Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Pensacola, FL - Mayor John R. Fogg

Family Self-Sufficiency Child Care Program

When HUD's Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program was implemented in Pensacola, it was immediately apparent that participating families were in dire need of safe, qualified child care if they were to seek job skills, education and employment. HUD mandated the Program to be instituted with any new Section 8 allocations after October 1, 1995, but no funding was provided to help obtain services for program participants.

Although subsidized child care services were available within the community through the Children's Services Center, there was a lengthy waiting list. For the most part, services were not available to waiting-list clients unless services being provided to an active client were terminated. In response, the City's Department of Housing included in its 1995-96 CDBG allocations $74,300 for a child care program dedicated to FSS participants. During the first year, the children of 21 FSS participants received day care; in the 1997-98 program year, the children of 46 participants received care. Pensacola officials believe that the Child Care Program contributed to the increase in FSS participants over the two-year period.

The City's goal is to increase accessibility of FSS families to the Child Care Program. To this end, it has redirected its 1998-99 CDBG allocation for the Program, pooling it with other subsidized child care monies. In doing this, the City negotiated with the Children's Services Center to give priority consideration to FSS families in need of child care who are referred by the City. While the Center's services are not free, FSS families pay only a nominal fee.

Contact: Carol Pfeiffer, Administrative Officer III, Department of Housing, (850) 435-1665

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