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Organization DBA --
Former Names Cambridgeport Problem Center (1995)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

Community Legal Services And Counseling Center provides free civil legal aid and affordable psychological counseling to low-income people. Our services combat the effects of poverty and violence by helping clients and their children meet basic human needs for safety, income, health and housing. CLSACC draws on the expertise of dedicated volunteer professionals to provide direct services to our community's most vulnerable members.

All services are provided by the Center's paid staff and a dedicated corps of volunteer attorneys and mental health professionals. Volunteers are at the heart of CLSACC's service mission.

Mission Statement

Community Legal Services And Counseling Center provides free civil legal aid and affordable psychological counseling to low-income people. Our services combat the effects of poverty and violence by helping clients and their children meet basic human needs for safety, income, health and housing. CLSACC draws on the expertise of dedicated volunteer professionals to provide direct services to our community's most vulnerable members.

All services are provided by the Center's paid staff and a dedicated corps of volunteer attorneys and mental health professionals. Volunteers are at the heart of CLSACC's service mission.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,048,583.00
Projected Expense $1,094,592.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Counseling Program
  • Legal 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

Community Legal Services And Counseling Center provides free civil legal aid and affordable psychological counseling to low-income people. Our services combat the effects of poverty and violence by helping clients and their children meet basic human needs for safety, income, health and housing. CLSACC draws on the expertise of dedicated volunteer professionals to provide direct services to our community's most vulnerable members.

All services are provided by the Center's paid staff and a dedicated corps of volunteer attorneys and mental health professionals. Volunteers are at the heart of CLSACC's service mission.


Background Statement

Community Legal Services And Counseling Center (CLSACC) was founded as a volunteer-based agency in 1970 as Cambridgeport Problem Center. The Center used teams of legal and mental health professionals and lay people to help vulnerable residents solve a variety of problems that they faced and to make better life choices. By the early 1980’s, the Center’s work focused on short and long-term psychological counseling and legal help with family law, benefits, and housing issues. In 1984 the Center expanded its legal program to include immigration law and disability benefit work; in 2005 the Center added a Psychological Evaluation Project for immigrant victims of persecution, torture, and abuse; and in 2008 it significantly expanded its work with immigrants and refugees, adding Counseling Program staff that specialized in working with this population and attorneys with expertise in asylum law.  In 2015, the agency began a small micro-lending pilot project for asylum seekers. 

CLSACC helps low-income families and individuals through its highly regarded Legal Program in family law/domestic violence, housing and homelessness prevention, immigration law, and disability benefits and its Counseling Program with individual, couples, and group therapy, forensic psychological evaluations, and case management services. CLSACC’s ability to deliver high quality services is greatly enhanced by an extensive network of local and statewide collaborations. The Center’s staff provide consultation to community agencies, offer training and education, and promote volunteerism among private lawyers and mental health professionals. CLSACC’s Legal Program also advocates on policy and reform issues. The Counseling Program works closely with the Legal Program in appropriate cases to provide holistic services, improve client outcomes, and provide invaluable assistance in addressing clients’ emotional and psychological issues during their legal cases.

CLSACC’s prioritizes services for low-income individuals with the most urgent problems: domestic violence, homelessness/lack of affordable housing, inadequate financial security, and fear of deportation to face torture, persecution, and possible death in a country of origin. The Center provides services ranging from advice to representation in complex litigation.

Attorneys and mental health professionals volunteer at CLSACC – last year contributing over 16,000 hours of professional services - the equivalent of nearly nine full-time staff.


Impact Statement

  ACCOMPLISHMENTS FY2015

  • Prevented homelessness by helping low-income families and individuals, senior citizens, domestic violence victims, and people with disabilities obtain or retain access to safe, affordable housing. Clients were successful in defending against evictions, obtaining reasonable accommodations to maintain their affordable housing, and/or obtaining permanent housing with a 95% success rate.  

  • Assisted immigrants and refugees to obtain or maintain legal status in the U.S. with a 98% success rate, including clients seeking political asylum, immigrant domestic violence victims, and unaccompanied minors, with two cases on appeal.

  • Increased the safety and well-being of survivors of domestic violence and their children by securing long-term legal protection from violence and abuse, financial security (child and spousal support), safe custody and visitation, and health care with a 97% success rate.

  • Fostered independence and stability in the lives of low-income people with disabilities by assisting them to obtain disability and related benefits, with positive outcomes in 85% of full representation cases.

  • Reduced the intensity and persistence of mental health symptoms among counseling clients  with the majority of clients reporting reduced symptoms and improved functioning.

    GOALS FY2016:

    GOAL 1: Provide high quality counseling and legal services to benefit low-income, vulnerable individuals and families, utilizing the Center's innovative interdisciplinary model to enhance client outcomes.

    GOAL 2: Expand the Center's capacity to handle cases by motivating mental health professionals, private attorneys, graduate students, paralegals, and interpreters to volunteer and strengthening their ability to provide high quality, culturally sensitive services.

    GOAL 3: Enhance service delivery by collaborating with an extensive network of non-profit agencies and healthcare providers to meet the needs of CLSACC's clients and to advocate collectively for systemic change.
     


    Needs Statement


     

      
    • Family Law Attorney to represent minorities and immigrants who are domestic violence victims in high risk cases.   The domestic violence homicide rate overall has substantially declined in the past 20 years.   However, there was only a minimal decline for minorities and immigrants. Cost $2,000 per client.

    • Intake and Volunteer Coordinator to oversee CLSACC’s legal intake system and volunteer program.  With this position, CLSACC will be in a position to improve its intake system and enhance its volunteer program.

    • An interdisciplinary social worker to provide a range of mental health services for legal clients. The partnership between legal and mental health staff will result in positive outcomes for clients. Cost $750 per client.

    • Infrastructure Short Term: Website upgrade ($5,000); development of online intake system ($10,000);

    • Infrastructure Long Term: lease or buy space adequate to accommodate expanded staff and volunteers and provide clients with more appropriate intake and meeting rooms. Rental space to cost between $2K and $3K per year. To purchase contiguous ground floor space close to public transportation, with parking, and with adequate space for staff and 100 volunteers annually in Cambridge or Somerville area. Cost $3 -$5 million.


      


    CEO Statement

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    Board Chair Statement



    Geographic Area Served

    In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
    GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
    CLSACC provides family law and disability benefits law services in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Belmont, Brookline, Chelsea, Everett, Medford, and Watertown.  Housing legal services are provided in Cambridge only and immigration law services are provided statewide, with a priority for Greater Boston.  Counseling Program clients come primarily from Greater Boston but clients will be served from all parts of Massachusetts.

    Organization Categories

    1. Mental Health & Crisis Intervention - Community Mental Health Centers
    2. Crime & Legal - Related - Legal Services
    3. Human Services - Human Services

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

    No

    Programs

    Counseling Program

    CLSACC’s Counseling Program provides affordable mental health services for low income and vulnerable populations - those adults who are unable to find counseling by other means, filling critical gaps in services for people with low incomes. The Program is a vital resource for community-based individual, couples and group counseling, as well as forensic psychological evaluations and social work support services. In 2015, the Counseling Program began a pilot microlending project for asylum-seekers which includes support services.  During FY2016, the Program staff and volunteers will serve approximately 400 - 425 people.

     

    The Counseling Program uses a Community Mental Health Model with intervention strategies rooted in the following principles: (1) provide counseling to those otherwise unable to obtain services; (2) employ all resources to help low-income people face complex issues; and (3) maintain an atmosphere of trust, responsiveness and respect between client and counselor.


    Budget  $300,000.00
    Category  Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Mental Health Treatment
    Population Served Adults Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
    Program Short-Term Success 
    • To provide individual psychotherapy and/or group counseling to 200 - 225 individuals.
    • To provide case management and safety planning to 20 - 35 individuals.
    • To make job coaching available to individuals having difficulty obtaining and/or retaining employment.
    • To screen and assess mental health needs for 150 – 200 individuals.
    • To provide necessary supports to 40 or more mental health professionals and graduate/post-graduate students through recruitment, training, supervision, and mentoring.
    • To recruit, provide specialized training, and supervise volunteer mental health professionals to conduct forensic psychological evaluations for 25 – 30 immigrants and refugees.
    • To pilot the Advance microlending project to provide 10 - 20 immigrant and refugee clients with small loans while they await legal status and permission to work in the U.S.
    Program Long-Term Success 


    Program Success Monitored By  The Counseling Program projects annual, quantifiable outcomes. For example, in FY2014 (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014), CLSACC projected that approximately 400 low-income people would be served and that hundreds of their family members would be positively impacted. CLSACC uses a database to track client information; to determine progress with individual counseling clients, counselors administer the “Global Assessment of Functioning Scale,” rating psychological, social and occupational functioning on a hypothetical continuum of mental health-illness. Volunteer counselors and their supervisors evaluate services to clients against individual service plans and goals set by clients. CLSACC also evaluates its services by distributing client surveys asking clients whether our services helped them improve their situation. The Clinical Director and Executive Director review the surveys to assess any unrecognized. The vast majority of client reviews are full of praise for CLSACC’s services. 
    Examples of Program Success 



    Legal Program


    CLSACC’s Legal Program provides free civil legal assistance to clients whose incomes are at or below 125% of the federal poverty level ($30,313 for a family of four). In response to community needs, CLSACC prioritizes services for low-income individuals with the most urgent problems: domestic violence, risk of homelessness/lack of affordable housing, inadequate financial security, and fear of deportation to face torture, persecution, abuse, and possible death in their country of origin. 75% of CLSACC’s clients have diverse backgrounds. The Center provides services ranging from advice to representation in complex litigation. CLSACC’s legal work also includes training and education, collaboration with community partners, writing and distributing publications, and work on public policy and reform issues which affect the lives of many people in the community.  


    Budget  $750,000.00
    Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other Legal Services
    Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Victims
    Program Short-Term Success 

     For the most recently completed Fiscal Year, FY2015 (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015) for clients in full representation cases, the Legal Program:

    • Prevented homelessness by helping low-income families and individuals, senior citizens, domestic violence victims, and people with disabilities obtain or retain access to safe, affordable housing. Clients were successful in defending against evictions, obtaining reasonable accommodations to maintain their affordable housing, and/or obtaining permanent housing with a 95% success rate.  

    • Assisted immigrants and refugees to obtain or maintain legal status in the U.S. with a 98% success rate, including clients seeking political asylum, immigrant domestic violence victims, and unaccompanied minors, with two cases on appeal.

    • Increased the safety and well-being of survivors of domestic violence and their children by securing long-term legal protection from violence and abuse, financial security (child and spousal support), safe custody and visitation, and health care with a 97% success rate.

    • Fostered independence and stability in the lives of low-income people with disabilities by assisting them to obtain disability and related benefits, with positive outcomes in 85% of full representation cases.


    Program Long-Term Success 

    CLSACC has met and/or exceeded its Goals and Outcomes in all areas.


    Program Success Monitored By   

    Utilizing its case management data base the Legal Program captures case outcomes to measure results, for example, a restraining order indicates increased safety; a support order shows increased financial security and obtaining legal status indicates the client may remain in the U.S. At monthly meetings legal staff members analyze quantitative data and discuss case strategy and case results. All clients are mailed "Achievement Surveys" and CLSACC’s model is considered effective and innovative by the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), the Cambridge Department of Human Services (CDBG grantor), and other funders who regularly review overall agency operations. Each month legal staff review the number of cases opened, handled, and closed in each unit to determine whether the units are meeting their goals. CLSACC has met or surpassed its client service goals since 2010 in all legal areas and is on target to do so again in FY2016. 

    Examples of Program Success 



    CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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    Management


    CEO/Executive Director Ms. Mojdeh Rohani
    CEO Term Start Sept 2015
    CEO Email [email protected]
    CEO Experience

    Executive Director, Mojdeh Rohani is deeply committed to and passionate about human rights and social justice. She has extensive management experience working across disciplines to integrate the expertise of mental health and legal professionals in serving diverse communities.  

    Mojdeh brings a wealth of expertise in addressing the complex issues faced by CLSACC's clients, their families and their communities, with a background in working with survivors of trauma, torture, gender-based violence and human trafficking. Since joining CLSACC eight years ago as the Associate Clinical Director, Mojdeh has expanded the agency's integrated service model with multiple philanthropic and community partners and developed new programs to address the complex needs of our clients.  

    Ms. Rohani is a Lecturer at the Boston University School of Social Work; and Co-Director of the Boston University BRIDGE Program (Building Refugee and Immigrant Degrees for Graduate Education). She received her Master's in Social Work from Boston University and previously worked as Director of Social Services at the International Institute of Boston.

     


     

    Co-CEO --
    Co-CEO Term Start Sept 2015
    Co-CEO Email [email protected]
    Co-CEO Experience --

    Former CEOs and Terms

    Name Start End
    Barbara Mitchell Sept 2007 2007
    Leslee Klein 1986 Aug

    Senior Staff

    Name Title Experience/Biography
    John Froio Deputy Director --
    Paul Goldmuntz Clinical Director --
    Ellen Wilbur Legal Director --

    Awards

    Award Awarding Organization Year
    Ubuntu Award Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights at Boston Medical Center 2010
    Community Activism Award Respond 2007

    Affiliations

    Affiliation Year
    -- --
    Member of state association of nonprofits? No
    Name of state association --

    External Assessments and Accreditations

    External Assessment or Accreditation Year
    -- --

    Collaborations

    --

    CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

    --

    Foundation Comments

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    Staff Information

    Number of Full Time Staff 10
    Number of Part Time Staff 6
    Number of Volunteers 130
    Number of Contract Staff 0
    Staff Retention Rate % 90%

    Staff Demographics

    Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
    Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
    Caucasian: 13
    Hispanic/Latino: 3
    Native American/American Indian: 0
    Other: 0
    Other (if specified): --
    Gender Female: 13
    Male: 3
    Not Specified 0

    Plans & Policies

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

    Risk Management Provisions

    Disability Insurance
    Life Insurance
    Professional Liability
    Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
    Directors and Officers Policy

    Reporting and Evaluations

    Management Reports to Board? Yes
    CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
    Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
    Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

    Governance


    Board Chair Mr. Tony Mirenda Esq.
    Board Chair Company Affiliation Foley Hoag
    Board Chair Term May 2016 - May 2017
    Board Co-Chair --
    Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
    Board Co-Chair Term -

    Board Members

    Name Company Affiliations Status
    Walter Bardenwerper Retired Voting
    Mark Bernfeld Towers Watson Reinsurance Voting
    John Brown Tufts Mobile Forensic Team Voting
    Julia Byers Lesley University Voting
    Ms. Laura D'Amato Esq. Boston University Voting
    Fatuma Hassan Community Volunteer Voting
    Hugo Kamya Simmons College School of Social Work Voting
    Marie Lee McCue, Lee & Greene LLP Voting
    Liza Lunt Zalkind, Rodrequez, Lunt, & Duncan, LLP Voting
    John McBrine Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Voting
    Tony Mirenda Foley Hoag LLP --
    Mark Smith Goodwin Procter LLP 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: 3
    Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
    Caucasian: 9
    Hispanic/Latino: 0
    Native American/American Indian: 0
    Other: 0
    Other (if specified): --
    Gender Female: 5
    Male: 7
    Not Specified 0

    Board Information

    Board Term Lengths 1
    Board Term Limits --
    Board Meeting Attendance % --
    Written Board Selection Criteria No
    Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
    Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
    Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 37%
    Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

    Standing Committees

    • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
    • Executive
    • Nominating

    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, 2015 to June 30, 2016
    Projected Income $1,048,583.00
    Projected Expense $1,094,592.00
    Form 990s

    2014 990

    2013 990

    2012 990

    2011 990

    2010 990

    2009 990

    Audit Documents

    2015 Audited Financials

    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 $1,005,830 $1,066,725 $1,028,806
    Total Expenses $1,011,364 $1,035,371 $996,811

    Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

    Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
    Foundation and
    Corporation Contributions
    -- -- --
    Government Contributions $240,376 $237,671 $235,785
        Federal -- -- --
        State -- -- --
        Local -- -- --
        Unspecified $240,376 $237,671 $235,785
    Individual Contributions $628,282 $687,029 $651,651
    Indirect Public Support $58,889 $59,443 $61,579
    Earned Revenue $54,442 $63,435 $57,353
    Investment Income, Net of Losses $14,039 $19,074 $18,578
    Membership Dues -- -- --
    Special Events $9,702 -- $3,860
    Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
    Other $100 $73 --

    Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

    Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
    Program Expense $933,748 $970,934 $934,658
    Administration Expense $51,913 $36,608 $34,526
    Fundraising Expense $25,703 $27,829 $27,627
    Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
    Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.99 1.03 1.03
    Program Expense/Total Expenses 92% 94% 94%
    Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 3% 3% 3%

    Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

    Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
    Total Assets $808,699 $810,611 $766,174
    Current Assets $350,326 $419,579 $408,184
    Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
    Current Liabilities $81,360 $107,374 $105,774
    Total Net Assets $727,339 $703,237 $660,400

    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 --
    Percentage(If selected) --
    Credit Line No
    Reserve Fund Yes
    How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

    Capital Campaign

    Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
    Capital Campaign Purpose --
    Campaign Goal --
    Capital Campaign Dates -
    Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
    Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

    Short Term Solvency

    Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
    Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.31 3.91 3.86

    Long Term Solvency

    Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
    Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

    CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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    Foundation Comments

    Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

    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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