LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Deep East Texas Housing Authority is lending a helping hand to low-income families. Most of the programs are meant to provide people with the necessities they need to get by.
"Me and my kids have been blessed through this program," said Beverly Coutee, a new homeowner.
Like many single moms, Coutee found herself working twice as hard to keep a roof over her and her children's head. Thanks to programs like Family Self-Sufficiency she was able to do just that all while going back to school.
"Makes it more comfortable for you to be able to go back to school and do the things that you need to do. They are really good helpers," Coutee said.
The program allows low-income families five years to get an education and work without paying rent.
"It allows them the opportunity to improve their quality of life," said Louise LaVane, the Deep East Texas Council of Governments committee chair. "Show their children that they can improve regardless of their circumstances."
If necessary, the FSS program will grant parents more time. Some who've already completed the program said it's not as time consuming as many think.
"I know that there are a lot of people that are scared or they give up because they think it's going to take a long time," Coutee said. "I was only on the program for a year and a half."
While in the program, the housing authority will provide families with support services like WIC to help them during their five years.
"They kind of put them in touch with resources and agencies that can help them through that time period," said Ethel Bluitt, DETCOG's housing director.
Program organizers are also there to help develop and achieve life goals.
"When I have any questions or if I need any guidance as far as any goals that I have, I've been able to talk to someone about that," said Danieyele Simmons, an FSS program client.
Although this program assists with housing and childcare, organizers said it's meant to teach women how to be leaders.
"It is for self-sufficiency," LaVane said. "It's not a hand out, it's a hand up."
If you are interested or know of someone who could benefit from the program you can find out more information by visiting their website.