LaKeisha Carthorn is a recent graduate of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s (RRHA) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program.
Like many living in public housing, Carthorn had the desire, the drive, and the determination to become self-sufficient. She just didn’t know where to start. A flyer on the door of her Gilpin Court apartment provided the answer.
RRHA’s FSS Program is optional for families living in public housing or who receive Housing Choice Voucher Program assistance. Participants enter a five-year contract, requiring the head of the household to obtain employment and all family members to be free of cash welfare assistance 12 months prior to program graduation. Families enrolled in this program are supported at each level of their growth and development to financial independence.
I wanted to better myself and (my) family situation…knew I needed a little help and support because I really did not have anyone to walk me through new situations in life.LaKeisha Carthorn
Carthorn was able to gain valuable skills during her participation in the program. “The workshops and classes allowed me to gain insight on the importance of budgeting money, managing bills and finances, coupons and savings.” She attributes these skills to making a huge difference in her life. “I can do a better job today in being able to support my family even while on a budget, ” she said.
A hard worker, who is driven by God and her children, Carthorn has worked diligently to improve her credit to well above 700 to enable her to have more mortgage options. She has laser focus. Hardly has she completed one goal before setting her sights on the next big achievement. She plans on becoming a certified professional coder at the state level, a position she would never have thought possible prior to the FSS Program.
FSS Coordinator Brett Brooks, says, “LaKeisha is a go-getter, self-motivated and full of perseverance. She has overcome a lot of obstacles to get where she is. She is raising exceptional children and is well on her way to homeownership. It was a pleasure working with her and see her growth and progress firsthand.”
Throughout the program, Carthorn took full advantage of all available opportunities offered by RRHA, as well as the partner agencies of Virginia Career Works, BLISS, and the Office of Community Wealth Building.
How does the future look for this young lady? All we can say is put on your sunglasses!