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

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

Homes for Families is a statewide advocacy organization committed to ending family homelessness through permanent and emergency solutions. We are a collaborative of families who have experienced homelessness, service providers and advocates. Together we educate, organize and advocate for improved public policies to address the root causes of family homelessness with holistic and community-based solutions.

Mission Statement

Homes for Families is a statewide advocacy organization committed to ending family homelessness through permanent and emergency solutions. We are a collaborative of families who have experienced homelessness, service providers and advocates. Together we educate, organize and advocate for improved public policies to address the root causes of family homelessness with holistic and community-based solutions.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2014 to June 30, 2015
Projected Income $325,020.00
Projected Expense $305,601.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Leadership Development Institute

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

Homes for Families is a statewide advocacy organization committed to ending family homelessness through permanent and emergency solutions. We are a collaborative of families who have experienced homelessness, service providers and advocates. Together we educate, organize and advocate for improved public policies to address the root causes of family homelessness with holistic and community-based solutions.

Background Statement

In 1993, family shelter executives came together with a shared goal to increase advocacy efforts and to include the voices of consumers and service providers – those families that have experienced and are experiencing homelessness and those that work most closely with them – in the efforts to end family homelessness in Massachusetts. In 1994, these pioneers created Homes for Families, an organization committed to the promoting partnerships in the efforts to end family homelessness in the Commonwealth.

Impact Statement

Homes for Families has successfully engaged and educated X families through the Leadership Development Program, convened over X shelter providers, and successfully advocated for a X% increase in the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. We have also created a unique survey distributed to family shelter programs, and families that reside within them. We aim to identify who is in the shelter system, what supports are currently being provided, and how we can bring them both together. Our goals for the current year are to carry our efforts forward, increasing the number of families, providers and legislators engaing in our advocacy, delivering the survey to assess the shelter stock, and increasing the funding for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. 

Needs Statement

Our organization is in dire need of help with our website and in other technological areas. We are currently working with a group from a technical assistance grant to address some of these needs, but ongoing support would benefit our work. Expanding and stabilizing our fiscal health is another need; we are hoping to increase the number of grants and individual donors that support our efforts. 

CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

STATEWIDE
Massachusetts 

Organization Categories

  1. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis
  2. Housing, Shelter - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. Public & Societal Benefit - Leadership Development

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

No

Programs

Leadership Development Institute

We train and support parents who have experienced homelessness and other low-income parents to advocate for themselves and others. Specific skill building includes: public speaking,  facilitation, working with legislators, and agency governance. Families attend, plan and facilitate events along side a "professional" expert to ensure all sides are being accounted for. For example, we met Ciara at a policy training series. She expressed interest in providing testimony at a public hearing, but understandably backed out at the last minute. Because she was so inspired from the training, she asked for another opportunity. This time, she spoke at MRVP Cookie Day. After feeling empowered through her speech, she was confident enough to speak with the media. Ciara then became a Constituent Intern, and has since joined our Consumer Advocacy Team. She helped to facilitate a break out discussion at Visioning Day. In her words, "Everything changed as soon as I got involved with Homes for Families. 
 
Budget  $90,000.00
Category  Housing, General/Other Housing, General/Other
Population Served Families At-Risk Populations Females
Program Short-Term Success 
By the end of the fiscal year, our  goal is to: 

Train 400 families through workshops and policy trainings

Have reached over 700 families through events and our survey

Engage 40 families in advanced policy efforts 

Have 15 Consumer Advocacy Team Members

8 families sit on our Board of Directors 

Program Long-Term Success  Long Term success will lead to more low-income families in leadership positions in the nonprofit, private, and public sector. We help to build social and human capital, an avenue for development through personal learnings and networking, in order to level the playing field. So often in low-income communities there is a portrayed cycle of poverty. We aim to break that cycle by providing families with the knowledge, tools and resources necessary to obtain jobs that pay a living wage and stability. Currently, we help families to join our Board of Directors as well as the boards of other organizations; find positions in the field that are relative to their interests and skills desired; enhance their existing skills; and connect them with organizations that can help them meet their immediate and long term goals. While we have yet to achieve our intended result, we know that every year we increase families, recommendations and efforts- and see success in families reflected by that.
Program Success Monitored By 
Pre and Post Tests
Qualitative Data relative to barriers to self sufficiency as well as entering the EA program
Event attendance
Consumer Advocacy Team efforts
Other advocacy efforts  
Examples of Program Success     

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Elizabeth Hayes
CEO Term Start Sept 2007
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Libby has a degree in social work and joined the movement to end family homelessness after returning from the Peace Corps in Nicaragua in 2002. She was a member of HFF's Public Policy Committee and an Advocacy Liaison while the Executive Director of Crossroads Family Shelter, finally becoming Executive Director to HFF in 2007. She was awarded the East Boston Times Woman of the Year in 2006 for her involvement in the community and advocacy efforts. She currently serves on the state’s advisory boards to the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness, and the Joint Committee on Housing/Homelessness and Sexual Abuse/Domestic Violence and the Department of Transitional Assistance’s Boston Offices.
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 Massachusetts Non Profit Network

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 3
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 2
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 0
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 No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
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 No N/A

Governance


Board Chair Mrs. Gabrielle Vacheress
Board Chair Company Affiliation Home Start
Board Chair Term Feb 2012 -
Board Co-Chair Nancy Paladino
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Boston Health Care for the Homeless
Board Co-Chair Term Aug 2013 -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Rosa Almanzar Project Hope Voting
Ms. Sarah Bayer The Dimock Center --
Ms. Alison Bromley Family Aid Boston Voting
Mr Ed DiSante Friends of the Homeless South Shore Voting
Ms. Blanca Gomez Project Hope --
Ms. Tina Goodnow Former Homeless Family --
Ms. Cicely Jordan Father Bill's and Main Spring Voting
Ms. Idony Lisle Student Voting
Ms. Tiffany Payne Homeless Family Voting
Ms. Laura Rosi Housing Families --
Ms. Nicole Williams Former Homeless Family 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: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): Bi-Racial- Native American and Caucasian
Gender Female: 12
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

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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 $325,020.00
Projected Expense $305,601.00
Form 990s

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

2014 Review

2013 Review

2012 Review

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $688,426 $234,394 $325,140
Total Expenses $389,679 $264,934 $225,729

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $548,428 $109,067 $279,368
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $99,675 $82,754 $20,758
Investment Income, Net of Losses $23 $23 $14
Membership Dues $40,300 $42,550 $23,950
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- $1,050

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $326,944 $208,993 $170,974
Administration Expense $40,064 $34,365 $33,204
Fundraising Expense $22,671 $21,576 $21,551
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.77 0.88 1.44
Program Expense/Total Expenses 84% 79% 76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 20% 8%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $418,888 $125,271 $154,614
Current Assets $415,273 $123,438 $152,781
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $10,113 $15,243 $14,046
Total Net Assets $408,775 $110,028 $140,568

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 N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

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 41.06 8.10 10.88

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 the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials. 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?

Homes for Families ultimate goal is to end family homelessness through the inclusion of families and shelter providers in the policy, decision making and implementation process. We are a membership organization that represents shelters in the Emergency Assistance (EA) program, and our main constituency is made up of families overcoming homelessness- whether they are currently in shelter, have exited shelter, or are at risk of entering shelter. We provide trainings and leadership development opportunities to families and providers in order to ensure they are qualified to take leadership positions within the field, and within decision making positions in organizations, on committees, boards, and in policy. 
We are founded on inclusion and diversity, and because of that we inspire- and are well on our way- to be a consumer-led organization. As stated, we represent the voices, experiences and insight of families overcoming homelessness and those who work closest to support them. To ensure that we fully represent them, our efforts are constantly run through our constituents and staff. 50% of our staff has experienced homelessness, as well as 50% of our Board of Directors. The other 50% of our board are currently in middle management positions in the field. This make up helps to guarantee that we are providing our clients with the experience necessary to take their leadership to the next level.
 
We define long term success through increase in funding towards state programs and policies that are proven to support families in their efforts to achieve stability and permanent housing. We target our efforts towards the state legislature and the Administration- specifically the Department of Housing and Community Development- through participating in hearings, planning informational events, and other advocacy efforts. Specifically, we advocate for increased funding to the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, among other policies and programs relative to homelessness, housing, jobs, and education. We do this by putting a face to the name, a story to the facts. We show how big the need is, and the big changes that come from getting support specific to individual family needs. 
Slowly but surely, we are working towards the goal of ending family homelessness. While we do not expect for it to be abolished in 3 - 5 years, we certainly expect our efforts to grow, our voices to be amplifed, and increased funding in programs and policies we target as a result. 

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Homes for Families was founded on the belief that those who are closest to the problem are best positioned to identify the solutions. Homes for Families exists to structure and promote those solutions, as well as an avenue for increased communication, collaboration and opportunities. Generally, we serve as a leadership pipeline for families.To that end, we perform outreach into shelters in order to educate and empower families to become engaged in, and to amplify and further develop, our advocacy efforts.  Upon completion of the policy training series, families are invited to participate in our efforts by speaking at events, interacting with the media and legislators, and/or joining the Consumer Advocacy Team- a group of mothers who have overcome homelessness and now meet monthly to stay engaged. The Consumer Advocacy Team is engaged at every level of our efforts- from planning and executing events, providing insight on state house activities, and facilitating trainings at events and shelters. We also invite families to sit on our Board of Directors to ensure our organization, and not just our advocacy, is being guided by the very people it impacts. We also provide trainings and support to shelter providers to encourage the development, and promote the mutual benefits, of inclusionary practices such as having a consumer team or involving families in organizational practices.
We host three main events every year to engage families, providers, legislators and the greater community. They are as follows:
Visioning Day
MRVP Cookie Day
Boston Legislative Breakfast
 
Visioning Day kicks off the fiscal year and helps us to analyze efforts and outcomes from the previous fiscal year. This day is where we begin to get a foothold in our recommendations to the Administration. We ask our attendees to vote on issues so we know what to prioritize. We provide breakout discussions and activities to ensure a wide range of information being shared between attendees.
MRVP Cookie Day is a lobby day at the state house intended to help legislators prioritize the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. We feature families who can speak first hand to the devastating effects of homelessness on them and their children, and also to the life changing effects of the MRVP. We deliver house shaped cookies with our funding ask on it to every legislator at the state house.
The Boston Legislative Breakfast acts as a way to engage more personally with legislators. We invite legislators, families and the community to come together as a shelter to collaborate on ways to advocate going forward.
We also hold monthly community meetings to provide information and resources to families, as well as to generate and continue conversations about current and ongoing issues as they relate to homelessness.
Our social media and blog act as another way to communicate with families and providers. Here we share important information and encourage feedback so we can have one more avenue for hearing and sharing insight, questions and concerns.
 
Each of these efforts work together to create a platform for positive systems change, driven by families and communities.  

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

As stated, we are a membership organization of family shelter providers across the state. To this end, we send out regular membership updates and seek their input on all of our efforts. Our core assets are our experience- having experienced homelessness helps to connect with and gain the trust of families currently experiencing it. Because we are asking families to do more than they are already doing- helping to keep their children afloat- this trust builds a solid foundation that truly proves we are asking them to join our efforts because they have what it takes to make a difference. 
 
Just as we collaborate internally, bringing together a diverse membership to carry out our work, we collaborate externally, working closely with other groups to increase our strength and efficacy. Understanding that HFF cannot end homelessness alone, we look to the broader movement for economic justice, reaching out to organizations fighting for empowerment of women and girls, domestic violence prevention and intervention, housing and tenants rights, and economic justice and welfare rights. For example, we participate in the following coalitions: Welfare Coalition, Building Blocks, and the On Solid Ground Coalition that recently came together to produce a report based on qualitative and quantitative data that provides recommendations to prevent and end family homelessness. We also lead the Housing Solutions Campaign, with over 60 organizations dedicated to increasing the stock of affordable housing. As a membership agency, we rely on our membership of shelter providers as we perform outreach, schedule trainings and workshops, recruit for events, and build momentum in our mission to end family homelessness through the parent perspective.

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

Changes: More resources will be available to families experiencing homelessness, reducing the length of stay in the state’s shelter system and the nightly shelter caseload.

A. We will measure the achievement by tracking the daily motel number and shelter caseload data and the dollar amount of the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, as well as the budget language which mandates service provision and targeting. We monitor the DHCD website to track the EA caseload (motel count and shelter vacancies), weekly caseload data, regular updates on subsidy distribution, and submit Freedom of Information Act requests for additional data that we are not able to access. We use www.mass.gov and Mass Budget Browser to track the state budget spending and language. We create spread sheets and do budget analysis to share information with our constituents. We track legislative support throughout the budget process by constituent led polling, amendment endorsers, and through verbal agreements at meetings and events. We use basic spreadsheets to track this information and determine if we have a critical mass of support and to develop our outreach strategies.


Changes: Families overcoming homelessness will have meaningful roles in advocacy efforts; policy discussions; program activities and governance of HFF; and in the greater homelessness community.

We track both the quantitative and quantitative data relative to the participation and actions of families who have experienced homelessness in the LDI and programs. Each year, we aim to increase the number of families involved in our efforts, and track those efforts through quarterly effort reviews. We report activities and numbers at staff meetings of all staff and CAT activities and actions, as well as compile quarterly and annual lists of all internal and external roles fulfilled by CAT members and LDI participants. We track attendance at trainings, community meetings and events. In addition, we have sign in sheets and evaluation forms at events and activities in order to follow up and engage supporters in diverse ways. Feedback, input, and decisions are written down and used to produced reports, blog posts, and formal input to policy makers.

Changes: Mothers experiencing homelessness re-discover their inherent voice, strength and power and are active leaders in the movement to end homelessness and towards social justice.

We track both the quantitative and qualitative data relative to the participation, actions and reflections of constituents of the Leadership Development Institute. We use basic surveys and/or pre and post tests to assess knowledge and other outcomes of our workshops and trainings. This way, we have a sense of our outreach, engagement, and the leadership of participants when they enter the LDI compared to their graduation at any point along the pipeline. We also collect stories; often the tone, words, themes and rhythm of stories reflect an increase of hope, self certainty, and feelings of involvement and power after becoming engaged with the LDI. We use self evaluation questionnaires with the CAT team to gather data about their knowledge and skills, levels of confidence, and sense of impact. Individual and group roles and goals are also compiled, established, and used in planning and evaluation on a semi-annual basis. However, it is the informal conversations, celebrating successes, supporting through challenges, laughter, commitment and dedication of the parents to supporting one another and empowering those currently facing homelessness that is the most gratifying and inspirational.


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

We are always working towards growing our constituency, and employ many different efforts to ensure an increase in family inclusion. This year at Cookie Day, we asked for sponsors to help us cover the costs of a larger event space, transportation, and stipends for families. While we usually provide stipends, we do not ask for sponsorships or aim to provide and coordinate transportation. Because of increased interest, and because we held a Lieutenant Governor Candidate Forum, we expected that we would need assistance- and would need to assist- in the assumed increase in attendance. This event was our biggest one to date. We had over 300 attendees, including two bus loads of families and providers that traveled from Western Massachusetts.
We have been successful in making steady increases in the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. Between FY12 and FY14, we saw a 54.7% increase, resulting in thousands of vouchers for families. We aim for full restoration of the program at $120 million. Currently funded at $60 million, we firmly believe this goal is a possibility given its proven success. We will continue to advocate for this funding as it is the number one priority as identified by families year after year. 
 We have also been charged with a new initiative to identify who is in the family shelter system, what services are being offered, and how we can better assess both to ensure proper supports and services. 
 
Obstacles are always the perception of homeless people, and the politics that surround it. With a new Administration, we cannot be sure how Governor Baker and his team will react to our recommendations, or our previous and ongoing efforts. We have had a meeting with him through a coaltion called "On Solid Ground" and he seems supportive of our approach, but it is too soon to tell. 
 
We recognize that without collaboration and buy in from the community, we cannot succeed. Because of that, we are required to reach out to like minded people and organizations to bring them into our efforts. While this is a strength, it is a hard feat to bring our diverse constituents into our efforts, let alone agree on a final recommendation. We have begin to overcome this through transparency and trust.