Over the past five years, there have been times Amber Bouquet of Eastham juggled multiple jobs all while raising a family and exploring new career paths.

“It’s been a long road,” Amber acknowledged. “I didn’t think I’d be where I’m at today. It’s been a challenge, but it’s been worth the fight.”

Amber made that statement at her graduation from Housing Assistance’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program earlier this year. The program provides one-on-one support for participants to meet their personal, professional and financial goals.

Through FSS, Amber was able to open a savings and checking account, balance her household budget, and improve her credit score. Last year, she started a new job as a residential counselor at Vinfen. She has since received several promotions and is now working as a human rights officer there.

“She has accomplished so much,” Housing Assistance’s FSS Coordinator Jan Nelson said.

“FSS gave her the inspiration and the motivation,” her fiancée Brian said. “You can see how much she has grown and progressed in her life.”

The icing on the cake was the $12,974 check she received upon graduating from FSS. The program offers financial incentives for those to increase their earnings. As one’s income increases, their portion of rent is increased due to Section 8 housing voucher rules. In FSS, the difference between the new rent and the old rent is placed into an escrow account which can be accessed upon completion of the program.

As to what she wants to do with that money, Amber didn’t hesitate when asked: “My goal is to buy a house…It is our dream and we are working on making it come true.”

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