set the goal of completing my M.B.A, finding a full-time career, purchasing a home, and several other goals. I accomplished all of them besides buying a home, but it is not to late for me to purchase one. Completing my goals was not easy; I lost my full time-time job and lost everything in a home fire that had an unknown cause. Flora was there through everything with resources to contact for help and encouraging words.

I would advise any one that has interest in the program to sign up for it and be ready for the commitment. I have taken several classes on budgeting and homeownership. These classes helped me learn how to manage my finances and avoid large debt through budgeting. This program held me accountable for the goals/changes I wanted to accomplish in my life. I think as adults that is one of the things we lose because we don't have to answer to anyone anymore." -Anonymous, September 2020 Graduate

"Thank you all at DuPage Housing Authority for allowing me to be apart of the Family Self Sufficiency Program! This was an absolute wonderful addition to the housing choice voucher program. Not only did I get help with finding training or employment opportunities but also helped in finding other programs when needed like the Car program, Credit Counseling and the homeownership program just to name a few with many many more. Anytime I needed help with anything, My Mentor Mrs. Flora Spencer-Turcios helped tremendously. Mr. Scott Lamantia worked hand and hand with Mrs. Turcios to keep me upbeat with my goals Even though I have graduated I am saddened to leave because the Help and dedication that I received was wonderful and they became like family. I wanna thank you all so very much for taking the time to allow me to be in such a wonderful program. Thank you..." -Ukemia, September 2020 Graduate


"During the program I have grown significantly due to my hard work despite my health problems. I always continue to stay positive and was able to submerge my struggles. I have made great strides to get to where I am today. I've always maintained a full time employment.  During the times I spent in the program I improved my budget, reduced my debit balance. I also went back to school to take a refresher course for phlebotomy. Even though I wasn't able to pursue a job as a phlebotomy tech either because of the pay rate or bad timing.  I've always made sure I kept my phlebotomy certificate renewed. So every 2 years I took online courses to keep my certificate from expiring. I've been a Certified Nursing Assistant for 15 years. But it came to a point in my life where I just wanted more for myself and for my two boys. So in the beginning of this year I applied for a position at the hospital and was blessed to get a position there as a Scrub Tech. But overall it was a blessing to be part of the FSS Program. My caseworker Flora was very helpful and also motivated me to do better. These 5 years in this program really flew by. I am very happy that I was able to accomplish my goals with the assistants from the FSS Program.... [I] appreciate the help from the Family Self Sufficiency Program. Thank you for your time and consideration." 

-Anonymous, September 2020 Graduate


"I write this letter with tears flowing from my eyes. Tears of pure joy Hallelujah yes! I started with FSS broken and helpless. I knew I wanted a change for me and my family but didn't know where to start. With so many obstacles before me my main question was "Where do I start"? My credit wasn't good I wasn't able to obtain a stable job because of past mistakes. Life was throwing bricks at me and you know what.... I used those bricks are started building my future. I was able to get my record sealed. I was able to establish good credit. I received my Associates in Human Services. I'm employed with a wonderful organization and I have money saved. Who knew? I would like to thank Flora for crying with me and just being there with an open heart and ear. Flora believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. The saying goes "You get out of life what you put in" .... I put in work and I can stand proud and say that work has paid off. Thank you DuPage Housing Authority, Thank you Family Self-Sufficiency (Flora Spencer-Turcios), Thank you DuPage Home ownership. Most of all I thank myself for using the resources that was made available to me. I can now say as I always have......... Your possibilities are endless." -Anonymous, June 2020 Graduate