JWCC & QHA partner to encourage people to get their GED

The Quincy Housing Authority and John Wood Community College are teaming up to help tenants of the housing authority further their education by helping them get their GED.

The program is based at the Frederick Ball Housing Complex. About 200 people call that public housing complex home. And for some of them, a chance to get a free month of rent is quite the incentive.

But there's kind of a give and take to this new program and the give and take is something that will help many people in the months and years to come.

"The Quincy Housing Authority saw that they had a need for classrooms that are accessible for their students and it seemed like a good fit because we're always looking for ways to make our services more accessible to members of the community," Monica Foster, Director of Adult Education at John Wood Community College, said.

The whole idea on helping people get their GED in turn for getting a free month of rent started when Jerry Gille, the executive director of the Quincy Housing Authority and Foster started a dialogue about getting more services into the northwest side of Quincy. Gille said he likes to see things like this and it's something that offers a positive impact to the entire neighborhood.

"So personally I think it's a good steward of the public's resources for the housing authority to be partnering with John Wood here, as individuals become more educated, that education is going to be positively tied to income levels they have the opportunity to make more money in life," Gille said.

Gille added that the rent that is paid by tenants each month is based on income. With the smallest amount of rent being $50 a month all the way up to the largest monthly rent payment being in the neighborhood of $550 a month. He also said he likes the idea of this program and hopes more people will take advantage of what's being offered.

Right now, 15 to 20 residents at Frederick Ball have expressed interest in the incentive, but the program is open to any resident of the housing authority.

Currently there are between six and eight people who are taking classes.

They've just completed their first week, classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday night.

You can contact either the JWCC Adult Education program at 217-224-6500 or the Quincy Housing Authority at 217-222-0720.