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Organization DBA Alternative House
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of Alternative House is to facilitate the creation of a society in which violence against women will no longer exist. As a means to this end, we offer shelter, support, options, counseling and legal advocacy for all women who have experienced domestic violence (and their children) who seek our help. We are committed to the empowerment of women towards self-sufficiency. We do not discriminate against any race, class, culture, age group or sexual orientation. In addition, we provide community education to reform the societal attitudes that encourage a permissive attitude towards violence against women.

Mission Statement

The mission of Alternative House is to facilitate the creation of a society in which violence against women will no longer exist. As a means to this end, we offer shelter, support, options, counseling and legal advocacy for all women who have experienced domestic violence (and their children) who seek our help. We are committed to the empowerment of women towards self-sufficiency. We do not discriminate against any race, class, culture, age group or sexual orientation. In addition, we provide community education to reform the societal attitudes that encourage a permissive attitude towards violence against women.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2014 to June 30, 2015
Projected Income $1,145,208.00
Projected Expense $1,145,208.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Emergency Shelter
  • Long-Term, Affordable Housing
  • Transitional Housing Program
  • Youth/Teen Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of Alternative House is to facilitate the creation of a society in which violence against women will no longer exist. As a means to this end, we offer shelter, support, options, counseling and legal advocacy for all women who have experienced domestic violence (and their children) who seek our help. We are committed to the empowerment of women towards self-sufficiency. We do not discriminate against any race, class, culture, age group or sexual orientation. In addition, we provide community education to reform the societal attitudes that encourage a permissive attitude towards violence against women.


Background Statement

Alternative House, Inc. (AH) is a private, 501(c) (3) certified non-profit organization that has provided services to domestic violence survivors and their families in the Greater Lowell area since 1978 when the organization was founded by a group of volunteers. From the very beginning the agency has operated a 24-hour crisis hotline and a confidential emergency shelter.  The mission of Alternative is to facilitate the creation of a society in which violence against women will no longer exist. As a means to this end, we offer shelter, support, options, counseling and legal advocacy for all women who have experienced domestic violence (and their children) who seek our help. We are committed to the empowerment of women towards self-sufficiency. We do not discriminate against any race, class, culture, age group or sexual orientation. In addition, we provide community education to reform the societal attitudes that encourage a permissive attitude towards violence against women. Our current Executive Director, Kathleen M. Kelley, who has been with the organization since 1994, has expanded the organizational goals to include a continuum of care that covers essential services like teen and youth violence prevention programs, after school support for children of survivors, transitional living for survivors, supervised children’s visitation, permanent affordable housing, and has chaired the Lowell City Manager’s task force on domestic violence since its inception in 1995. Today, the agency is recognized as the only domestic violence agency in the Greater Lowell area to provide a 24-hour confidential emergency shelter and support services to survivors of domestic violence and their families.


Impact Statement

Alternative House provides 24/7 emergency support and escape services for survivors of domestic violence. Our services include but are not limited to legal and medical advocacy, support groups, youth/teen services, community outreach and education, case management, and emergency, transitional, or permanent affordable housing. Last year Alternative House served about 100 women in our residential programs, and an additional 300 women through legal advocacy and support group services. Alternative House provides after school and summer camp services for youth and teens housed at our residential programs.
 
In the coming year we plan to refurbish the upstairs and downstairs kitchen at our transitional housing facility making both rooms energy efficient and handicap accessible. We are also hoping to update our on-site computer lab to current equipment better suited to the needs of our clients and the technology classes we teach. Additionally, we are trying to raise funds for a new van with at least seven seats to replace an old vehicle that has been costing our agency a significant amount of money in repairs.

Needs Statement

New or gently used full sized van - $20,000-$25,000 (Estimate)
Van insurance and other related expenses -Varies
On-site training and workshops to help the women skill-build - Varies
 
AH's emergency shelter program, funded by the state of MA through DCF, faced cuts in 2008 due to a grim financial picture at the time.  The shelter will most likely face additional cuts soon due to lower than expected tax revenue in MA during this fiscal year.  The cost of maintaining the facility, providing support, safety and other support services to those fleeing domestic abuse will continue to be challenging as the cost of doing business continues to increase.

AH's Transitional Housing (TH) program started in 1999 with federal funding from HUD.  The program continues to be funded by HUD, but has not had any increases since 1999 (not even a cost of living increase) and will now experience cuts due to federal budget cuts. This will impact the TH program, services and facility, as well as the greatly continued increases in cost of doing business and facility upkeep and repairs will be a challege. 
 

CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

NORTHEAST REGION, MA

Alternative House serves the Greater Lowell region of the Merrimack Valley.  Our clients primarily come from Middlesex and Essex counties.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Family Violence Shelters and Services
  2. Housing, Shelter - Temporary Housing
  3. Education - Single Organization Support

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Emergency Shelter

Our confidential emergency shelter operates at maximum capacity, serving 9 women and 10-20 children and teenagers. 
Budget  425,000
Category  Housing, General/Other Emergency Shelter
Population Served Victims
Program Short-Term Success  In the short-term, the number one goal of the emergency shelter is to provide immediate safety for the women and their children who are escaping domestic violence. 
Program Long-Term Success  In the long-term, the goal of the emergency shelter is to assist the women and their children in locating long-term housing and beginning on the path to a more stable, safe and self-sufficient life.
Program Success Monitored By  Each woman develops a service plan and a safety plan with an advocate, establishing their goals and start to work towards them almost immediately.  Their success is tracked through weekly case management meetings and progress notes.
Examples of Program Success 
Another success story focuses on a woman and her two sons who entered our shelter and their primary language is Khmer.  She immediately wanted to learn English to get a job to take care of her two sons.  She enrolled in ESL classes at Lowell Adult Educations and practiced her language skills with staff and her oldest son everyday. She applied for and was accepted into our transitional living facility and continued to go to ESL classes. Once completed, she applied for additional ESL classes at Middlesex Community College and volunteer at our transitional housing facility, taking care of the grounds, i.e. raking, planting flowers and gardening.
 
She continues to attend the community college and now lives in AH's affordable housing program. She attends our on-site computer skills training classes weekly and our Friday night Scrabble activities.  She is now applying for permanent housing and is also now enrolled in a local childcare training program.

Long-Term, Affordable Housing

Alternative House has 6 units of long-term, affordable housing. This housing program allows our families to live in apartments and move towards self-sufficiency and lives free of violence.
Budget  125,000
Category  Housing, General/Other Affordable Housing
Population Served Victims Families
Program Short-Term Success  AH's independent, permanent, affordable housing program provides minimal support to the women and children living in these units as they juggle work, child care and all the duties involved in running a household.
Program Long-Term Success  In the long-term, the women and children in our affordable housing program are working towards creating self-sufficient lives free from violence, staying employed and taking care of their children.
Program Success Monitored By  AH's part-time Housing/Job Placement Coordinator calls to meet with the families at least monthly when collecting rent. She reviews and assists with their individual needs, such as budgeting, job changes, parenting, rent challenges, and food challenges. When needed, our Coordinator will provide extra assistance and support through increased meetings, budget planning, rent payment plans and other support. Most of their children are in our afterschool activities program, thereby continuing our connection with them and their mothers.
Examples of Program Success  All of the 6 families are success stories. They have moved towards independent, violence-free lives. All entered our emergency shelter, moved into our Transitional Housing program and then moved into our permanent affordable housing units. They are all either working full-time or going to school or in training programs.  All 6 have achieved so much over the past few years with us.

Transitional Housing Program

The transitional housing facility at Alternative House provides long-term transitional support for up to two years.  The facility consists of 8 suites which houses 6 families, and 2 individual women.  Our program provides residents with support services, counseling, school and job preparation, on-site computer skills training and other services designed to help families stabilize and become self-sufficient, eventually moving to an affordable housing placement.
Budget  300,000
Category  Housing, General/Other Transitional Housing
Population Served Victims Families
Program Short-Term Success  The short-term results for the Transitional Housing Program include creating a stable, safe environment, enrollment in adult education, ESL and/or community college classes, obtaining a job and/or enrolling in a job training program and volunteering in the community.  All women must be active in and/or a combination of any of these activities.
Program Long-Term Success  The Transitional Housing Program supports the women, as well as their children, by providing a continuum of care as they work towards self-sufficiency.  Advocates work with each family to identify and develop goals to work on. This may include graduating from school and/or training , finding a job, and finding stable housing.
Program Success Monitored By  Each woman in the program works with an advocate and creates her own strength-based service plan which is reviewed in case management meetings bi-montly.
Examples of Program Success  One of AH's women who had initially entered our domestic violence shelter had very limited English skills, but was determined to learn English, attend school and have her daughter return to live with her.  She was very motivated.  She immediately enrolled in ESL classes, practiced her English constantly and saw improvement within her short time at our emergency shelter. She applied for and was accepted into our transitional housing program, earned her GED and enrolled in Middlesex Community College, while still working with all appropriate officials to continue to regain custody of her daughter. She applied for and was accepted to live in AH's affordable housing project.  Although it took her close to 3.5 years, she obtained a job, regained custody of her daughter and moved into her own apartment.  She was an inspiration and role model for all of our women and staff.

Youth/Teen Program

Alternative House's Youth/Teen on-site, afterschool and summer camp activities program provides educational, social activities, tutoring, computer skills training and homework help to the youth/teens housed in our emergency shelter, transitional living facility, and affordable housing units.  This program operates after school, during school vacations and during the summer. 
Budget  $71,640.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  In the short-term, Alternative House's Youth/Teen program will give the children in our residential programs the support needed to increase their academic, social, and behavioral skills.  AH works towards these goals through tutoring, one-on-one homework help, team building exercises, and mini-bullying prevention meetings, as well as expressive arts therapy activities to overcome trauma.
Program Long-Term Success  After the erratic lives and shelter "hopping" experiences had by children of women who flee domestic violence abuse, they need care from staff specifically trained in working with domestic violence trauma. The program works on maintaining stability, improving their academic skills to perform at their academic level, increasing positive social and behavioral skills with peers, learning safety skills, increasing positive speech, motor skills, reducing negative behaviors learned while exposed to domestic violence, building self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as learning how to trust adults again.
Program Success Monitored By  Measurable results from the Youth/Teen Program focus on each child improving academically, socially, and developmentally.  Each child's progress is measured by their increased academic success, improved positive social interaction, and reduction in negative behaviors.These are reviewed bi-monthly in case management meetings.
Examples of Program Success  AH has many success stories. In particular, AH recently had a teen who, once stabilized in our after school program for 2 years, was able to focus on his studies, complete homework assignments, and increase and improve academically to be nominated to become a member of the National Honor Society in his junior year of high school.Today he attends college.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kathleen Kelley
CEO Term Start July 1994
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience --
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 34
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 50
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 33
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? N/A
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Governance


Board Chair Mr. William Quinn
Board Chair Company Affiliation Vice President Commercial Lending, The Lowell Five Cents Savings Bank
Board Chair Term Jan 2012 - Jan 2013
Board Co-Chair Susan Rourke
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Middlesex Sheriff's Department
Board Co-Chair Term Jan 2012 - Jan 2013

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Maria Abston Branch Manager Washington Savings Bank --
Lela Boykins Hall Retired from Middlesex Sheriff's Department Voting
Alison Burns Executive Assistant to the CEO Enterprise Bank and Trust Voting
Robert "Ziggy" Burns Community/Business Development Officer Lowell Cooperative Bank Voting
Matt Cullen Organic Search Strategist Voting
Lauretta T Doyle Loan Documentation Manager Enterprise Bank and Trust Voting
Jessica Levenson Director of Seach Engine Optimization Voting
Antonio Mendieta Auditor The Lowell Five Cents Savings Bank Voting
Jocelun Mendonsa Director of Admissions Academy of Notre Dame Voting
Lauren Rametta East Coast Communications Voting
Melissa A Rodrigues Mortgage Processor/Closer Enterprise Bank & Trust Voting
Jessica Silva Branch Services Manager Enterprise Bank & Trust Voting
Kerry Sullivan Victim Services Middlesex Sheriff's Department Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 15
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 11
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 0
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 70%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2014 to June 30, 2015
Projected Income $1,145,208.00
Projected Expense $1,145,208.00
Form 990s

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

2009 Form 990

Audit Documents

2014 Audited Financials

2013 Audited Financials

2012 Audited Financials

2011 Audited Financials

2010 Audited Financials

2009 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $1,183,020 $1,251,912 $1,112,722
Total Expenses $1,228,924 $1,186,012 $1,203,925

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$34,014 $73,161 $44,390
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $32,012 $37,966 $29,635
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,036,534 $1,065,367 $967,961
Investment Income, Net of Losses $-442 $37 $1,342
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $80,902 $75,381 $69,394
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $1,017,274 $1,044,742 $964,361
Administration Expense $183,083 $106,976 $209,945
Fundraising Expense $28,567 $34,294 $29,619
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.96 1.06 0.92
Program Expense/Total Expenses 83% 88% 80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 19% 18% 21%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $2,579,149 $2,640,524 $2,581,988
Current Assets $465,470 $487,884 $336,767
Long-Term Liabilities $1,390,639 $1,390,454 $1,396,649
Current Liabilities $51,027 $66,683 $67,850
Total Net Assets $1,137,483 $1,183,387 $1,117,489

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose We are currently raising money for major renovations of our Transitional Housing Facility. The building needs updates to the upstairs and downstairs kitchens.
Campaign Goal $36,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Mar 2012 - Jan 2013
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 9.12 7.32 4.96

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 54% 53% 54%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990 for FY14 and per the audited financials for FY13 and FY12. Foundation & Corporation funding detail for FY14 is per the audit.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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