FHA teaches residents about running business - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Freeport Housing Authority teaches residents how to run a business

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FREEPORT (WREX) -

There's an effort to help people in Freeport get financially stable and out of public housing. From payroll, to business plans, the FHA partnered with Motivation Inc., a Dallas based company, to give their residents a shot at a new start.

"It'll create a job opportunity for our residents and in turn, they can pay more rent and get off government assistance," Larry Williams, Freeport Housing Authority Executive Director said. "And it also helps build the momentum. We want to be a hand up and not a hand out."

Larry Williams, along with Motivation Inc, ran a week long, intensive program, teaching residents the ins and outs of running a business. The program encourages people to learn about everything from budgets to business operations. It's meant to be a stepping stone for the future.

"I think I was more excited than they were, because for me, I see the opportunity as a life changing opportunity in that I think the best way to fight poverty or fight crime is economic opportunities," Williams said.

Eight out of nine graduated, with Erica Pugh being one of them. She earned a certificate, giving her a chance at working with the housing authority, turning over apartments as people come and go.

"It was wonderful," Pugh said. "It was hard, but it was challenging, but it was amazing. And it's an eye opener."

She says she learned a lot, and is waiting to hear back from a selection committee to see if she can start work. While she waits, she's planning for college.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity that I wish a lot of people would've just taken the time to come and be in the class," Pugh said. "So I'm just proud of everybody who made it to the last day."

Larry Williams also says its doesn't just benefit the residents, but the FHA as well. In his words, "We pay them. They pay us. They move up. They move out. So it works out for everyone."

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