Jobs and Educational Programs
Greater Stability and Financial Independence
– these are the goals of the Resident Service Programs offered by Rockford Housing Authority for residents who want to find jobs and advance their careers
Staff members provide comprehensive support to help you:
- Identify and overcome possible barriers to your progress
- Identify your specific interests and unique skills
- Establish and work toward achieving your goals for your future
Staff specialists help you develop a plan with specific activities and actions needed to achieve your goals.
This support includes:
- individualized support to help identify your needs
- coordination and referrals to necessary services
- assistance in setting goals and identifying the steps to accomplish
- ongoing support to make positive changes in your life
Staff members speak various languages and often share the same cultures as the residents we serve. They can help bridge cultural differences and provide the support you need to reach your goals.
What services are available?
- emergency assistance (food, utilities, rent)
- connections to education (completing high school, getting a GED, entering college)
- connections to employers looking for workers
- access to jobs related to Rockford Housing Authority construction, through our “Section 3” program
- career counseling and job training
- assistance with self-employment
- budgeting and financial planning
- legal services
- parenting skills
- home-buyer education
Here are just some of the activities you may work on with your Resident Services Specialist:
- household budgeting
- writing or improving your resume
- learning interview skills and practicing for a job interview
- testing to find out what you are good at
- help in search for a job and understanding work-related issues
- job placement help
- on-the-job training and internship opportunities
- assistance in keeping your job
- help in getting higher pay and benefits
Resident Services Specialists are prepared and willing to help you with whatever issues are standing in the way of getting and keeping a good job.
Staff members use their experience and contacts to help participants obtain employment in many industries, including medical, personal care, office and administration, social services and building trades.
If you already have a job, you can also use our Resident Services programs to help you get a higher-paying job, earn a promotion or receive higher wages in your current job.
What can you expect from the program?
When you begin working with a Resident Services Program staff person, you will have an ally to help you navigate the path of education and employment. Your staff person will help you to identify your skills, abilities and interests and they will continue to help you as you make decisions and move forward. If you need services from other organizations, they will help connect to those resources.
Launch Your Future with the Lifeforce Development Institute
The Rockford Housing Authority is proud to support and recommend the Lifeforce Development Institute’s Job/Career Readiness Skills-based training to both RHA Clients and Residents. The LDI Curriculum addresses the foundational skill gap in the workforce with a 12-week, hands-on learning program covering Job/Career Readiness Skills meeting the community’s workforce goals.
For more information, contact:
Odessa Walker, Director of Human Services
BLACKHAWK BOYS & GIRLS CLUB
An after-school program that offers sports, life skills, homework help and computer assistance and access. A day program operates during the summer providing structured activities, lunch, and trips. Location: 330 15th Ave. Rockford, IL
For further information contact: Maria Jones Youth Coordinator
(815) 961-1213 for additional information
Blackhawk Park School Linked Health Center is providing physicals, immunizations, prescriptions, counseling, treatment for chronic illnesses and minor injuries or illnesses for school aged children 18 and younger. Open: Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Location: 330 15th Ave. Contact
(815) 972-7200. Sponsored by Winnebago County Health Department.
SUMMER FOOD PROGRAM
This program is held at the Blackhawk and Fairgrounds Community Centers. Free lunches are provided to children (ages 2-18) for RHA and community children/youth. The Summer Food Program is administered by the City of Rockford and provides healthy lunches daily during the summer session.
For more information please contact Odessa Walker, Director of Human Services; 815-489-8712
INFORMATION & REFERRAL
Resource Centers are now available in every development, high-rise, and low-rise. Resident Services Staff are available to provide assistance upon referral from a site manager. For more information please contact Odessa Walker, Director of Human Services; 815-489-8712
Service Coordinators provide outreach services to residents of high-rise and low-rise buildings. They coordinate events, workshops, classes and assist with applications for public aid, Medicare, SSI, energy assistance, and circuit breaker. For additional information contact your manager or call
Housing Occupants Mobilization Effort (HOME) is comprised of RHA residents elected from Residents Councils. HOME Board addresses issues which affect the quality of life of public housing residents.
This organization has the responsibility of working with RHA and Residents councils for the good of all.
The HOME/RAB is the governing agency of all RHA’s Resident Leadership Councils. HOME/RAB Executive officers, in partnership with appropriate RHA staff, assist Resident Leadership Council and residents at each site with the organization and functioning of the Resident Leadership Councils.
RHA staff provides technical assistance to the HOME/RAB and Resident Leadership Councils to ensure compliance with HUD guidelines and requirements.
Meetings are monthly. HOME/RAB and Resident Leadership Councils Handbook
It is the mission of the H.O.M.E. Board to provide services in the area of performance improvement training and development services; addressing the needs and wants of our clients and participants by providing the tools that promote individual and organizational success. To involve our little children in crime prevention education and training that enhances the quality of life for their future.
The Resident Leadership Councils serve as tenant organization for a development or building of RHA-managed property. The principal purposes of the Resident Leadership Council are:
- Advocate for residents before RHA and other agencies, and act as a liaison between such agencies.
- Aid in the evaluation of physical and social conditions at respective developments or buildings.
- Encourage programs and activities designed to promote independence, self-sufficiency, community and quality of life.
- Encourage good working relationships between residents, HOME/RAB and RHA staff.
- Aid in determining the needs of each development or building.
- Provide a forum for sharing of information about the Authority and its programs and offerings.
- Make reformations to the development of the RHA capital and annual plans.
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a voluntary program established by HUD to promote economic self-sufficiency among RHA participating families.
Family Self-Sufficiency Specialists assist each participant in developing a Service Plan that outlines their goals for the next five years. Emphasis is on full time employment, credit readiness, and independence from public assistance. While participants work toward their goals; if their rent increases due to earned income the additional rent paid is set-aside in an escrow account. This account may be accessed upon completion of their individual FSS Plan to pursue a business venture, education, or homeownership.
To learn more about the Family Self-Sufficiency Program click here: FSS Program video
HCVHP (Section 8) holders may be eligible to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program. Contact: Elias Soria (815) 489-8579, or
Cassandra Barnett 815-489-8711. Any PH resident interested in Family Self-Sufficiency may contact Monique Jones, (815) 489-8591.
Home Buying Classes provide information on credit, mortgages, home inspection, and insurance. Contact: Elias Soria (815) 489-8579,Cassandra Barnett 815-489-8711, or Monique Jones , 489-8591.
The ROSS program is a public housing resident self-sufficiency program funded through HUD to assist residents with supportive services and service coordination. The purpose of the program is to work with our public housing residents to create individual work plans related to employment, education, and strategies to reduce and eliminate subsidy assistance. Our team of ROSS Case Managers will work closely with you to develop work plans to help you meet your individual goals and connect you with local agencies and services that provide additional supportive services and resources you may need to achieve success. Our ROSS staff will be able to provide transportation for job training and job interviews, child care reimbursement and supplemental educational materials needed while you participate in the program. ROSS will also provide you with weekly job listings to connect you to local job opportunities and provide community service hour options for those required to complete mandatory community service hours. While participating in ROSS, you will receive monthly resources related to pre-employment skills, interviewing tips, child care referrals, community resources and much more. If you’re ready to take advantage of these free resources and services available to you at each of our family sites, please contact a ROSS Case Manager. Catherine Owen, 489-8791, or Ray Williams, 489-8643.