Rep. Russell Holmes praises graduates of MBHP’s Family Self-Sufficiency program; The Boston Foundation’s Geeta Pradhan gives keynote address

January 18, 2013

Rep. Russell Holmes praises graduates of MBHP’s Family Self-Sufficiency program;
The Boston Foundation’s Geeta Pradhan gives keynote address

BOSTON- On the evening of Thursday, January 17 at MerengueRestaurant in Roxbury, the
Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP) proudly honored and celebrated the 2012
graduates of its Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program.

Speaking at the event to honor the graduates was Representative Russell Holmes (6th Suffolk
including Dorchester, Mattapan) who heaped praise and advice on the 19 graduates of the FSS
program, which connects families who have Section 8 Rental Assistance with resources and
support services to help build assets, enhance educational and career opportunities, and move
toward economic independence.

“I want to say congratulations to you all because I know how difficult it is to complete this
program,” said Holmes. “What I can tell you is that everything in life is a step, and it’s great to
have MBHP and the FSS program helping you to understand the steps toward success. Your
success makes it so that other folks behind you believe that it’s possible.”

FSS program participants work with an MBHP staff member, who assists with needs such as
credit repair, transportation, educational workshops, and job training. Participants who are
employed have the opportunity to benefit from funds that are set aside in their own escrow
account based on the difference between their starting and increased incomes. Graduates from the
program receive their escrowed money, which most often is used toward home ownership or
higher education. Currently there are 330 participants enrolled in the program. The average
increase in yearly income for FSS participants is $13,382 and the average amount in participants’
escrow account is $8,972.

Lawanda Myrick, a graduate from Dorchester, has just completed the program after six years
and is now looking towards buying a home. “At the time I started FSS, I was young and not really
thinking about future goals,” says Lawanda, “but I set goals and worked on them for the last six
years and now I’m graduating, and I have more confidence now. If I didn’t have FSS, I never
would have taken any credit repair trainings, or homeownership classes. I’m in a much better
situation now.” She plans on using the escrow money on a down payment for her first home.
Giving the keynote address of the evening was Geeta Pradhan, Associate Vice President for
Programs at The Boston Foundation. The Boston Foundation has become a valuable partner with

MBHP in expanding the FSS program to families living in the neighborhoods along the
Fairmount Corridor. “I’m sure many times over the course of this program you doubted yourself
and thought of giving up” Ms. Pradhan told the graduates. “But you didn’t. You persisted. You
bettered yourself through education, job training, and the goals you set for yourself. You’ve
created a pathway for your children, your family members, your neighbors, and awoken in them
the possibility of something they thought they could never do. The money you saved is
wonderful, but the permanent thing you gained is the belief in yourself that you can do it. That’s
what will last and will carry over.”


MBHP is the state’s largest regional provider of rental housing voucher assistance. We serve
homeless, elderly, disabled, and low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Our region
spans Boston and 29 surrounding communities.

Our mission is to ensure that the region’s low- and moderate-income individuals and families
have choice and mobility in finding and retaining decent affordable housing; all of our programs
and initiatives are designed to encourage housing stability, increase economic self-sufficiency,
and enhance quality of the lives of those we serve. To achieve our mission and to promote
efficient service delivery, we work collaboratively with a broad array of service providers and
neighborhood-based organizations.

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