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Chelsea Collaborative, Inc.

 318 Broadway
 Chelsea, MA 02150
[P] (617) 889-6080
[F] (617) 889-0559
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-2906521

LAST UPDATED: 12/04/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names Chelsea Human Services Collaborative, Inc. (2004)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes



Mission StatementMORE »

The Chelsea Collaborative’s mission is to empower Chelsea residents and Chelsea organizations to enhance the social, environmental, and economic health of the community and its people. 

Mission Statement

The Chelsea Collaborative’s mission is to empower Chelsea residents and Chelsea organizations to enhance the social, environmental, and economic health of the community and its people. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,091,613.00
Projected Expense $1,016,867.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Chelsea City-wide Tenants Association (CTA)
  • Chelsea Green Space and Recreation Committee (Green Space)
  • Chelsea Latino Immigrant Committee (CLIC)
  • Chelsea United in Defense of Education (CUDE) and Summer Youth Employment Initiative (SYEI)
  • Shanbaro Community Association (Shanbaro)

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

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


Mission Statement

The Chelsea Collaborative’s mission is to empower Chelsea residents and Chelsea organizations to enhance the social, environmental, and economic health of the community and its people. 

Background Statement

In 1986 the Massachusetts Executive Office of Human Services through the leadership of Mayra Rodriguez Howard convened the Chelsea Human Services Task Force with more than forty members from community and social services agencies. The Task Force’s original purpose was to serve as a forum for discussing community needs and exploring potential coordination of effort. Soon the mission became more comprehensive and ambitious: “To plan to meet the human service needs of the community; to foster collaborative service delivery; to build community support for human services; to attract resources for the provision of needed services.” This evolved into the Five Year Human Services Plan for Chelsea.

The Task Force envisioned the Five Year Plan carried out by a small agency to conduct community organizing and program development activities. Thus the Chelsea Collaborative (the Collaborative) was born, originally as the Chelsea Human Services Collaborative, Inc. in May 1988.

Though founded as a “collaborative” of human services agencies, over time the Collaborative responded to community needs and the growing vibrant Latino community becoming a more comprehensive community organizing agency. Members came to include churches, unions, businesses, community groups, and individuals. The committees, programs and projects of the Collaborative principally serve the whole community of Chelsea, MA, though there is a focus on the city’s ethnically diverse, improverished, and youth constituencies. Members of the Collaborative represent all races, ages, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and economic classes reflecting the diversity of the community.

Over the past twenty five years, the Chelsea Collaborative has achieved major accomplishments in the areas of tenants’ rights, immigrants’ rights, environmental justice, education reform, civic engagement, youth empowerment, community mobilization, and much more. The Collaborative is seen as the premier civil rights and community organizing agency in Chelsea that mobilizes hundreds of residents to achieve justice.

Wherever there is a problem, a concern, or an injustice of any kind in the city, we will work with community members to help address these issues. Whether its developing new parks like Creekside Commons, helping youth find summer employment, addressing workers’ and tenants’ rights or improving the quality of the air we breathe, the Chelsea Collaborative is there working with the community for positive change.

Impact Statement

The Chelsea Collaborative achieves our mission through community organizing and education. We see organizing as a way to build community power, develop new leadership and achieve lasting change. We organize around the areas of environmental justice, workplace rights, immigrant rights, housing justice, youth violence prevention and empowerment, parent involvement and civic engagement.

Some of the Collaborative’s most notable accomplishments include:

  • leading a regional, multi-organizational effort to create the Chelsea Humanitarian Crisis Plan to respond to an immigration raid, fire or natural disaster; it serves as a template for other cities
  • securing funding to hire a Community Organizer to work on the Shanbaro Community Association supporting the Somali Bantu refugee population in Greater Boston
  • fundraised $1.5 million dollars, visioned and designed with the community the Creekside Commons Park, the park on the Mill Creek
  • empowered youth to advocate for the creation of a citywide Youth Commission
  • developing a positive relationship with the School Dept. resulting in: 4 additional guidance counselors hired, attendance policy translated into Spanish and drop-out prevention campaign collaboration
  • establishing the SYEI summer youth employment program, hiring more than 2,200 Chelsea teens since 2001
  • defeating development of a diesel power plant on Chelsea’s shoreline and within 250 yards of Chelsea’s only elementary school by engaging thousands of Chelsea, East Boston, and Revere residents, public officials and environmental organizations in the campaign

 Our goals for this year include:

  • Continued development of our members to support their work for social, economic, and environmental justice; please see the programs section for each committee or program’s constituent determined specific goals
  • Finishing fundraising for and launching a new strategic planning process
  • Working with a community based artist to assist us in branding and marketing the Collaborative

Needs Statement

The Collaborative is presently fundraising to launch strategic planning for the organization to support our longer term goals of identifying strategies to diversify our funding base, branding our work and better publicizing our successes. In addition, we unveiled a new website this winter and want to complement that with a highly functioning database to make outreach even more effective. 

A longer-term goal is to develop a metric that better evaluates the success and direction of our programs. Though we see many accomplishments such as new policies implemented, parks developed, workers getting restitution from employers, immigrants getting free assistance filling out paperwork such as Citizenship and Deferred Action applications, residents gaining leadership skills and sitting on city boards and commissions, measuring the results of community organizing is difficult. It is disheartening to not be able to quantify the impact of our organizing. We can count the number of people engaged and empowered, but how do you evaluate leadership growth? Given the lack of a proper evaluation tool, it is often hard for donors to grasp the impact of our work. We hope to develop a tool that could help us show the significant number of accomplishments our members and our committees achieve.

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

The Collaborative focuses on Chelsea and its residents; however, much of our work extends to individuals and families outside of the city. The work of the Chelsea Latino Immigrant Committee (CLIC) and the Chelsea Citywide Tenant Association (CTA) positively impacts immigrants and homeowners in communities as far away as Fitchburg. Green Space’s work extends to East Boston and the Greater Boston area. The Collaborative’s impact is wide.

Organization Categories

  1. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Community Coalitions
  2. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Civil Rights, Social Action, & Advocacy N.E.C.
  3. Environment -

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



Chelsea City-wide Tenants Association (CTA)

The CTA is a committee of residents living in low-income or public housing or properties in foreclosure. They work to create more sustainable affordable housing, better housing conditions, higher quality public housing, to prevent evictions related to foreclosures and rent increases and to stop unfair rent hikes. 


The CTA has its roots in both the Chelsea Public Housing Organizing Committee (CPHOC) and the Chelsea Housing Issues Committee (CHIC). Both were founded in the late 1990s. CPHOC was developed to represent Chelsea public housing tenants in dealings with the Chelsea Housing Authority and other public entities and to mobilize tenants to protect, improve and expand public housing.  CHIC was founded to preserve and expand affordable housing in Chelsea.  In 2005 these two entities merged into the CTA to address housing issues city-wide for both public and private tenants.
Budget  $129,470.00
Category  Housing, General/Other Affordable Housing
Population Served Minorities Families Females
Program Short-Term Success 

The CTA’s short term projected outcomes:

  • 30 community residents trained. At least 25 are Latina/os. At least 20 are women.
  • Tenants report increased leadership skills and confidence in addressing housing concerns.
  • Tenants report increased understanding of the power structure and various forces affecting their lives, including racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression.
  • 10 CTA members will take on new leadership roles in CTA campaign/s. At least 5 are women.
  • CTA membership increases by at least 25 new members. At least 15 are women.
  • Legislation passed and progressing that assists pre and post foreclosure homeowners.
  • 75% of tenants and former owners remain in their homes for one year or more post-foreclosure.
  • An end to loan modification fraud. 
  • Through the new CTA Housing Clinic the CTA takes on at least one new organizing campaign.
  • 2-4 CTA members buy back their homes.
  • Connections forged between CTA’s private and public housing leaders and campaigns.
Program Long-Term Success  The CTA uses organizing and advocacy to empower residents who are ethnically diverse and low-income to increase their knowledge about their rights and build their skills as leaders in order to address public policies, systems and practices that have a disparate impact on them in the area of housing. The campaigns that CTA undertakes are driven by constituents and are in response to community needs. The CTA is actively working on policies at the local, state, and national level to address the foreclosure crisis and its aftermath. The CTA is also working on helping tenants in public housing reorganize tenant councils. The CTA works to increase the level of responsiveness from legislators, appointed officials, and stakeholders to effect change. The CTA also works to build bridges among its many constituent members. The CTA envisions a world where housing for all is affordable, secure, in good condition, accessible and controlled by the community not investors.
Program Success Monitored By  The CTA’s decisions, priorities, and work plans are set by community residents that serve on its leadership team.  CTA members identify community needs, develop plans to address those needs, put those plans into action and evaluate them.  Sign in sheets, used at all meetings and trainings, enable us to track the number and level of participation. All trainings and information sessions incorporate an evaluation. The Women’s Funding Network’s Making the Case Evaluation also helps us to quantify and qualify our social change work. The final method of evaluation is the CTA’s semi-annual planning retreats where members reflect upon the successes and challenges of the past 6 months and plan for the next 6-13 months. Members evaluate and determine what prevented meeting any anticipated outcomes as well as contributed to any successes. Based on those evaluations, the CTA implements changes and amendments in the work plan for the next year.
Examples of Program Success 

CTA’s strength is our members.  Suyapa, one of CTA’s most outspoken leaders stated, “People have come to CTA broken and seen the light at the end of the tunnel. The first step in organizing people is to lift them up so they can see this light and give them the strength to fight. Due to the education I received from CTA, I was able to stay in my home.”

 CTA has:

  • Achieved passage of MA Tenant Protections in Foreclosed Properties law.
  • Established a partnership to address housing code violations and identify properties for permanent affordable housing.
  • Identified a loan modification scam targeting the Latino community; got the Attorney General’s office to file an injunction against the attorney and the Mass Commission Against Discrimination to investigate him.
  • Had 21 participants in our most recent Leadership Institute.
  • Achieved positive results in 10 rent negotiations in FY ‘13.
  • Made our voices heard on principal reduction for underwater loans in New York City and Washington, DC.

Chelsea Green Space and Recreation Committee (Green Space)

Green Space is a grassroots committee that is dedicated to improving Chelsea’s environment and public health. Green Space has built a movement of people who work to bring environmental justice to our community through small and large victories. Begun in 1994, Green Space worked to ensure that parkland taken for the construction of new schools would be given back to the community for necessary open space and recreational needs. Just three short years after its inception, Green Space recognized the fact that our community was fraught with environmental injustices. Equipped with this knowledge and the ability to organize, Green Space went from being a simple, parks group to one of the most powerful and organized environmental justice groups in the state. Though we have numerous accomplishments for which we are very proud, so much work remains that is difficult, yet necessary in order for Chelsea to have environmental and public health equality.
Budget  $270,066.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served Families Minorities Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

Green Space’s short term outcomes:

  • Completion of 3rd emissions reduction effort to replace diesel engines with clean electric ones at Shapiro Produce.
  • Engagement of the community in design and construction of a new park at former Tudor Garage location. 
  • Empowerment of youth to design teen skate park with urban art component.
  • Mobilization/engagement of residents and stakeholders to stop ethanol trains traveling through densely populated urban areas to Chelsea Creek oil terminal.
  • Creation of rain gardens and community garden with educational signage at public housing development.
  • Coordination of 4 community gardens.
  • Development of public transportation work plan.
  • Identification of areas on Broadway to construct rain gardens, storm water tree pits and porous pavement to green the area and lessen environmental impact on Chelsea Creek.
  • Participation in Green Justice Coalition to ensure implementation of energy efficiency measures for hard to reach/hard to serve communities.
Program Long-Term Success 

Green Space’s environmental justice movement is not simply about the environment. It’s about people and how they should benefit from rather than be hurt by their local environment. It’s about a diverse base of empowered people reversing environmental degradation and discrimination. Green Space envisions itself:

  • Serving as a model of urban, environmental justice and ecological restoration
  • Influencing decisions for the revitalization of the Chelsea Creek to include more open space, sustainable uses and recreational opportunities.
  • Restoring additional salt marsh wetlands.
  • A continual promoter of green space, parks and trees.
  • A model for youth organizing.
  • A mobilizing force for environmental justice concerns in Chelsea and beyond. 
  • Promoting energy efficiency for residents, businesses and municipal government.
  • Organizing and engaging CBOs, businesses and community residents in planning, visioning and advocacy to revitalize Chelsea’s downtown.
Program Success Monitored By  Green Space, like all Chelsea Collaborative organizing committees, has its own members, makes its own decisions and creates its own work plan at its monthly meetings and annual planning retreats. These meetings provide a space to strategize, plan, and evaluate on an ongoing basis. Green Space’s regular monthly meeting is on the first Thursday of the month. However, we may meet multiple times throughout the month on individual projects; and sub-committees meet regularly between the monthly Green Space meetings. Green Space has a core membership of approximately 35 residents, yet hundreds of residents participate in our various projects, campaigns and community events.  We rely on our participants, members, and other community residents to give us feedback about their experiences. At our annual planning retreat, our members review both our quantitative and qualitative goals and review our work of the past 12 months. Based on this review, we set our work plan for the next 12 months.
Examples of Program Success 

Green Space’s accomplishments include:

  • Restored over 2 acres of salt marsh wetlands along Mill Creek; built complementary waterfront walkways with interpretive bilingual signage.
  • Led the community visioning, fundraising and design of the Creekside Commons Park, the first waterfront park on the Mill Creek and on the Chelsea side of Chelsea Creek.
  • Implemented two diesel reduction projects resulting in the reduction of 1200 tons of pollutants annually.
  • Established three community gardens.
  • Developed a strong partnership with East Boston residents as the Chelsea Creek Action Group through which residents came up with a vision for a revitalized Chelsea Creek.
  • Successfully fought development of a diesel power plant on the banks of the Chelsea Creek and within 250 yards of Chelsea’s only elementary school.
  • Established the Chelsea Creek Restoration Fund to support the development of parks, walkways and open spaces along the Chelsea Creek and Mill Creek waterfront.

Chelsea Latino Immigrant Committee (CLIC)

Chelsea has always been the first-stop for many immigrant and refugee groups searching for the American dream. Over time the community gained a Latino majority. CLIC was organized in 1998 under the Chelsea Collaborative’s umbrella to respond to needs expressed by the rapidly growing Latino immigrant community, the majority of whom are from Central America. They encountered poor living conditions, language barriers, hazardous working conditions, unfair employment practices and racism. CLIC evolved from providing information and assistance on immigration related issues to being Chelsea’s premier immigrant organizing and workers’ rights agency. CLIC focuses its work on the rights of Chelsea’s immigrant constituency through its mission to organize and mobilize immigrants in Chelsea to implement an agenda of comprehensive action to improve the quality of life for Latino immigrants. CLIC’s major effort is working toward the elimination of immigrant exploitation in the workplace.
Budget  $90,000.00
Category  Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Immigrants' Rights
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Program Short-Term Success  CLIC’s short term outcomes:
  • Workers Center Intake Sessions and Trainings happen monthly; Workers’ Rights projects and organizing campaigns are dictated by community need.
  • 30 Immigrants and immigrant workers learn their rights, receive organizing training, are empowered, and take part in planning and organizing processes through CLIC’s Leadership Institute; at least 10 take a greater leadership role.
  • 50-100 immigrants receive support via Citizenship, Temporary Protected Status Extension, ITIN, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Clinics.
  • 4 Know your Rights Workshops held at local churches; Relationship with local churches further developed; CLIC gains 10 new members.
  • CLIC reaches some of the most marginalized members of the community.
  • CLIC’s capacity expands.
  • Continued collaboration on Attorney General's Fair Wage Campaign resulting in support for organizing campaigns and individual workers.
  • The Chelsea Police Dept. is informed by and supportive of the immigrant community and its needs.
Program Long-Term Success 

CLIC’s long term projected outcomes:

  • Concrete changes to the institutional process to access justice for workplace violations for all immigrants.
  • The needs of individual workers and groups of workers will be addressed; Ultimately, workplace violations end in our community.
  • CLIC’s Leadership Institute continues to be a relevant and replicable model for other Workers Centers.
  • Passage of An Act Establishing Uniform Wage Compliance and Record Keeping which fixes timing an deadline inconsistencies to strengthen enforcement of Massachusetts’ wage laws.
  • Passage of the Massachusetts Trust Act which will clarify that it is not the responsibility of Massachusetts law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law.
  • A just and humane immigration reform will be achieved by working with local partners, unions, faith based organizations and the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities to critique “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” and articulate what true reform would mean.

Program Success Monitored By  All Collaborative committees have staff member/s who lead the efforts of, at times, hundreds of members. Each committee’s work is driven by constituent members and community need. Decisions, priorities, and work plans are set by our members who provide vital leadership and direction. CLIC has chosen a format of an Executive Committee comprised of 4 officers and 15 oversight members. Each oversight member works on one of four sub-committees, Educational, Political, Activities, or Fundraising, headed by an officer. The Executive Committee works with CLIC’s staff organizer to ensure that projects are moving forward. The Executive Committee is responsible for setting goals and priorities for CLIC, taking formal positions on behalf of CLIC, conducting some fundraising, and volunteering to lead or participate in the projects CLIC undertakes. CLIC’s work plan is set, reviewed and amended at semi-annual planning retreats open to CLIC members and the community at large.
Examples of Program Success  CLIC’s achievements include:
  • Creating a Workers’ Center to assist immigrant workers to know their rights under state and federal laws and how to work to change or create laws.
  • Organizing hundreds of immigrant workers to achieve over $600,000 in back pay and discrimination settlements and $470,000 in fraud targeted at the Latino community.
  • Creating the “Leadership Institute” curriculum, a training series led by a range of facilitators to support members’ leadership development.
  • Leading a regional, multi-organizational effort to create the Chelsea Humanitarian Crisis Plan to respond to an immigration raid, fire or natural disaster; it serves as a template for other cities.
  • Contributing to passage of the REAL Act which provides protections to temporary/day laborers.
  • Being a member of the AG’s Fair Wage Campaign, a coalition working to ensure health, safety and proper payment for immigrant workers; achieving significant institutional changes in the way the AG’s office processes claims.

Chelsea United in Defense of Education (CUDE) and Summer Youth Employment Initiative (SYEI)

When Chelsea’s elementary schools were combined into one large complex in an industrial area of Chelsea, transportation became a huge issue. CUDE was formed in 2003, when parents received letters stating transportation would not be available for their child in the upcoming school year. Through the bus campaign many parents felt listened to and respected for the first time by school administrators.  Their culture, language, and economic status did not matter because they were speaking as part of a group. CUDE continues to promote the participation of parents and students in all levels of the public education process.

In summer 2001 state funding had been cut completely for youth jobs; a Chelsea youth was killed, another permanently disabled. SYEI was launched in summer 2002 and brings the entire community together to provide 175 -250 Chelsea youth with summer jobs, enrichment and recreational activities, and alternatives and incentives to stay out of gangs and avoid violence.

Budget  $586,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Partnerships in Education
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 


  • Parents voice concerns and suggestions to those who have the power to address them; the school administration is held accountable to issues raised.
  • Parents have ongoing oversight and development of action plans to address issues that impact them and their children.
  • Increased interaction and understanding between parents and school personnel.
  • Parents engaged through quarterly trainings and social/cultural events; 25 new members.
  • Better understanding of school system issues from students’ perspective via roundtable discussions; 5 new student members.
  • 175-250 youth receive pre-employment training and placed at worksites with adult supervision and mentoring.
  • 150-225 youth participate in workshops gaining knowledge on non-violence, racial/ethnic tolerance and issues relevant to teens.
  • 60% of parents attend parent meetings/workshops.
  • All youth make connections to a mentor and community resources.
  • 95% of youth complete the program; 90% rank SYEI as good or excellent in evaluations.
Program Long-Term Success 


  • Parents, students and School Dept. have data on guidance process that improves the system for all.
  • School security and safety are no longer issues of concern.
  • Continued development and expansion of relationship with school administration expanding CUDE’s sphere of influence.
  • A 5 year vision and strategy for Chelsea Public Schools which incorporates parents’ perspectives.
  • Ultimately, the drop out-rate decreases significantly.

SYEI is building our community’s future leaders. Felix Rivera participated in SYEI as a teen. Now a Chelsea Police Officer and President of the Patrolman’s Union, he stated, “Those experiences showed me that I could sit at the table or at a city council meeting with adults and talk to them and they would listen to me. I learned I was not just a little kid in the street anymore and learned to believe that there is more that I could do. My job helped me to feel empowered and to find a voice in my community.” He is an example of SYEI’s long term success.

Program Success Monitored By  Evaluation is an ongoing and participatory process. We set both quantitative and qualitative program goals. We evaluate SYEI each year with parents, participants, community leaders, supervisors, worksite representatives and Collaborative staff. We hold two meetings throughout SYEI with these individuals to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and to determine if immediate changes are necessary. The Collaborative also analyzes written surveys and attendance records. As an organizing committee CUDE’s decisions, priorities, and work plan are set by community residents/parents. CUDE’s work plan is monitored at its monthly meetings. A full assessment of accomplishments, challenges, and contributing factors is made at CUDE’s annual planning retreat. Annually SYEI and CUDE evaluate their outcomes. Based on those evaluations, we implement changes and amendments in the planning for the next year.
Examples of Program Success 


  • Held a Bullying and Prevention Forum leading new Superintendent to convene a task force to review the issue and initiate annual awareness week
  • Developing a positive relationship with the School Dept. resulting in: 4 additional guidance counselors hired, attendance policy translated into Spanish and drop-out prevention campaign collaboration
  • Being a part of the Community Advisory Team which provided support for the new Superintendent of Schools’ transition; presently working on a 5 year strategic vision and plan for the public schools

 SYEI 2012 evaluation highlights:

  • 97% said the program helped them to learn good work habits
  • 95% said the program helped them get along with people of different ages and backgrounds
  • 83% said they were less likely to get into trouble this summer by participating in SYEI
  • 94% said that SYEI made them want to work hard at school to get a good job in the future
  • 95% said they learned there are rewards for hard work and consequences for negative behaviors

Shanbaro Community Association (Shanbaro)

Shanbaro is a committee of Somali Bantu refugees working to build a strong community for their people and resolve significant quality of life issues. The Bantus are descendants of slaves brought into Somalia; they were treated as second class citizens prohibited from becoming literate, denied access to education or political representation and access to work was limited to subsistence farming. In 1991 they fled on foot to Kenyan refugee camps when caught between warring factions in a Somali civil war. Now Bantus still feel marginalized as many services offered to majority Somalis are inaccessible due to language barriers and cultural differences rooted in their history. Shanbaro started in 2004 as a mutual aid society run informally by community volunteers. In 2007, Shanbaro came in contact with the Collaborative via its Social Capital Campaign designed to hold 1000 conversations to capture community needs and strengths. In 2009, Shanbaro formalized itself as a Collaborative committee.

Budget  $62,200.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Ethnic & Immigrant Groups
Population Served Blacks, African Heritage Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Families
Program Short-Term Success 
  • Continued advocacy for the inclusion of Maay Maay in the language capabilities of local agencies and organizations.
  • Somali Bantu community members receive assistance in navigating systems, filling out applications and forms, and translation at social service provider meetings; the specific needs of individual members will be addressed.
  • Somali Bantu community members receive training and workshops in their own language; understand their rights as community residents, including their rights as refugees, tenants, parents, and workers.
  • Community members receive support to fill out the Citizenship Application and to pass the test through weekly citizenship class; 10 -20 new citizens.
  • All new citizens are registered to vote and receive training on the voting system and voting rights.
  • Expansion of the Boston Bantu Girls empowerment group from 12 members to 25.
  • A flourishing community garden in Temple Emmanuel’s side yard and continued development of the relationship between the two communities.
Program Long-Term Success 

In the long term, Shanbaro hopes to gain trainings to certify interpreters from the community to help members with hospital visits and the court system, developing community based childcare, offering English classes/tutoring and computer trainings and establishing after school/ educational support for all for our youth.


Our continued hope for the future is that ultimately, all Somali Bantu community members will be fluent in English, have jobs that truly support their families, live in apartments and homes that are free of code violations and community members are free of the worry of eviction. We also see a future where we will attain community based childcare enabling both fathers and mother to work. Our children will receive all of the supports necessary to be successful in school.  We will have a majority of members who have attained citizenship and take part in the American democratic process by voting.
Program Success Monitored By  We measure our success by meeting our stated goals. We look at how many participants actively and consistently participate in trainings; if knowledge significantly increased; and if members are volunteering time to assist with community needs. We review and reflect on our work and progress at our monthly Executive Committee meeting. The final method of evaluation is our annual planning retreat. We reflect on the successes and challenges of the past year and plan for the next 6-13 months. We evaluate and determine what prevented us from meeting any anticipated outcomes as well as what contributed to our successes. Based on those evaluations, we implement changes and amendments in the planning for the next year. We rely on our community members to give us feedback about their experiences and evaluate their work in terms of its impact on themselves and their families. This provides qualitative information that helps us to respond to community concerns and needs as they arise.
Examples of Program Success 

Shanbaro continues to work to meet the Somali Bantu community’s basic needs and develop members’ skills and capacity. We count among our accomplishments:

  • Providing ongoing direct service assistance/ support to navigate systems to 77% of the Somali Bantu families in Greater Boston.
  • Working with the Boston Interpreters Collective to train 11 community members as volunteer interpreters.
  • Launching a community based research project on the mental health needs of refugee children and families with Harvard University School of Public Health’s Research Program on Children and Global Adversity; Presenting preliminary research results at the Collaborative’s June 2011 Annual Meeting.
  • Launching a girls’ empowerment group with support from Albert Schweitzer Fellow Stephanie Loo.
  • Developing a community garden, with support from Green Space, in Temple Emmanuel’s side yard; Developing a relationship between the long established Jewish community and the newly established Somali Bantu community.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Gladys Vega
CEO Term Start Oct 2006
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Gladys Vega, Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative, (the Collaborative) joined the organization in 1990, two years after its inception as the Chelsea Human Services Collaborative. She took on increasing responsibility with each passing year moving from receptionist to community organizer to Assistant Executive Director and becoming the Executive Director in 2006.

 Gladys has worked as an organizer and an advocate to insure that the Latino community has a role and a voice in determining the ways its needs and concerns are addressed. She believes that empowerment of the individual leads to a stronger community.

 Gladys is the architect of most of the Collaborative's community coalitions. She has played leadership roles in organizing for immigrants’ rights, welfare rights, tenants’ rights, open space and the environment, multicultural and anti-racism programs and in numerous grassroots campaigns. She is not only a successful community organizer, but also one of Chelsea's most prominent and important community leaders, receiving citywide, statewide and national accolades for her leadership. In 2011 she was chosen as Barr Foundation Fellow enabling her to travel to Haiti with 11 other Executive Directors from Massachusetts non-profits.

 Ms. Vega was born in Puerto Rico and came to Chelsea with her family at the age of nine. Since that time, Gladys has made a lifelong commitment to the community in which she was raised. Being a mother of two has deepened her commitment to building a better future. Gladys is a widely recognized and honored leader.

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

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Edward Marakovitz May 1988 Sept 2006

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Roseann Bongiovanni Associate Executive Director Roseann has a Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree from Boston University. Roseann is a lifelong Chelsea resident and a former Chelsea City Councilor. She “retired” from the Council after serving for eight years and leading the body as its President in 2007. Roseann was a recipient of the Alternatives for Community and Environment Founders’ Award in 2001; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration named her one of 10 National Environmental Heroes in the Spring of 2006; and she was awarded the All Chelsea Award “Adult Resident of the Year” in 2007.


Award Awarding Organization Year
Icon Award Mass Equality 2012
Leadership Award Greater Boston Labor Council 2012
Breathe Easy Leadership Award Environmental Protection Agency 2011
Salt of the Earth Award Community Labor United 2011
All Chelsea Award City of Chelsea 2010
Community Partner Award US Census 2010
Editors’ Pick – Best Activist Group Working for Immigrants’ Rights El Planeta 2010
Powermeter 100 Award El Planeta 2010
Young Civic Leaders Award MassVote 2010
“Por Amor a la Vida” Award Fundación Ritmo Guanaco 2009
Founders’ Award Alternatives for Community and Environment 2008
All Chelsea Award City of Chelsea 2007
Salt of the Earth Award Community Labor United 2007
Environmental Hero Award National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration 2006
Founders’ Award Alternatives for Community and Environment 2006
Out of the Blue Award The Boston Foundation 2005
Rookie Partnership of the Year Award American Training 2005
Take a Stand Award The Boston Woman’s Fund 2005
All Chelsea Award City of Chelsea 2004
Good City Civic Leadership Award The Boston Foundation 2004
NCPRR Jolgorio Award El Jolgorio de Massachusetts 2002
United Way Award The United Way of Mass Bay 2002
Founders’ Award Alternatives for Community and Environment 2001
Founders Award for Environmental Leadership Save the Harbor Save the Bay 1998
Hispanic Heritage Award Bunker Hill Community College 1998
Bishop Morris E. Arnold Award Episcopal City Mission 1996


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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 16
Number of Volunteers 1,000
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 13
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 4
Other (if specified): African/Black
Gender Female: 21
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

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

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


Board Chair Ms. Rosalba Medina
Board Chair Company Affiliation Chelsea Police Department
Board Chair Term May 2009 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Edwin Argueta Jobs with Justice Voting
Rev. Edgar Gutierrez-Duarte St. Luke's Episcopal Church Voting
Mr. Alberto Hernandez East Boston High School Special Education Office Voting
Mr. V. Muna Kangsen City of Cambridge Voting
Mr. Greg Maheras J. Maheras Co. Inc. Voting
Ms. Rosalba Medina Chelsea Police Department Voting
Mr. Arthur D. Michaud ChelseaBank Voting
Ms. Elaine Monge MetroCredit Union Voting
Ms. Christine Ntagengwa Refugee Immigration Ministries Voting
Ms. Stacey Pichardo Assistant District Attorney Suffolk County Voting
Mr. David Prusky Retired - Boston Public Schools Voting
Ms. Carol Resneck Chelsea High School Voting
Ms. Ellen Rovner Brandeis University - Women's Studies Research Center Voting
Mr. Lee Staples Boston University, School of Social Work 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: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 6
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 8
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 Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 93%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $1,229,072 $1,304,072 $1,318,888
Total Expenses $1,274,105 $1,415,793 $1,342,853

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $63,084 $181,809 $71,870
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $63,084 $181,809 $71,870
Individual Contributions $1,018,078 $1,021,901 $1,123,158
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $1,811 $2,544
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $147,910 $98,551 $121,316
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,102,244 $1,259,942 $1,143,091
Administration Expense $154,762 $130,477 $175,509
Fundraising Expense $17,099 $25,374 $24,253
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.96 0.92 0.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses 87% 89% 85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 1% 2% 2%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $913,233 $952,996 $1,036,490
Current Assets $740,937 $732,857 $769,117
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $113,004 $107,734 $79,507
Total Net Assets $800,229 $845,262 $956,983

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
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 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 6.56 6.80 9.67

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

If you look at the Chelsea Collaborative’s FY12 audit, please note the following:

While there appears to be a deficit, the negative figure represents an accounting timing issue.  The Collaborative’s Green Space Committee took on a capital project to restore wetlands along the Mill Creek during calendar year 2012.  While $238,415.55 was paid for in Fiscal Year 2012, grants to support this effort were received in 2005. As such, though the expenses show in this report, the revenues to cover the expenses will be seen in prior fiscal years’ reports.  The remainder of the difference has to do with grants that were received and booked as revenue in FY2011, but were for our Summer Youth Employment Initiative for Fiscal Year 2012.

If you look at the Chelsea Collaborative’s FY09 audit, please note the following:

Though the FY 09 audit shows a $430K deficit, one can see (also in the attached financial statements) that funds were raised in FY 08.  The funding was raised in 2008 and spent in 2009 for the construction of a new park, the Creekside Commons Park. 

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.


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?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


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


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


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