Family Supportive Services (FSS)
Originally divided into HOPE Advocacy and Project RUTH, FSS has united those services under one department in order to better serve the clients who seek support and understanding within it. Both programs encourage the creation of a stable home and family environment, reaching important life goals (such as obtaining a GED, driver’s license, or permanent housing), and finding support in the community. To further this goal, staff members and clients in the entire program attend monthly support group meetings, often focused on a topic pertaining to self-improvement or better life management. The application and interview process for FSS is very involved and detailed, allowing case managers the opportunity to best assess the needs of the applicants as they begin their journeys. Curious about the extent of the FSS application, or need a copy for reference? Download a copy here!
Approximately one third of our clients reside in Sharon (including those who live in our RUTH transitional housing; all eight apartments are located in Sharon), one fourth in Hermitage, and the rest spread throughout the remainder of Mercer County.
For more information about the benefits of and requirements for FSS, download our brochure.
The Project RUTH (Resources, Understanding, Training, and Homes) program started in May of 1999 to provide services to, and advocate for, the homeless of Mercer County. Participants are eligible for up to 24 months of support and training in basic life skills essential for living. Once a client has completed 24 months in the Project RUTH branch of FSS, he or she is able to transfer to the HOPE program for additional and continuing support.
In 2014, Project RUTH served 44 individuals: 17 women, 2 men, and 25 children. 100% of our clients were below the poverty level.
The HOPE (Help and Opportunity for Personal Empowerment) Advocacy program began in August, 1996. It is a branch of FSS that provides long-term support (up to 24 months) for clients who live in established homes and the opportunity to learn basic life skills necessary for self-sufficiency and family stability through intensive case management and monthly support groups. Individuals or families struggling with the effects of poverty are eligible as long as they are committed to making a change in their lives and residing in Mercer County.
In 2014, HOPE Advocacy served 77 individuals: 30 women, 1 man, and 46 children. 100% of our clients were below the poverty level.