The Worcester Housing Authority reserves 15 apartments to house homeless families in its Transitional Housing Program (THP). This program is funded by DHCD.
The goal of our THP is to help homeless families become self-sufficient. Participating families work to meet their self-determined goals and once they have met them, they graduate, and lease their apartment becoming traditional public housing residents.
Families receive extensive support including service referrals, transportation and regular interaction with the caseworker.
How to Enroll
The Department of Transitional Assistance or area homeless shelters refer families to the program. Families complete an extensive program application and assessment where they describe their family, personal challenges and life goals. The goals help determine how the family can address their particular needs and obstacles to self-sufficiency. Goals often include completing a GED or ESL program, paying off debt, community college training or learning life skills.
Families enrolled in the THP do not pay a monthly rent. However, there are several requirements of program participants.
1. Families are required to save a specific percentage of their monthly income. This money is targeted to assist families when they leave the program.
2. Employed or participating in a job search.
3. If unemployed, they must participate in education or vocational training.
4. Participation group sessions focusing on building life and relationship skills.
5. Meet monthly budgeting goals.
6. Follow program rules.
7. No drugs or alcohol use.
Each family enrolled in our THP is assigned a caseworker who is trained to assist the family in their efforts toward self-sufficiency. The following are a few of the things that we do to help our families.
- Supply them with furniture for their apartment.
- Supply them with kitchen utensils, kitchenware, pots and pans.
- Provide a range of personal training and information including
- Basic finance and banking
- Child development and parenting skills
- Adult and child health education
- Offer ESL and GED programming on site.
- Offer employment counseling and job placement assistance.
- Offer an after-school homework assistance program for all children in elementary school grades.
- Enroll families in Mass Health or other health care benefits.
- Act as family advocates with area services agencies and schools.
- After school tutoring and homework help.
- Refer and take families to service providers.
In the state program, the length of stay is typically 9 months with a maximum stay of one-year as determined by Department of Transitional Assistance.
Once a family graduates they typically transition into becoming a regular tenant, leasing the apartment they occupied in the THP. Some participants set a goal of saving money to move to a private apartment, one family saved enough to pay off debt and purchase their own home.
Families needing support after graduation participate in an After Care program. The caseworker will visit the family, offer assistance or provide help from time to time, based on the family needs.
For more information, visit our Transitional Housing office located at 32 Great Brook Valley Ave or call us at 508-635-3355.
Along with providing safe, clean, affordable housing, the Worcester Housing Authority is committed to doing all that it can to improve the quality of our resident's lives. Our hope is that, as we do our job, we can make each resident's life better, easier and more meaningful.
Join Your Tenant Association
No resident of the WHA should ever be hungry, ever. We provide a wide range of nutrition programs designed to meet the specific needs of our residents and a particular community. At our larger family sites (Curtis Apartments, Great Brook Valley and Lakeside Apartments) we host a comprehensive food pantry. Residents who find that they are running short of food, at any time during the month, are encouraged to visit the local food pantry.
During the long hot summer, we try to provide our families and their children with opportunities to enjoy summer programming and recreation. These programs vary from summer to summer, but have several elements that are consistent each year.
On-site programs at our gymnasium (GBV) and at other community facilities Off-site programs that include visits to area and regional parks and other similar destinations.
Other Recreation Programs
Working with area agencies and organizations, we offer a wide range of sports, educational and recreational programs at a variety of locations throughout our larger communities.