CHA’s rebranded LevelUp program celebrates 119 graduates who earned a total of $706,623

Jul 28, 2023
LevelUp Grads 2023

Chicago Housing Authority residents who participated in the newly-minted “LevelUp” wealth-building program received their certificates of completion and celebrated their financial independence this month at a ceremony at the Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center.

LevelUp, formerly the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, provides financial incentives to participants as they reach their goals. Upon goal completion, specified amounts based on the goal are deposited into their LevelUp savings accounts. The savings are paid out within 60 days of program completion.

The total payout among the 119 graduates Saturday was $706,623.28. Of that, six became homeowners and six completely transitioned off of housing subsidy. Also, six obtained a Masters degree, two received their Bachelors degrees and seven got their Associates degree.

“LevelUp is about investing in yourself and building your personal power, and these graduates are the perfect example of the spirit of this program,” CHA CEO Tracey Scott said. “We are proud of them for staying the course and following their dreams. CHA will continue to lend its support to ensure those dreams beome reality.”

LevelUp participants receive monetary payouts for successfully completing milestones, such as earning a degree or starting a new career. The savings are set aside in an escrow account and the money accrued is disbursed at the time of successful completion of the five-year program. The money can then be used for whatever they choose, including down payments on homes or paying off debt.

LevelUp graduate and keynote speaker Cassandra Bernard gave a stirring speech on her LevelUp experience.

“You have to want better for yourself and your family,” she said. “You have to surround yourself with people that force you to LevelUp. I didn’t realize that the LevelUp program was preparing me for the next chapter in my life. Who would’ve known that a few small goals would have made my life change for the better?”

For more information, call the LevelUp hotline at (312) 786-3188 or click here.