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A ‘Partnership’ to Achieve Self-Sufficiency

As a pediatric nurse, Sumayyah thrives in an environment that fuels her passion to help others in their time of need.

It is a career she achieved with help she received from the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) during her own time of need.

As a federal rental assistance participant, she learned through the SDHC Achievement Academy about
budgeting, saving money, opening a checking and savings account, and establishing a line of credit—skills she needed to develop to establish her financial independence.

“I would say that my relationship with the San Diego Housing Commission, it was like a partnership because they gave me all this information that I didn’t know, and knowledge is power,” Sumayyah said. “It empowered me to be able to reach the goals that I already had, or it helped me define my goals in a more concrete way.”

Sumayyah began receiving federal rental assistance from SDHC in 2015.

“It came at the exact right time so that I could work two jobs, be a single mom, and still provide shelter and everything else that I needed to provide for my kids,” Sumayyah said.

At the SDHC Achievement Academy, Sumayyah participated in the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program.

Through FSS, SDHC contributed to Sumayyah’s interest-bearing escrow account each time she achieved a professional or educational goal, such as earning three associate’s degrees, two bachelor’s degrees, as well as working and maintaining employment in the healthcare field.

Today, Sumayyah is a pediatric nurse at a children’s hospital in San Diego, where she says she can be “a rock when other people’s lives are falling apart.”

She graduated from the FSS program with money in a savings account that she one day plans to use as a down payment on a house.

She no longer receives federal rental assistance from SDHC, and the housing voucher that helped her pay rent now assists another San Diego family.

“They helped me reach my goals. They helped me do what I wanted to do and needed to do and so, even though it’s scary being on your own … I can say, I manage my own household by myself –  it’s great,” Sumayyah said.

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