July 7, 2015
The Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) will soon be breaking ground for a new 92-unit complex in the Vinegar Hill neighborhood of Springfield, IL. With the addition of the Villas at Vinegar Hill, the SHA will now be able to provide 781 public housing units to a broad range of persons, inclusive of but not limited to, senior citizens, individuals, families, and persons with disabilities within Springfield and its surrounding areas. SHA also administers 2,066 Housing Choice vouchers that include Mainstream, Family Unification, Near Elderly Disabled (NED), Homeownership, and Veterans (VASH).
The SHA celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013, and the services they offer to their community continue to grow. They also provide its residents with programs to develop self-sufficiency. Through their Family Self-Sufficiency program, residents receive assistance with earning their GED, Associate and/or Bachelor degree, job skills, and obtaining a job, among several other opportunities. In June of 2013, the SHA disbursed over $1 million to Family Self-Sufficiency program graduates.
Other programs include a literacy program offered to children, as well as two Homeownership Programs that make purchasing a home more affordable for low-to moderate income families and individuals. Resident activities include an Annual Resident Fair and Charlie Brandon Day which offer resources to residents, food, entertainment, and prizes. SHA also celebrates Father’s Day to encourage participation of children with their fathers in various activities. in Over 50 bicycles were given away to children at this year’s Resident Fair, while this year’s Charlie Brandon Day provided book bags with school supplies, haircuts and groceries.
SHA enrolled in First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program in 2009. Since then, SHA has saved more than $120,000 on state unemployment tax (SUTA) costs! This savings helped maximize their operating budget over the years. “The SHA has been impacted by federal cuts to our operating and capital fund programs at less than 100% funding that has made balancing the budget annually more challenging,” says Michelle Sergent, Director of Finance. “We have been able to maintain the same level of excellent service that our clients deserve by maximizing and diversifying revenue streams and decreasing or maintaining operating costs. The savings in unemployment insurance helped to decrease operating costs and to maintain a positive financial position.”
Some of First Nonprofit’s program features most enjoyed by the SHA are budgetary certainty and the unemployment claims administration provided by our third-party partners. “The SHA has been able to budget for unemployment costs with certainty by having equal quarterly payments that are a known value when budgeting,” says Sergent. In addition to day-to-day claims processing, online training or in-person assistance is also available to members to help maintain unemployment costs. “The training that is available is excellent and the annual reviews on-site have helped the SHA streamline processes and save funding.”
We look forward to many more years of success with SHA! For more information about their services, please visit their website, www.springfieldhousingauthority.org.
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When I first began in my position at my organization, I hadn’t had experience working with a company like FNP. The staff was so patient and helpful in helping to explain the benefits of First Nonprofit. Anytime I reach out with a question I receive a quick, clear, and thorough response. I’m so thankful that we decided to partner with FNP. Their excellence in customer service, coupled with their variety of packages frees us up to truly serve our staff and community with a peace of mind knowing that our organization is protected against unanticipated unemployment insurance expenses.
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