Expanding the scope and impact of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program

Compass has developed and refined an approach to the FSS program that builds on expert research, the principles of a national asset building movement, and over thirteen years of on-the-ground experience working with families with low incomes. Compass has partnered with public housing authorities to operate its model for the FSS program since 2010. We have also worked with owners of units subsidized by the Project-Based Section 8 program since 2015, when that program was first made eligible by Congress to operate FSS. Due to the passage of federal legislation in May 2018, owners of such HUD-assisted multifamily housing can now voluntarily establish and operate an FSS program at eligible housing sites.

Sign Up for FSS Link

Compass is excited to announce the launch of FSS Link, a web-based platform to facilitate connections, field building and learning among FSS practitioners.

With Compass FSS Link you can:

  • Download practical, high-quality financial resources on a wide range of topics

  • Access trainings and webinars run by experienced financial coaches and FSS experts

  • Connect with and learn from other skilled FSS practitioners like you from across the country

We invite you to join Compass FSS Link and become part of a growing community of practice that is supporting families on their path to economic security and financial wellbeing.

Our National FSS Conference is 3 months away! To register for the conference you need to be a member of FSS Link.

FSS Link access is free. Questions? Email Maria Montes at

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Compass FSS Program Results

At Compass, the true measure of our success is whether the families we serve achieve the goals and dreams they have for a stronger financial future.  We also measure and track families’ progress toward key indicators of financial security, including earnings, credit, debt, and savings. The final report from a recent rigorous, multi-year, and quasi-experimental study of our FSS Programs by Abt Associates showed that participants earned more and received less welfare payments than their matched peers and that they achieved positive credit and debt outcomes that exceeded benchmarks. Key results include:


Average Increase in Household Earnings


Average Improvement in Credit Score


Average Change in Credit Card Debt

Check out Abt Associates' multi-year study of our Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) programs in partnership with local housing authorities in Lynn and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Current National Partners


Public Housing Authorities


Finally! This network is exactly what we’ve been looking for. The tools, training, support, and renewed energy for our FSS program that we have gained will provide motivation to empower participants towards a positive financial future.
— Joni Boissonneault, Self-Sufficiency Program Manager, Portland Housing Authority
We launched FSS at 4 sites and then expanded to 7 this year with 1,100 eligible households. After 18 months, the program’s early results are very encouraging. We’ve enrolled 30% of our eligible households which is 6 times the national average...We attribute this early success to very committed and well trained property managers and a highly effective service partner, Compass Working Capital.
— Aaron Gornstein, President and CEO, POAH