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Casa Myrna Vazquez, Inc.

 38 Wareham Street, Floor 2
 Boston, MA 02118
[P] (617) 5210176
[F] (617) 5210105
http://www.casamyrna.org
[email protected]
Libby Ellis
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INCORPORATED: 1977
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2625710

LAST UPDATED: 10/24/2018
Organization DBA Casa Myrna
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Casa Myrna's mission is to deliver solutions to end domestic and dating violence through intervention, awareness and prevention.

Mission Statement

Casa Myrna's mission is to deliver solutions to end domestic and dating violence through intervention, awareness and prevention.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $4,901,514.00
Projected Expense $4,889,277.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
  • RESIDENTIAL SHELTER
  • SAFELINK HOTLINE (877) 785-2020
  • SUPPORTIVE SERVICES

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

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


Overview

Mission Statement

Casa Myrna's mission is to deliver solutions to end domestic and dating violence through intervention, awareness and prevention.


Background Statement

Casa Myrna was founded in 1977 by activists in Boston's South End to provide a safe haven for women who were being abused by their partners. Today Casa Myrna is Boston's largest provider of domestic violence shelter, supportive services and public awareness efforts. The survivors we serve are predominantly low income Black and [email protected] survivors in Greater Boston—some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Many struggle with enormous challenges, of which domestic violence is just one. Concern about safety is often compounded by poverty, homelessness, language barriers, lack of education or employment, citizenship issues and involvement with the criminal justice system. Last year, 35% of survivors served were speaking English as a second language and 96% were living under the federal poverty level. Our comprehensive range of culturally competent and trauma-informed services, available in both Spanish and English, provide survivors with tools to recover from abuse and begin to build sustainable self-sufficiency and economic stability. In FY2018, we served over 1,600 survivors in residential shelter programs, including support for victims of commercial sexual exploitation; housing assistance and advocacy; individual and group counseling; legal advocacy and representation; children's services; community-based advocacy and financial literacy education and job readiness skill building. Casa Myrna also operates SafeLink, Massachusetts' statewide 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline that answers 28,000 calls annually. And to end domestic and dating violence, we provide awareness and prevention education to teens and adults across the state through peer-led trainings, social media, and annual ad campaigns on mass transit systems.


Impact Statement

Services Provided: In FY2018, Casa Myrna provided a comprehensive range of trauma-informed supportive services to 1,657 individuals and their families in our residential shelter and community-based programs. We also responded to 27,067 emergency calls on our 24/7, statewide SafeLink Hotline, and increased awareness about domestic and dating violence for 2,274 community members in specialized trainings, workshops and events throughout Massachusetts.

Survivors were empowered with the training and tools they needed to ensure their long-term economic stability, particularly survivors who experience barriers due to language, substance abuse, immigration status, and poverty. During the past year, we helped 81 survivors to set and achieve educational and employment goals and supported them in planning for economic independence through financial literacy education; provided safe shelter for 113 survivors and their children in our residential shelter programs; helped 97 survivors and their children to remain in their own homes and/or secure safe, permanent, housing; provided legal services to 892 survivors; provided community-based advocacy and support to 528 survivors in neighborhood health centers, schools and other community locations; and provided direct, one-on-one counseling and other supportive services for over 101 survivors and their children experiencing trauma due to abuse.

Safe and Stable Housing: As an organization, one of our greatest challenges remains the lack of affordable housing in Massachusetts, particularly in the Greater Boston area. For many survivors of domestic violence, finding a safe, affordable place to live is essential for leaving an abusive situation and beginning to heal. On any given day, the demand for shelter for domestic violence survivors far outpaces its availability.

Casa Myrna is responding to this challenge by expanding our housing assistance and advocacy program; strengthening our rapid re-housing program supports that help survivors move from homelessness to safe, affordable housing quickly; partnering with the Boston Housing Authority to make housing units more accessible to survivors; utilizing our resources to help survivors maintain housing and avoid homelessness; and participating in public policy to expand housing stock and resources for housing stability and homelessness prevention.

Engaging, Supporting and Empowering At-Risk Youth: Casa Myrna’s work with at-risk teen survivors of dating and family violence expanded significantly during the past year. Based on recent research showing that teens in Greater Boston are not benefitting from services designed to help them, Casa Myrna launched our Teen Peer Leader Program in Fall 2017. The program addresses the needs of a predominantly Black and [email protected] population by: (1) expanding evidence-informed, peer-led, teen dating violence prevention education (“Start Strong”) in middle school, high school and after-school sites; (2) conducting peer-driven, dating violence prevention social marketing campaign; (3) and enhancing our bilingual intervention services and statewide domestic violence hotline, SafeLink with chat line and text technology, to increase usage by adolescents and tailor services to better meet their needs.

Our Teen Peer Leaders are currently being trained to implement a secure SafeLink chat/text line that will connect teen (and other) callers to teen peer advocates. We expect that the new teen-led approach will increase the number of teen callers that feel comfortable using the service and benefit from hotline referrals and support.

Casa Myrna is expanding and strengthening our youth-focused intervention, prevention and awareness initiatives targeting Black, [email protected] and immigrant youth who are affected by or at risk for domestic and dating violence. Programs include the Teen Parenting Program (TPP), our cornerstone residential shelter program for pregnant and/or parenting teens and our Teen Outreach and Advocacy program, a peer-led, community-based prevention and awareness education program that provides community based advocacy, support, safety planning and a listening ear to teens living in abusive households or dating relationships. During FY2018 and 2019, an additional 30 Peer Leaders will be trained to reach and engage more youth by expanding project partners to include Boston Public Schools, Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, the Boston Police Department and others. Culturally-specific enhancements to our SafeLink hotline and public awareness campaigns will result in an anticipated increase of youth served by 50%.

Improved Hotline Response: During the most recently completed fiscal year, Casa Myrna was once again awarded the contract from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to continue to operate SafeLink, our 24/7, free, multi-lingual, statewide domestic violence hotline program. In the past year, we have strengthened the responsiveness of SafeLink with the addition of technology that increases our capacity to track, evaluate and change as needed, the responsiveness of our hotline services. We replaced our aging phone system with a new system which has numerous benefits that make client interactions, call routing, tracking and reporting more efficient.

One-of-a-Kind Housing Program: Another major accomplishment was the creation of a comprehensive exit program for survivors of commercial sex trafficking through our merger with the EVA Center. During the past year, we opened a residential housing program for up to nine women and their children who are victims of commercial sex trafficking, the first of its kind in the country.

Gearing up for a new home: Casa Myrna is actively searching for a new permanent corporate office with plans to move in early 2019. We are looking in areas that are easily accessible by public transportation and in neighborhoods where most of our participants work and live. The Dudley Square area of Dorchester has been our primary focus. We are seeking a larger space that will feature an open and engaging community meeting place.


Needs Statement

Casa Myrna serves survivors from low income and racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities and immigrants. Survivors served in FY2018 reflect the target population: 39% Black/African American, 47% [email protected], 11% White and 1% Asian, and 2% multiracial/other; 96% of survivors served earned under $30,000 annually and 100% were well below 80% of the median income in Boston. These indicators of social vulnerability compound domestic violence survivor’s ability to be economically stable and free from violence.

The need for safe housing and economic resources to maintain safe housing are two of the most pressing concerns among domestic violence survivors who are planning to or have recently left abusers.[i] Without options for safe housing, survivors are forced to choose between homelessness and living with the abuse. Through research and our own experience, we know that domestic violence is a primary cause of homelessness.

More than a third (38%) of domestic violence survivors report becoming homeless immediately after separating from their partners.[ii] Similarly, among U.S. city mayors surveyed in 2005, 50% identified intimate partner violence as a primary cause of homelessness in their city.[iii] Based on a study of families in the Massachusetts Emergency Assistance (EA) family shelter system[iv] we can extrapolate that currently, 2,260 (63.1%) parents have been victims of domestic violence sometime in their lives; 35% (1,253) were victimized within the last year; and for 791 (22.1%), domestic violence was related to their current homelessness. In FY18, 1,449 families from Boston were placed into the EA system. Of those, we estimate that at least 914 were survivors of domestic violence.

Domestic and sexual violence survivors who become homeless often need the support of a trauma-informed domestic violence organization to maintain housing permanently and safely. Domestic violence organizations help survivors overcome DV-related barriers to housing and the long term effects of abuse that make them vulnerable to future homelessness. However, the need for housing solutions for survivors outpaces available resources. In addition to being unable to serve survivors in the EA and individual homeless systems, the domestic violence service system is unable to meet the need of survivors who seek support. In FY18, 92% of calls (18,391) to Casa Myrna’s SafeLink statewide domestic violence hotline were for shelter; shelter was available in only 6% of calls. Of callers that identified their location, SafeLink answered 6,750 calls for shelter from Boston for fewer than 100 domestic violence shelter units. With no access to shelter or permanent housing, survivors remain with their abuser or become homeless. In fact, in FY18 Casa Myrna provided safety planning and advocacy to over 1,000 survivors living in the community and at risk of homelessness.

In addition to limited housing options, a primary reason survivors remain in abusive relationships is because they are trapped financially. Many have no experience working or managing their own money. On average, about 45% of participants are unemployed when they arrive. Of those that are working, few earn higher than minimum wage and far less than the family sustaining living wage of $30.95 per hour required for one parent and one child in the city of Boston.[1]

For over 40 years, Casa Myrna has helped survivors overcome their challenges, increase their safety and access supports through a comprehensive range of culturally competent programs and services, available in both Spanish and English that provide survivors with the tools to recover from the trauma of abuse and begin to build sustainable economic stability. Our emergency residential shelters and community-based programs offer survivor-centered programs based on the empowerment model—supportive service delivery involves a mutual partnership between survivor and advocate that increases survivors’ individual choice and confidence in their ability to take charge of their own life.




[i] Clough, A., Draughon, J.E. et al. 2014. Qualitative Social Work, 13(5).

[ii] Baker, C.K., Cook, S.L. et al. 2003. Violence Against Women, 9.

[iii] U.S. Conference of Mayors. 2005. Hunger and homeless survey.

[iv] MA Department of Transitional Assistance. “Domestic Violence among Homeless Families” survey report. 2007.

The domestic violence survivors Casa Myrna serves are the most vulnerable members of our community—they arrive with enormous challenges, of which domestic violence is just one. Casa Myrna serves survivors from low income and racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities and immigrants. Survivors served in FY2018 reflect the target population: 39% Black/African American, 47% [email protected], 11% White and 1% Asian, and 2% multiracial/other; 96% of survivors served earned under $30,000 annually and 100% were well below 80% of the median income in Boston. These indicators of social vulnerability compound domestic violence survivor’s ability to be economically stable and free from violence.

One of the primary reasons survivors remain in abusive relationships is because they are trapped financially. Many have no experience working or managing their own money. On average, about 45% of participants are unemployed when they arrive. Of those that are working, few earn higher than minimum wage and far less than the family sustaining living wage of $30.95 per hour required for one parent and one child in the city of Boston.[iv]


CEO Statement



Board Chair Statement

At Casa Myrna, I am privileged to lead an organization working to end gender based violence and create opportunities for housing and economic stability with survivors. I’m very proud to engage with our broad network of community partners who work together to tackle domestic and dating violence together, harnessing community capacity and resources to ensure access when and where services are needed. Our work is built around acknowledgement and outrage about the increasing numbers of people who are born into poverty and violence and grow up without hope because many barriers to escaping it seem immovable.

At Casa Myrna, we know solutions are out there and we continue to adapt and strengthen our services to address the most intractable problems our clients face. Our wide range of supportive services and partnerships help to bridge the solutions gaps and reduce barriers to opportunity for adults, youth and children.

As the year ends, Casa Myrna is focused on positioning the organization for the future and building on the outstanding achievements of our 40-year history, celebrated last year. Now, Casa Myrna has reached a point of critical growth and change at which a new corporate office location is vitally needed to accommodate our growing staff, help catalyze our collective vision and set a course for the future. Our relocation plan is a foundational collaborative process that is just now getting off the ground and expected to be a significant focus of our work in fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

Stephanie and I are fortunate to have a dynamic group of deeply committed change agents on our Board of Directors to share this journey with us. We are confident that this process will lead to a more efficient, financially stable and structurally sound organization. As a Casa Myrna board member since September 2013 and now serving as Board President, I am excited to embrace the challenge of leading our organization into the future and driving improvement in services for the most marginalized survivors in our community for many years to come.


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Greater Boston Region-All Neighborhoods
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Downtown
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Roxbury
STATEWIDE

Intimate partner violence impacts people from all racial, cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and communities. The community that Casa Myrna serves is primarily from the Roxbury, South End, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, East Boston, and Mattapan neighborhoods of Boston. Women sheltered in our residential programs can come from other parts of the state or even other regions of the country as they seek to distance themselves from their abusers. Our outreach, education and awareness efforts target teens and adults across Massachusetts. SafeLink is also a state-wide resource for adults and teens experiencing domestic and dating violence, in addition to friends, family and providers throughout the Commonwealth.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Victims' Services
  2. Housing, Shelter - Temporary Housing
  3. Human Services - Family Violence Shelters and 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

EDUCATION AND OUTREACH

Casa Myrna is at the center of a coalition throughout the Commonwealth that work together to educate the public, providers and policy makers about dating and domestic violence prevention and response. Casa Myrna offers workshops on survivor’s legal rights, risk assessment and safety planning and identifying and responding to abuse for law enforcement, health care, schools, businesses, service providers, and the community. In FY18, 2,274 participated in Casa Myrna trainings. In addition, our growing, peer-led Youth Engagement and Awareness initiatives provide intervention and prevention education for at-risk teens by: (1) expanding evidence-informed peer-led teen dating violence prevention program (“Start Strong”) in schools; (2) conducting peer-driven social marketing campaigns; (3) and enhancing our bilingual hotline, SafeLink with chat line technology, to increase usage and tailor services to better serve at-risk youth.

 

Budget  --
Category  Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

In the short-term, we measure the success of our education and outreach work by the number of people we reach through workshops, trainings and other events. In FY18, we reached 2,274 adults and teens. Short-term success is also measured by the increased number of people who connect with us via our daily social media posts: close to 1,600 people follow us on Twitter and engage with us on Facebook. .

Program Long-Term Success 

The ultimate change that will occur from our education and outreach efforts is the prevention of intimate partner violence. This is an ambitious goal, and one that Casa Myrna is committed to achieving, with the partnership of others in our community. The long-term goal of prevention is a foundation of our organizational mission and vision. Education and outreach activities that target teens and adults, and even elementary school-age children, are vital to developing effective prevention strategies. We have established partnerships with a number of youth-focused organizations, including the Boston Public Schools, to best reach our prevention goals via education.

Program Success Monitored By  We monitor the success of our education and outreach efforts in a number of ways. Participants in workshops and trainings complete evaluation surveys to provide feedback about the content, subject relevance to their work or education, and leader.We also carefully monitor the training of Teen Peer Leaders as they are trained to deliver the Stay Strong curriculum and facilitate community educational workshops. The Teen Peer Leader program tracks increases in Peer Leader knowledge and skills after training, numbers of youth receiving workshops and improvements in their knowledge and attitudes toward relationships, numbers of adults from youth-serving providers trained to respond to children and youth victims of violence and improvements in their knowledge, development and dissemination of awareness and prevention social marketing campaigns and qualitative reports from adult staff and Peer Leaders.
Examples of Program Success  We also carefully monitor the training of Teen Peer Leaders as they are trained to deliver the Stay Strong curriculum and facilitate community educational workshops. The Teen Peer Leader program tracks increases in Peer Leader knowledge and skills after training, numbers of youth receiving workshops and improvements in their knowledge and attitudes toward relationships, numbers of adults from youth-serving providers trained to respond to children and youth victims of violence and improvements in their knowledge, development and dissemination of awareness and prevention social marketing campaigns and qualitative reports from adult staff and Peer Leaders.

RESIDENTIAL SHELTER

Casa Myrna provides three residential shelters for survivors and their children. The Mary L. Foreman House emergency shelter, our original shelter based in the South End, supports ten women and thirteen children. The program is named for the late Mary Lawson Foreman, a mother and activist who was a victim of violence. Founded in 1993, the Teen Parenting Program (TPP) houses pregnant and/or parenting teens and their children. TPP is the only program of its kind in the state to shelter and support teen families who are homeless because of domestic violence. The program serves eight teen parents and thirteen children. Families live at the program for up to 24 months. Our new EVA Center Housing Program provides shelter and support for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and their children, serving up to nine adults and five children. All families receive intensive support around their immediate trauma and supportive services that provide the skills to establish economic stability.

Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other Emergency Assistance
Population Served Homeless Families At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

One indication of the success of our residential shelter programs is the number of people we support. In FY2018, (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) we sheltered 71 adults and 42 children. Because abusers often eliminate survivor’s independence, sense of community and self-esteem, Casa Myrna helps empower survivors to gain a new sense of self-efficacy and economic stability. The following are indicators of short-term success for survivors, achieved during the time that they live in our shelters: a sustained, demonstrated understanding and use of healthy parenting strategies; the absence of violence and abuse in interactions with children, program staff and other program participants; sustained attendance in and graduation from an approved educational program (academic or vocational) and/or applying for, securing and retaining employment and working to increase income through employment; seeking, transitioning to and maintaining permanent, affordable housing.

Program Long-Term Success 

The goal for all families in our residential shelter programs is to achieve safety and economic stability. Moving to permanent, safe, affordable housing is a significant indicator of this. In addition, after living in a communal, safe, and supportive environment, we anticipate that survivors will feel that they have moved beyond the trauma of abuse; demonstrate strong financial literacy skills; obtain and retain employment or are working to increase their skills, education and income; and continue to engage with Casa Myrna as a volunteer, mentor or educator about domestic violence. Ultimately, the success of each domestic violence survivor helps to reduce the cycle of violence within families and communities.

Program Success Monitored By 

Casa Myrna monitors success by continually communicating with survivors to help them set, assess and achieve their self-defined goals for safety and independence. Program staff track, monitor and report all interactions with survivors and their children in our program database. This information is reported monthly. Weekly case management meeting are attended by direct service staff and their superiors during which information is shared and issues raised and addressed before they become problems.

Examples of Program Success 

Neiva is the pure definition of resiliency—after a lifetime of domestic violence and isolation, she is now a totally independent, confident career mom, thanks to support and counseling she received at Casa Myrna.  

Neiva, her husband and her daughter immigrated to the US from a country in which women have almost no rights. For years, she conformed to her husband’s demands and abuse and accepted it as customary. Her husband had been in the U.S. for longer and had already obtained his citizenship. He often warned Neiva that if she reported the abuse, she and her daughter would be deported and sent back to their country.  

Eventually, her husband did call the police to have her deported because she failed to obey him, and to his surprise, the police recognized that he was the abuser and arrested him. After her husband was arrested, Neiva found herself and her daughter homeless, having no family in the area and nowhere to go.  

Neiva was referred to Casa Myrna by one of our partner organizations. Years of abuse and subjugation left her with low self-esteem, feeling completely alone and betrayed, and confused about what to do. Our staff was able to get Neiva into shelter while our attorneys worked with her around immigration issues. Throughout, she talked with our counselor weekly, working on deeply ingrained feelings that were holding her back. Over the next several years, as she picked herself up and found new social and religious communities to support her, Neiva began to heal and to realize that the abuse was not her fault and she did not deserve to be treated in that way.  

It took several counseling sessions for Neiva to begin to believe in herself but eventually she became stronger and more resilient, able to make decisions for a future without violence. Our counselor linked her with a workforce training program that provided the skills she needed to be economically stable. Neiva enrolled in the training and completed it, and soon obtained a job that she has held for the past several years. Shortly thereafter, Neiva moved into permanent housing with her daughter. Finally, she was able to work with a lawyer toward getting her green card and citizenship.  

Neiva met with our counselor less frequently as other opportunities and responsibilities claimed more of her time and as she healed from the abuse, but they did continue to meet monthly. On the day that she got her American citizenship, Neiva brought a cake to Casa Myrna to celebrate with her counselor. She announced that she could not possibly have achieved what she has without the counseling and other wrap-around services she was able to obtain at Casa Myrna. She continues to move forward in her life and continues to meet with her Casa Myrna counselor regularly to have someone that cares about her to help her manage current problems and concerns.


SAFELINK HOTLINE (877) 785-2020

 

SafeLink is Massachusetts' 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline that answers nearly 30,000 calls annually from throughout the state. Established in 2000, SafeLink is a critical component of the sexual and domestic violence service continuum in the Commonwealth and a vital lifeline for survivors of abuse and those who care about them. SafeLink provides information, support, and resources survivors need to take their first steps beyond violence and also links callers with safety and supports in their own community. SafeLink provides domestic violence information for friends, family and colleagues of survivors, health and safety professionals, and the general public. SafeLink Advocates are bicultural and multilingual, and have access to translation in more than 130 languages. SafeLink also maintains centralized information about the availability of shelter beds, service locations and relevant resources and makes it available in real time to providers and survivors.

Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other Emergency Assistance
Population Served Adults Females Victims
Program Short-Term Success 
SafeLink's short-term success is best measured by the number of callers the hotline supports. In FY18, SafeLink helped 27,067 callers from across Massachusetts. Approximately 80% of callers were domestic violence survivors seeking immediate shelter. If space was available in a shelter in the caller's area, SafeLink staff transferred the survivor there for support. SafeLink's short-term success is also indicated by its ability to educate all callers about domestic violence, offer additional support and connections, and ensure the safety of callers and their families through safety planning - having a survivor remain on the phone with an Advocate long enough to create a safety plan represents immediate success.  
Program Long-Term Success 
SafeLink's ultimate success is its provision of uninterrupted 24/7 service access to safety and support. We look forward to continuing to operate SafeLink well into the future. In addition, we plan to diversify its provision of support, specifically for teen survivors, by creating a text-based hotline to be more accessible and comfortable for teens. Teen survivors experience intimate partner violence at similar rates to adults, yet they do not call SafeLink (as evidenced by our research) with the same frequency and volume as adults do. SafeLink as a phone and text hotline will further impact the program's long-term success in supporting survivors and other callers. We will also strengthen its data collection, monitoring and evaluation, which will better demonstrate its long-term success and impact on individual survivors, other domestic violence agencies and policy efforts related to domestic violence. 
Program Success Monitored By 

We monitor the success of SafeLink by tracking call volume, the reason for the call, geographic location of the caller and if the person has called previously. We recently upgraded our SafeLink database, to collect important information and report more easily. Working with other domestic violence service providers, we are now better able to define specific outcome measures of success and associated required data elements for SafeLink. This helps to better track and report on trends for services survivors seek, the availability of resources throughout the state, and survivors’ geographic needs for services and the extent to which needs are met (e.g., emergency shelter is located, a safety plan is made). Further, we are able to provide reports on calls and callers at a statewide level for policy planning purposes and at a community level to be shared with local domestic and dating violence prevention programs and donors.

Examples of Program Success 

 A story about a caller demonstrates SafeLink's success. A survivor from Lawrence called SafeLink. The woman (who did not have children) was calling from her car, where she had been living for two days. Her husband was physically abusive to her, and had poured propane on her and threatened to light her on fire. The SafeLink Advocate worked with the survivor to create a safety plan. She learned that the survivor had no money or access to a credit card and was running out of gas for her car. Her abuser had isolated and controlled her to the point that she was not allowed to work, develop friendships or connect with her family. The Advocate explained the shelter system in Massachusetts, and also accessed the Bed Update, which showed space in the YWCA’s Fina House, an emergency domestic violence shelter in Lawrence. The Advocate connected the survivor directly to the shelter, providing a smooth transition from SafeLink to a vital resource.


SUPPORTIVE SERVICES

Casa Myrna's comprehensive supportive services are provided in English and Spanish to clients in our three shelters and those living in the community. Services include: 1) Housing Advocacy helps survivors and their children remain in their own homes and/or secure permanent, affordable housing; 2) Economic Stability Program provides financial literacy education and academic and employment readiness training; 3) the Legal Advocacy Program provides legal advocacy and representation for survivors. It also includes a Medical-Legal Partnership with MA General and Beth Israel Hospital to provide onsite legal support to patients at the main campus; 4) Counseling Services provide individual and group therapy for adults and teens; 5) Children's Services support and refer survivors' children to needed services; 6) Community-Based Advocacy places full time, bilingual Community Services Specialists at community sites to engage survivors and link them to services. 
Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Population Served Adults Families Victims
Program Short-Term Success 
Short-term success for our Supportive Services is best measured by the number of survivors we serve to help them reach their goals for self-sufficiency and safety. Services provided in FY2018:  helped 97 families search for and obtain permanent housing; provided counseling to 101 survivors; provided legal services to 892 survivors; reached 81 survivors through individual and group sessions on financial literacy, academic and employment preparedness; and provided general advocacy and support to 528 survivors in the community. We anticipate reaching similar numbers of survivors this year, including those who reside in our residential programs and who live in their own homes in the community.
Program Long-Term Success 
The long-term success of our Supportive Services is best measured by sustainable economic stability. This is evidenced by a survivor moving to and remaining in his/her own home for at least one year after having received services from our Housing Specialist; continuing to advance toward a college degree, in keeping with the personal economic plan the survivor developed with our Self-Sufficiency Specialist; and finding and keeping a job that provides a living wage to support one's family. Long term success for survivors is defined by them in other less tangible ways. Having the confidence to map out a bus route to a job interview or schedule a conference with a child's teacher or start a search for advanced degree programs all constitute long term success and healing from trauma for survivors. Moreover, gaining the confidence and skills to recognize the qualities of healthy relationships and teaching them to one's children reflect long-term success for survivors.
Program Success Monitored By 

We currently track survivors' goals, progress and interactions with staff in our programs database, beginning with a comprehensive in-person intake, against which progress toward personal goals is measured. Currently, we are finalizing a new organizational "milestones" component of our database that will track, record and report key organizational objectives. The new tracking resource is expected to be completed in November 2018. 

Examples of Program Success 

Pamela’s partner made decent money, maintained a stable job, and allowed her to live comfortably on their combined income. But after many years of abuse, Pamela decided that the financial benefits were not worth the sacrifice of her safety and self-esteem. She moved into her own place with her young daughter but quickly found she was unable to pay her bills with just her own income as a hairdresser—bills began to pile up, her credit card debt went up while her credit score went down. Pamela became overwhelmed with worry about how to financial support her small family. She had planned to go to college but the growing stack of bills made education a distant dream.

When Pamela met Casa Myrna’s Community Advocate, she learned about our Economic Stability Program and thought it sounded like what she needed. She took classes and worked closely and consistently with our Self-Sufficiency Specialist, creating a budget and slowly chipping away at her debt. When she received an Earned Income Credit refund from the IRS, rather than buying personal items from her long wish list, Pamela decided to make a responsible choice. She used her refund to pay down the debt that was blocking her path to a better life.

Today, Pamela is almost debt free and continues to receive coaching and support from Casa Myrna’s Self Sufficiency Specialist. Her credit score and monthly income has also increased allowing her to save and apply for school loans as she looks forward to attending college soon. 


 


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Casa Myrna is proud of the evolving comprehensive services we provide survivors, well beyond their immediate needs for shelter. We try to meet survivors where they are, including providing an array of supports including legal representation and advocacy, counseling, housing advocacy, and economic stability support. These services, available to survivors in our shelters and in the community, support survivors as they work toward their goals for self-sufficiency and move beyond the trauma of domestic violence.

In the coming years, based on demand and trend data, we intend to expand some services and create new ones. We will expand our Community-Based Advocacy Program, which reaches the many survivors who are living in their own homes or shelters in our community. These survivors, for whom emergency domestic violence shelter may not be available, needed or warranted, want to move beyond the abuse and trauma in their lives. By expanding Community-Based Advocacy, we will place advocates in more locations throughout Boston – including courts, health centers and social service agencies. Survivors will be able to seek support and safety planning, obtain information and connect to our other services in places where they feel comfortable or may already frequent.  

Because we recognize the need for specialized services to teen survivors, we will also expand Community-Based Advocacy services to teens. Building on our experience with teens in our Teen Parenting Program, Casa Myrna will place advocates in schools and after school programs in Boston. The development of these services will be informed directly by teens to whom we have provided services in the past.

With funding from the City of Boston and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, we are implementing a “rapid re-housing program,” shifting funds from our transitional housing program to support permanent housing. In this new model, homeless survivors and their children will move from emergency shelter or homelessness to an apartment of their own. Beginning in June 2015, Casa Myrna will provide a two year subsidy for rent and comprehensive services to help them maintain housing permanently.

Last, Casa Myrna is working understand and provide services to survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. We know that many of the teens and adults with whom we work have survived some form of trafficking. Working with experts from the EVA Center, the City of Boston and the Office of the Attorney General, we plan to expand our services to be able to address this issue beginning in the spring of 2016.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Stephanie Brown
CEO Term Start July 2013
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Stephanie Brown has more than 15 years of experience in social service, public policy, strategy and advocacy. Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer of Casa Myrna, she was Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Program and External Relations of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). She began her career at DTA as the Director of the Housing and Homeless Services Unit, and was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2009. Previously, she served as Executive Director of Homes for Families, Inc., a nonprofit organization advocating for public policies to end family homelessness by addressing its root causes. Earlier in her career, Stephanie worked at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services as the Administrator for Domestic and Sexual Violence Intervention/Prevention Policy, and at Jane Doe, Inc. as a Policy Analyst. Stephanie is President Elect of the Board of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and serves on the Governor’s Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness and the Governor’s Council on Sexual and Domestic Abuse. Her history of involvement with Casa Myrna extends back to 1994, when she was a volunteer on our hotline and in our children's program. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Florida.



 

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Deborah Collins-Gousby May 2010 July 2013
Ms. Linda Jo Stern Aug 2009 May 2010

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mr. Ron Mason Director of Operations --
Ms. Venessa Rosemond Director of Finance alksdjfkjla;ljflkjfkaj
Ms. Leela Strong Director of Development and Communications --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Sylvia Simmons Best Practice Award Anna B. Stearns Charitable Foundation 2014

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Collaboration is a cornerstone of our Community-Based Advocacy Program. We partner with the South End Community Health Center, Uphams Corner Health Center, Roxbury and Dorchester District Courts, Brookview House and the Boston Family Justice Center, where our bilingual Community Services Specialists are on site one day per week. Our Legal Advocacy Program's Medical-Legal Partnership collaborates with Mass. General Hospital's HAVEN Domestic Violence Program to place two of our attorneys on site monthly to meet with survivors. We also collaborate with the state Department of Children and Families to provide SafeLink; Families at Home, which provides 10 Section Eight housing vouchers for domestic violence survivors and their children; Northeastern University School of Law’s Domestic Violence Institute to provide training to attorneys and expand our legal advocacy via a three-year Office of Violence Against Women grant; Horizons for Homeless Children, whose volunteers provide weekly childcare at our three shelters; Women of Means, whose volunteer physicians and nurses provide biweekly medical care at our three shelters; and Community Cooks, which shares home-cooked meals on a monthly basis with the residents of the Mary L. Foreman House and Transitional Living Program. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 46
Number of Part Time Staff 31
Number of Volunteers 22
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 84%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 21
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 18
Hispanic/Latino: 36
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 2 multi-racial
Gender Female: 70
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
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

--

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 Ms. Juanita Allen Kingsley
Board Chair Company Affiliation Century Health Systems
Board Chair Term Sept 2013 - Sept 2018
Board Co-Chair Ms. Juanita Allen Kingsley
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Century Health Systems
Board Co-Chair Term Sept 2014 - Sept 2017

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Karin Beecher School Committed Campaign Newton Voting
Mr. Lennox Chase Esq. Lawyer in private practice Voting
Ms. Anne Giovanoni Esq. Alkermes, Inc. Voting
Mr. Casimir Groblewski Fantini and Gorga Voting
Ms. Juanita Allen Kingsley Century Health Systems Voting
Dr. Annie Lewis-O'Connor Brigham & Women's Hospital Voting
Mr. Mike Licker Foley Hoag LLP Voting
Ms. Melissa McDonagh Littler Mendelson PC Voting
Ms. Catherine Mesner Biopharmaceutical Consultant Voting
Mr. Ganesh Rajaratnam Alkermes, Inc. Voting
Ms. Cassie Ramos Esq. Mintz, Levin Voting
Mr. Terry Rice Living Proof Voting
Ms. Saritin Rizzuto Metro Credit Union Voting
Mr. Jeff Scheer Pathstone Federal Street Advisors Voting
Ms. Mary Stack Maine Pointe 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: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 11
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): South Asian
Gender Female: 9
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Nominating
  • Real Estate

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $4,901,514.00
Projected Expense $4,889,277.00
Form 990s

2017 990

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audit

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

2010 Audit

2009 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $4,223,972 $3,066,895 $3,617,654
Total Expenses $4,262,603 $3,765,387 $3,290,236

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $3,065,740 $2,593,277 $2,184,567
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $3,065,740 $2,593,277 $2,184,567
Individual Contributions $867,328 $648,870 $1,076,856
Indirect Public Support $39,708 $43,964 $43,974
Earned Revenue $115,122 $-455,336 $52,233
Investment Income, Net of Losses $31,477 $147,919 $175,400
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $104,597 $88,201 $84,624
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $3,616,592 $3,130,285 $2,466,964
Administration Expense $375,917 $396,618 $541,627
Fundraising Expense $270,094 $238,484 $281,645
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.99 0.81 1.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 83% 75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 7% 7% 8%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $3,925,543 $3,660,731 $4,281,675
Current Assets $950,855 $830,705 $975,997
Long-Term Liabilities $452,783 $193,316 $202,783
Current Liabilities $216,012 $402,783 $254,447
Total Net Assets $3,256,748 $3,064,632 $3,824,445

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $386,623.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 2.00

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? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.40 2.06 3.84

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 12% 5% 5%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

 The CEO, Director of Development and Board collaborate to increase Casa Myrna’s capacity to raise funds, to diversity our funding base and to steward existing and new donors. In addition, Casa Myrna has been increasing survivor and staff engagement in development efforts. Through this process, we have diversified and expanded government funding throughout our programs, engaged and strengthened relationships with individual and foundation donors, expanded our capacity to raise revenue through events, and identified a cadre of survivors who feel empowered by speaking about their experiences. This investment in our infrastructure will allow us to grow, improve and sustain our services and prevention programming in the coming years.

In May 2014, Casa Myrna was notified by its largest funder, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), that beginning in August 2014 (fiscal year 2015), Casa Myrna would lose $310,000 in funding for our Teen Parenting Program due to shift in Department policy. The loss of this annual contract, which began in July 2002, put Casa Myrna’s flagship shelter program in jeopardy. After recovering from the initial shock, Casa Myrna’s leadership quickly moved to action, analyzing and mitigating the loss. Six months later, Casa Myrna had raised from foundation and individual donors the funds needed to keep the program open for the remainder of the fiscal year. In addition, Casa Myrna diversified the government funding base that supports the program to ensure its long term sustainability. Further, no other services were reduced or eliminated in the process. While we have budgeted a loss in our fiscal year 2015 budget because of this cut, based on projections thus far, we expect a small profit by the fiscal year end.

We are proud of these accomplishments as they reflect success not only in fundraising but also in developing strong, long-term relationships with Casa Myrna leadership, donors, survivors and other stakeholders. The strength of these relationships will ensure Casa Myrna’s work is not only sustainable, but visionary and responsive to the needs of our community.

Foundation Comments

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