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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Project Self Sufficiency

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: To assist low income single parents to become economically self-sufficient through education, training and personal development.

Results: Helping more than 700 low income families in Orange County to attend school over the last 33 years.

Target demographics: low income, single parents become economically self sufficient through education and personal development.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 60 families achieve their educational and financial goals

Geographic areas served: Orange County

Programs: Intensive Case Management Financial Counseling Child care reimbursements Book reimbursements Scholarships Transportation Assistance Financial resources Adopt A Family Program Back Pack Program Rental and Utility Assistance Emotional Support

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Jimmy13

Board Member

Rating: 5

Project Self Sufficiency is an invaluable community resource that helps single parents get back on their feet. Everyone's circumstances are unique but the goal of the foundation is to empower each and instill the confidence to achieve success while mentoring them through the entire process. Most, if not all, of our participants and graduates return to PSSF to give back and support the organization. It is an exceptional program, with lasting support from many other community resources, businesses, sponsors and donors. It is the last remaining PSS programs of its kind in the nation.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being a single parent is hard. Being a single parent that works full time is even harder. But bring a single parent that works full time and goes to school, well that's down right exhausting! Project Self Sufficiency is a terrific support to us tired, hard working single parents that are trying to better ourselves and obtain a degree and a highee career. PSS steps in for us single parents and helps with many of the overwhelming additional the expenses that come with going back to college. They cover essential items like books, day care, and basic living items from their wonderful pantry. PSS also offers scholarships and holiday family adoption events to help with expense of holiday meals and gifts for our children. It helps those of us that are struggling to make a difference, feel like we have all the support and caring we need right behind us as we work so hard to achieve a dream. With a program like PSS, I know my success is within reach!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an outstanding organization; one that my Surf City Rotary Club of Huntington Beach has supported for several years. One of our 2-time past presidents is also an active participant with PSS, as well as a regularly volunteer. We've also been able to help connect PSS with the Boys and Girls Club of Huntington Valley at their Golden West College campus location ass a means to provide necessary day care and education to the children of these single parents. Each year, during one of our 'Annual Days go Giving', it has been our pleasure to award our donation this organization that supports low income, single parents working toward an educational goal to become economically independent. O{n a scale of one-to-five, PSS is a solid 5.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Project Self Sufficiency for several years now. I have seen first-hand how this program changes lives. In fact, it changes entire families by breaking the poverty cycle. Once empowered with an education you can change your life and the lives of your children.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so grateful for Project Self Sufficiency. This organization is AMAZING. Within 24 hours of signing up, I received 9 boxes of diapers for my then 5 month old. I am so blessed to have them in my life. I am amazed at the outpouring of generosity our community has. I am going to school to be a paralegal and without this non-profit, it would be incredibly difficult for me to achieve my academic and financial goals. I am a single mom of two beautiful daughters and would like to be a good example for them. I also received a scholarship through PSS this past semester and can not thank them enough. I highly recommend this non-profit. They truly care and are committed to seeing lives changed. Thank you PSS!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a client of PSS. I literally would not have been able to continue my education without their support. For starters, I could not afford the textbooks that I am required to buy. PSS has paid for all my textbooks, allowing me to buy the newer editions that are required in my classes. I have 3 young children, one with autism, and without PSS helping me with childcare costs, I would not be able to attend on-campus classes. They have weekly meals available for my children and I, a toiletries and cleaning supply pantry, gas gift cards, scholarships, AND birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas are huge celebrations! I look forward to being able to give back to PSS after my education is done and I am employed. if you're looking for an amazing foundation to support, I can attest that the people at PSS work tirelessly to help us become self-sufficient parents through education. 5 STARS!!!

JTUINEI

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Self-Sufficiency not only helped me financially better myself through education but also mentally, they believed in me when I did not believe in myself. Through their program, I learned to push myself to not just be an average student but an extraordinary student, and to think beyond just one career path but see that my choices are endless and that I am not too old to switch paths. PSS not only affected me but my daughters as well, having both of them see me go to school and enjoy it has opened their eyes and minds to also enjoy it my seven year old now loves homework time with her mommy, and my nineteen year old compare our classes with one another and study tips. Overall I would not be where I am today without PSS.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organizations has helped me immensely over the last year. If I did not have this program it would be next to impossible to continue going to school while working and raising my wonderful daughter. There are few programs that continue to help single mothers. Please help support this nonprofit because they are truly here for their clients.

Mike151

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wow, a top favorite organization for me. As an insurance agent I know a lot of people. Many are well off but not all. I had a friend as a single mom not getting court ordered support and in desperate need for help. I said call PSS. PSS helps via "Giving a Hand", not a hand out. Their mission is to.aid in the basics of food, shelter and clothing while helping their consumers to further their education or training that allows them to break the cycle of poverty and the dependence on government and nonprofit aid. Mostly women and children are aided but men have occasionally sought their help as well.

PSS took in my friend. During life's daily struggle to survive, she was diagnosed with cancer. While going through intensive chemo and radiation she maintained her family and amazing grades. I believe it was straight A's. She ultimately is in remission, got a full.ride scholarship to UC Irvine and continues to inspire her children, family, friends and the entire cancer community with her amazing comeback. PSS is unique in their mission. I have overcome my own life challenges BUT, what PSS did for my friend and what she did for herself with their help was INSPIRE ME to reach beyond the heavens to be more, do more and give more. Speaking of giving, my friend volunteered her time to our community while sick, while destitute because she never lost her faith in God or herself. Today, you can find her as an outstanding presenter at cancer events. PSS did more than help my friend, they CHANGED THE WORLD because if she has giving back already.

Lastly, media and humans love to label people. For those in need, you can't assume they are lazy or lack drive.Maybe bad choice and maybe uncontrolled circumstance put people in a cycle they can't get out of...unless there is an organization like PSS. Virtually every dollar goes to aid.those in need. I get the most personal satisfaction from the dollars I give and time I donate to PSS.

2 Anne Marie W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found PSS when I was homeless with three children. I became homeless as a result of having to run for my life from a very abusive man. He threatened to kill me. I took out a domestic violence restraining order against him. He broke the restraining order by stalking me and doing $1700 worth of damage to my mothers car by taking a hammer to the vehicle. I was damaged with no self esteem. Since then PSS helped me find housing. They also helped me get all of the things I needed for my new apartment. The organization even paid to get my utilities turned on and my first months rent plus deposit. PSS has been an incredible support to my children and I. Housing was the biggest concern I had. But PSS has also made it possible for my children to have Christmas and Thanksgiving. They have helped when my car needed repairs. They have helped pay for childcare, so I could attend school. The organization helped get me some much needed medical care through a local chiropractor. They have provided scholarship opportunities and a pantry. This list goes on and on. PSS is a wonderful program. I do not believe I could have made it this far without them. I am looking at becoming self sufficient very soon. I am on target to complete my education in May of next year. Anyone who is considering giving to this organization truly should not think twice. Just do it!!! The most positive thing I can say about PSS is that the organization helps people who are highly motivated. Participants must be taking steps towards self sufficiency. The support helps make it possible for single parents to survive while pursuing higher education. Thank you PSS! You have truly been a life saver!!!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I joined PSS while living in a homeless shelter with my infant son in 2006 during my first semester at OCC. I exited the PSS program when I graduated from USC with my bachelors degree in accounting in 2010 and I am now a licensed CPA. I honestly believe things would have turned out very differently if it weren’t for PSS. PSS provided low-income housing in a clean, safe apartment in beautiful HB, scholarships, childcare support, holiday adopt-a-family, food pantry access, text book / school supply support, personal empowerment classes and networking opportunities. But, here’s the thing with PSS – The program provided the financial assistance (crucial, yes), but the PSS coordinators, foundation members and volunteers were steadfast sources of emotional support and encouragement (also crucial). Networking with PSS and their affiliates helped guide me through transforming my goals and encouraging me. We are blessed to have this unique and empowering program in our community. It is truly a gem. I believe in PSS so wholeheartedly that I recently joined the Foundation as a member volunteer and am thrilled to serve towards its mission.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I will never forget the first time I heard of Project Self Sufficiency. At the time, my daughter and I were living in a tiny apartment with no kitchen - struggling every day just to survive. Late one night, after a full day of work and classes, I clicked on the City of Huntington Beach website and there it was, like a beacon in the night! I remember so clearly the phrase “single, low-income, and highly motivated.” It was as if those words were speaking directly to me, they described me perfectly!

Since I was accepted into Project Self Sufficiency, our lives have changed dramatically. Project Self Sufficiency provides the vital support and advocacy that has been instrumental in enabling me to survive (and even to thrive) while focusing my efforts on my education. We now live in a decent apartment and continue to elevate our standard of living.

The coordinators at PSS truly understand and minister to the many challenges we face by choosing to make education a priority while subsisting on a meager income. They have been tireless in their efforts to locate valuable resources that meet us at the point of need: everything from providing access to dental care I desperately required, to helping me keep my vehicle running properly.

I realize that the needs of my family are my own responsibility and mine alone, but there are times when even my best efforts fall short. At times such as these it is a tremendous comfort to know that PSS is there for me, an ever-present advocate in time of need.

1 serenity68

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came into this program when I was first starting out at Goldenwest College. I found a great support system with the other single parents and the staff was very resourceful and helpful to my family and I. I am a single mother of four children, two ( they are 22 and 20) have moved out of the house. They also attend college and work. I still have a 16 year old and 12 year old at home. I am also a proud Mimi (grandma) of two beautiful little boys. I was a victim of domestic violence for many years. When coming into PSS it had only been a couple years since I had left my abusive husband. I received my AA in Sociology in 2010 from Goldenwest and transferred to Cal State Fullerton in 2012. I will be graduating with my B.S. in Human Services and also plan on having a certificate in Drug and Alcohol by May 2015. I will be applying to the masters program at CSUF in counseling. I will also be applying to the Masters program at Cal State Long Beach for Social Services. My ultimate goal is to be a Victim's Advocate, work with youth, and adults. I would also like to work in the prison system, school system and justice system. I have made it a mission of mine to help reduce domestic violence and make a difference in people's lives.
I will be leaving PSS at the end of this semester, but plan on being part of the program to encourage and help other single parents strive for their goals as PSS did for me.

1 Darcy4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Self-Sufficiency was a huge contributing factor to my success as a student and a parent — at a time when I desperately needed support and inspiration. I cannot say enough about this wonderful organization. The caring people involved have made an impression on my life — and my children's lives as well. What an honor to say I have been part of this amazing program. Thank you, PSS!