In addition to providing quality housing, the District of Columbia Housing Authority works actively with the DC government and area social service providers to help our residents grow both personally and professionally through a variety of economic development and self-sufficiency programs.

The training and support provided to residents can bolster both their confidence and skill sets, allowing them to take an active role in improving their futures.

Grants Administration
The major responsibility of ORS is grants administration for grants that support social service initiatives for public housing residents. Main objectives of these initiatives are to empower residents and provide a variety of opportunities and services. ORS currently administers the grant programs that are funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including the Resident Opportunities for Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Program located at several public housing developments.

Resident Opportunities for Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Centers
Three centers offer job training workshops, job placement assistance, homeownership counseling, after school programs, literacy classes, fatherhood workshops, computer training classes and work preparation training: 

  • Family Enhancement Center at Lincoln Heights, (202) 724-8627
  • Park Morton Neighborhood Network Center, (202) 576-3113
  • Garfield Neighborhood Network Center, (202)234-3657  


Southwest Family Enhancement Center
The DC Housing Authority operates the Southwest Family Enhancement Career Center located in Greenleaf Gardens, 203 N Street, SW. The program is designed to bring together businesses that need reliable employees and job seekers in search of permanent employment. The SWFECC prepares public housing and Housing Choice Voucher residents for training and employment opportunities to assist them in moving toward self- sufficiency. DCHA utilizes existing partnerships in a variety of businesses including: construction, maintenance, landscaping, hospitality, retail, technology, food services and medical billing as viable job opportunities for clients.

Services Offered at the SWFECC includes: 

  • Job readiness training
  • Occupational Skills Training
  • Job Fairs & Job Club activities
  • Section 3 and market mate job opportunities
  • Job Retention Services
  • Case Management Services
  • Specialized Professional Development training
  • Services for Veterans, Re-Entry Clients and disabled workers
  • Site Location for Employee Interviews 

The residents who visit the Center have access to core services consisting of self-directed job search, a resource center, computers lab, telephones, faxes, copiers, job vacancy announcements and training provider resources. In addition to on-site training, residents are also referred to DCHA’s training partners, which includes community based organizations, and both private and government agencies.

For More Information Contact:

The Southwest Family Enhancement Center at 202-645-5023
203 N Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

New Beginnings Senior Wellness Center
Located at Judiciary House, the New Beginnings Senior Wellness Center also serves seniors from James Apartments.  It was funded in 2008 by a 3-year ROSS grant from HUD.  Two nonprofit organizations, the American Kidney Fund and A Wider Circle, partner with DCHA to provide activites and services to help keep residents healthy.  The program coordinator and a case managerhelp coordinate health services for residents and the facility includes an exam room, an exercise center, a computer center and a kitchen area for cooking classes and monthly wellness brunches.

The Do Your B.E.S.T. Summer Youth Employment Program
The “BEST” in our title stands for Building Excellence through Service and Training. The goals of our program are: (1) to give young people from public housing an opportunity to experience work in the public and private sectors and (2) to challenge them to grow professionally and personally from a structured employment program that includes community service and youth leadership principles.

Each year hundreds of District youth from public housing spend their summer either unemployed or at a job that does not provide any real growth or exposure to the job market. DCHA believes that it is important to expose young people to real world experiences early and prepare them for the next phase of their life. These real world experiences build character, self-esteem and responsibility.

DCHA pays the wages for all of the participants in the program. There is no cost to a business or agency to host a DYB participant. However, in the past, some agencies have opted to sponsor participants without DCHA financial support. DCHA does request that host agencies provide adequate supervision so that by the end of the summer, the participant will have a sound understanding of what it’s like to have job responsibilities and pay. We expect our participants to be professional and punctual. This program will be the first real job experience for many of our participants. We expect our host agencies to provide structure, supervision and allow the participants to learn the necessary skills to complete their work and maintain employment.

Commitment to Excellence Scholarship Program
Each year, the District of Columbia Housing Authority, in partnership with Community Vision, Inc., awards scholarships to public housing and Housing Choice Voucher residents who have a strong commitment to their communities. This year, up to $25,000 in scholarships and other educational assistance will be awarded. The scholarships can be used for books, tuition, supplies, equipment or any other school-related expenses. There is no age restriction. Eligible residents must plan to enroll in a college, university, or trade/technical school during the 2010-2011 academic year or currently be enrolled in post-secondary educational and/or employment training programs that are offered at colleges, universities, trade schools, or technical schools.

Special Events
ORS, in conjunction with the Regional Community Relations staff, is responsible for planning and coordinating special events for public housing residents. These events include but are not limited to: 

  • Holiday events throughout the year-ORS coordinates several holiday activities for public housing residents.
  • Annual events the agency is proud to host and highlight include the DCHA Holiday Celebration and the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Basket Giveaways.