The Resident Opportunity Self-Sufficiency program is available to any one of the Minnesota Multi-County HRA tenants. The ROSS program is in its fifth year of operation with Northwest Community Action and NW MN HRA out of Mentor. ROSS means different things to different individuals. If you are a college student going to school for your associate, bachelor or master's degree, it may take the shape of a $2,500 scholarship toward educational expenses. If you are a parent juggling a job and a young family, it may be nutrition education along with a cookbook and crock pot to make mealtime easier. If you are changing careers, it may be available in the form of paying the expenses of job training, new certifications, etc. For many older individuals, ROSS helps with the filing of income taxes, putting them in contact with drivers to get to and from medical appointments, or providing garden-fresh produce for nutritious meals. In short, ROSS helps the tenants set and meet personal goals that enable them to pursue their individual dreams
We have had many successes with the program. We worked with an elderly gentleman and after several visits with him, we were able to show that he was a vulnerable adult who was being taken advantage of financially. Through the help of family members who live hours away, bankers, attorneys etc., we were able to stop the financial abuse and get a close family member to take him into their home and care for him. This was a long process, but felt so good at the end.