Freeport Housing Authority featured in national campaign - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Freeport Housing Authority featured in national campaign

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FREEPORT (WREX) - A Freeport Housing Authority program gets national recognition as part of a new public housing campaign. The classes help move people into full time employment.

"Responsibility in the workplace, time management, working under pressure," says Larry Williams, Freeport Housing Authority CEO as he lectures to his students.

One of them was John Liburd. He moved back home to Freeport more than a year ago. He found work but not full-time.

"I was getting about 10 to 15 hours a week so I was relying on housing to help me with my current bills and my rent," says Liburd.

The FHA offers workforce classes for its residents. Some offer classes on basic skills but John already had three years of college education though he still had trouble finding full-time work.

That's where these classes paid off. John attended a program focused on employability.

Larry Williams Freeport Housing Authority CEO "We mainly focus on the soft skills that typically land people without a job or have difficulty performing on the job," says Williams.

The Freeport Housing Authority found when its students took this life-skills class that taught them how to show up for work on time 90 percent of graduates got a job and kept it.

"Because I was under-employed and didn't have enough money I did not have a very positive attitude in my previous job so that's the number one thing that I took from the classes once I got started," says Liburd.

Liburd ended up getting full-time work from Willowglen Academy, a group home that helps adults and children. His story and the workforce development program are now featured in the national ReThink- Why Housing Matters campaign.

Freeport Housing Authority's employability program is not just for residents community members can also sign up and take the classes. For more information log onto www.rethinkhousing.org.

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