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Second Step, Inc.

 PO Box 600213
 Newtonville, MA 02460
[P] (617) 965-3999
[F] (617) 965-3354
http://www.thesecondstep.org
[email protected]
Sarah Perry
Facebook
INCORPORATED: 1988
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-2868513

LAST UPDATED: 03/04/2016
Organization DBA The Second Step, Inc.
The Second Step
TSS
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The Second Step fosters the safety, stability, and well-being of survivors of domestic violence.

Our residential and community-based programs build on the strengths, needs, and values of the individuals and families we serve. In partnership with survivors and in collaboration with the community, we lay a foundation for a future free from abuse and full of possibility.   

Founded in 1992, The Second Step partners with survivors to address the aftermath of abuse and build brighter futures for themselves and their children. The Second Step also works to address the root causes of domestic violence and end it in our time. 

Mission Statement

The Second Step fosters the safety, stability, and well-being of survivors of domestic violence.

Our residential and community-based programs build on the strengths, needs, and values of the individuals and families we serve. In partnership with survivors and in collaboration with the community, we lay a foundation for a future free from abuse and full of possibility.   

Founded in 1992, The Second Step partners with survivors to address the aftermath of abuse and build brighter futures for themselves and their children. The Second Step also works to address the root causes of domestic violence and end it in our time. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,900,000.00
Projected Expense $1,834,881.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Community Programs
  • Residential Programs
  • Steps to Justice
  • Youth and Prevention Programs

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.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Second Step fosters the safety, stability, and well-being of survivors of domestic violence.

Our residential and community-based programs build on the strengths, needs, and values of the individuals and families we serve. In partnership with survivors and in collaboration with the community, we lay a foundation for a future free from abuse and full of possibility.   

Founded in 1992, The Second Step partners with survivors to address the aftermath of abuse and build brighter futures for themselves and their children. The Second Step also works to address the root causes of domestic violence and end it in our time. 

Background Statement

TSS was started in 1992 by four women who, as board members for an emergency women's shelter, saw that a short shelter stay alone was insufficient to help a woman break away from an abusive situation. They understood that the most essential support is longer-term housing and comprehensive services that will help families achieve safety, stability and well-being.

Our first residence opened in 1992, allowing 8 families fleeing abuse a long-term place to heal and receive comprehensive services. 
 
In 1996 we launched an innovative, unique therapeutic afterschool program on-site, where full-time teachers provide children traumatized by DV with academic enrichment, emotional support, and a chance to begin to heal.  
 
In 2002, we bought, renovated and opened a second residence, more than doubling our capacity to 17 families (58 beds). 
 
In 2006, we received a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, which provided the seed money for our Community Programs, where we work extensively with survivors in the community. Each year, TSS provides services to over 300 adults and 500 children through our Community Programs, including safety planning, case management, access to health services, one-on-one mentorship, survivor peer groups, and children’s groups.
 
In 2011, we launched our Steps to Justice Program, which provides legal services to survivors, including assistance with restraining orders, child custody and support, guardianship, immigration, benefits, and housing. Our staff attorney provides direct representation, training of TSS legal and advocate staff, and expertise, supervision, and training to law students, legal interns, and attorneys. Each year, Steps to Justice serves over 200 clients and provides well over 1,000 hours of direct representation to clients.
 
In 2014 we launched our Youth and Prevention Programs, which include community outreach and education about DV and teen dating violence. Our partners include Newton Public Schools’ (NPS) high schools and middle schools, private middle and high schools in the communities we serve, organizations such the Boys & Girls Club of Newton and the YMCA, and communities of faith. Our trained Youth Programs Facilitators lead weekly Young Men's and Women's groups, which target youth who have been exposed to DV and are at heightened risk of becoming involved in controlling or abusive relationships. Our youth serving staff also respond to the needs of these young men and women through a combination of therapeutic group sessions, physical and outdoor engagement activities, and one-on-one meetings. 

Impact Statement

In the past year, we have:

  • closed our fiscal year (FY15) with a healthy operating surplus, achieved while making significant investments in infrastructure, facilities, and staff training;
  • deepened our knowledge of trauma-informed practice in order better to assist survivors on their journeys to safety, stability, and well-being;
  • expanded our capacity and programming to meet the needs of our clients by adding extraordinarily talented staff in our Residential, Community, Youth and Prevention, and Steps to Justice Programs;
  • built new, win-win partnerships with local businesses to raise awareness of domestic violence and create sustainable sources of revenue, while reengaging existing donors and inspiring the generosity of many new individuals;
  • developed and implemented a more robust outcomes tool to enable dynamic program management and to measure better our long-term impact.

Among our goals for the current year are to:

  • maintain progress in implementing our three-year Strategic Plan to position TSS for greater growth and impact moving forward;
  • broaden our community outreach, education and prevention efforts, as well as our community partnerships with local schools and community-based organizations;
  • build engaged relationships with new foundations and donor bases;
  • deepen board involvement in developing organizational vision and capability.

Needs Statement

TSS's most pressing needs are:
  • Revenue growth. While we are proud of the strong financial position we have attained in recent years, we recognize that we must continue to diversify our funding streams and build lasting relationships with funders and donors to ensure continuity and fidelity of programming.   
  • Housing needs. The demand for transitional housing in the Commonwealth is enormous, and the waitlist to enter our houses is over a year long. The dearth and high cost of housing in our area create a challenge, both in accommodating clients from emergency shelters and in transitioning clients to permanent housing.
  • Integration of theory and practice.  It is often challenging to integrate best practices and big picture thinking as we work daily with a highly traumatized population whose needs are immediate. 
  • Care of our staff.  We need to maintain the high level of excellence from our staff that is necessary to do this work, while recognizing that dedication in this field can bring a heightened risk of compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, and burnout. Our need is to balance high performance and staff retention with self-care.
  • Outcomes measures. We need to continue to increase utilization of outcomes tools among staff and improve outcomes tracking to inform management strategy and decision-making.

CEO Statement

TSS is unique among domestic violence agencies in several key respects. We provide high quality, customized, comprehensive, long-term services to survivors of domestic violence, and also work to address the root causes of domestic abuse and end it in our time. Unlike most other DV programs, we provide long-term housing for survivors for up to 2 years (one of only 2 DV agencies in MA to provide congregate transitional housing). 

 
Programmatically, TSS works closely with clients to help connect discrete points of service and build supportive social networks within a framework of trauma-informed care. Each of our programs is specifically designed to achieve the outcomes included under the five domains of well-being that guide our theory of change. These domains are: safety, stability, social connectedness, mastery, and meaningful resources. We apply these domains to survivors’ healing and recovery processes, integrating our own markers of success with those that are most important to survivors themselves.
 

Research has shown that social belonging and connectedness are critical to human functioning in general, and to motivation, persistence, and achievement in particular. According to Stanford University social psychologist Gregory Walton, whose ongoing studies have been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, belonging is a “psychological lever” that has broad consequences. Our interests, motivation, health and happiness are inextricably tied to the feeling that we belong to a greater community with common interests and aspirations. In order to accomplish all of this with fidelity to our roots and to the survivors whose struggles are the reason we exist, TSS has taken extensive measures to merge theory with practice in our daily operations. Our understanding of the transformative importance of creating community influences our evaluation metrics, program development, and performance management. We integrate cutting-edge practices in all of these areas with a commitment to engaging our stakeholders in creating long-term outcomes. As a result, our organization is stable but nimble, grounded in its principles but responsive to changing needs.

 

Our dedicated staff team is infused with sustainable and trauma-informed practices, allowing us to bring a critically important contribution to one of the most precarious steps in a survivor’s journey to a brighter future. Our commitment to building alliances over the long term extends our impact to survivors at all stages of healing, as well as to their children, their families, and the community.  


Board Chair Statement

Everything has a cause and effect. Every punch, kick, threat, and verbal barb creates waves of damage that push beyond the borders of the initial abuse and travel through families, communities, and cultures. The ripple of domestic violence (DV) does not stop with the first encounter. It cascades through generations and inflicts long-term harm on families and communities. As the child of two survivors of DV, I know what it’s like to grow up in a environment where the effects of that abuse were alive and well each day.

 

The Second Step (TSS) has a network of passionate and dedicated professionals and volunteers who work tirelessly to end DV for the next generation. By coming together to help each survivor, we are creating a brighter future, too, for all those who follow in his/her path. Our impact is exponential.

 

As I finish up my first year as Board President, I am focused on two major priorities. The first is to guide the Board to examine relentlessly our own contributions to the work of TSS, and to push ourselves to excel for the benefit of those we serve. We therefore prioritize Board education and training opportunities, hands-on work at the Committee level, and the recruitment and retention of Board Members who are willing and able to provide the dynamic influx of energy needed to help us improve.

 

My second priority is to deepen my support of our Board Members, Advisory Board Members, and most importantly, our Executive Director and staff. From a management perspective, I believe that one of the most critical functions we have is to bring on the very best talent available and provide them with the resources and support to work their magic. As an organization, we have been able to move forward in many key areas as a result of our exceptional Executive Director, Sarah Perry. Together, we have been able to take a number of key steps to better our organization and expand our impact. Major initiatives include:

 
  • The adoption throughout the organization of a trauma-informed framework for staff support as well as direct advocacy. This requires intensive staff-level and Board-level education and training, as well as the involvement of experts from the community to assist us as we shift organizational culture and practice.
  • A strong push into the second year of a three-year strategic plan, having exceeded many of the goals and expectations from year one.

  • Facilitating the transition of our Board from a group that was often focused on day-to-day operational issues, to one guided by strategy, governance, and committee leadership.

 
I believe strongly that TSS is well positioned for growth in financial, operational, and organizational capacity due to the strength of our exceptional corps of volunteers, our staff, our executive director, and our board. Each time we transition a family from a world of trauma to a community of safety and caring, we are paving the way for future generations to live in homes and communities free from abuse.







Geographic Area Served

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
METROWEST REGION, MA
Predominantly eastern Massachusetts, including the Greater Boston Area and MetroWest. Our two residences are located in Newton, MA. 

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Family Violence Shelters and Services
  2. Human Services - Family Services
  3. Human Services - Homeless Services/Centers

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

Yes

Programs

Community Programs

TSS’s Community Programs serve approximately 800 survivors each year. Each survivor partners with an advocate to assess critical needs and to help identify what interventions will be most effective. Services include safety planning, case management, access to legal resources, and survivor-driven support groups. TSS helps survivors plan ways to be safe from violence, including how to make a safe escape from an abuser. We connect survivors with local health providers and state and insurance benefits, teach self-care and stress management, and strategize with survivors about security and safety, employment and financial health, child and adult wellness, and responses to chronic physical and emotional issues.

 

Budget  $380,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Specific Populations
Population Served Homeless Victims Families
Program Short-Term Success 

We have found the following five outcomes to be critical to success for survivors of DV: (1) decrease social isolation and exclusion, a hallmark of a DV relationship; (2) increase and maintain safety; (3) increase and maintain housing, financial, and emotional stability; (4) increase empowerment and autonomy; and (5) increase meaningful access to mainstream resources.

Within our Community Programs, we work with survivors at all stages of response to DV. Short-term outcomes include improvements across the five domains, as we work with clients to safety plan, build supportive peer networks that foster lasting stability, educate about the chronic and often-misunderstood physical and psychological effects of DV, build networks of resources, and facilitate client-driven support and healing groups. Within our IMAGINE program, survivors recover through narrative and shared experience, and “pay it forward” by mentoring other survivors in their journey to safety, stability, and well-being.
Program Long-Term Success 

These same five outcomes are operative in the long term as well. Our Community Programs build from participation in the programming above, linking improvements across the five domains by creating supportive networks of survivors and mentors. Clients work with advocates to build plans for success that are focused on sustaining capacity through empowerment. Medial and distal outcomes include improved safety and stability, increased social connectedness, sustained financial and emotional well-being, and consistent access to quality children’s services. Because it is critical to our model that success be survivor-defined and not programmatic, our advocates stress each client’s own empowerment and work to ensure that our programs support our clients’ goals. Because our services are not time-limited, survivors’ goals and long-term outcomes can evolve and grow as their and their families needs change.

Program Success Monitored By 

We use a Participant Outcome Scale (POS) integrated into our data management system, which allows us to track client progress along a 5-point Likert Scale across the domains that contribute to these critical outcomes. Important measures we track include: safety from violence; autonomy/empowerment; financial stability; well-being (physical and emotional); access to healthcare services; employment; education; housing; transportation/ mobility; social connectedness; childcare; children's education; and parenting skills. Our database is seen as a model for peer DV agencies in the Greater Boston area, and has recently been the subject of national recognition by the NNEDV (National Network to End Domestic Violence). Using this database together with additional evaluation tools, such as surveys, client feedback, and third-party evaluation, we are able to respond dynamically based on what really works for survivors, as well as report on outputs and outcomes.

Examples of Program Success 

“Eight years later, my daughter and I are safe, healthy, and happy. I have my associate’s degree, and I am working toward a bachelor’s degree.”

“My case manager showed me how to open a bank account. She helped me establish credit by applying for a credit card, get my driver’s license, get a divorce. As time went by, I felt more confident. I am very proud to say I passed my citizenship test and am now an American citizen.”

“If you had to pick out the bursar of Pine Manor College from this crowd, would you pick me? If you had to pick out a former resident of TSS, would it be me? “

“TSS gave us safety. I learned about money and financial management. I learned how to have a better relationship with my child. I learned about nutrition. They helped me find an apartment. Now I am in a training program. I go to school 32 hours per week. I am also working 15 hours per week.”

“I saw my mother build her life with the skills she learned at TSS and she has passed that legacy of knowledge on to me.”

Residential Programs

TSS operates two transitional residences in Newton, housing a total of 58 survivors at any given time. In 2015, TSS provided more than 21,000 total nights and days of safe and secure housing for survivors of DV. Client families may stay at our residences for up to two years. In addition to providing critical shelter for families, TSS works in partnership with community housing authorities, NGOs, and private landlords to secure permanent housing for each of our client families. Case management services within our residences include access to mental and physical health resources, legal resources, counseling, therapy, support groups, job development, and other needs. Children’s services include additional counseling, education, and enrichment activities. 

Budget  $590,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for the Homeless
Population Served Victims Families Females
Program Short-Term Success 

We have found the following five outcomes to be critical to success for survivors of DV: (1) decrease social isolation and exclusion, a hallmark of a DV relationship; (2) increase and maintain safety; (3) increase and maintain housing, financial, and emotional stability; (4) increase empowerment and autonomy; and (5) meaningful access to mainstream resources.


Our theory of change describes how outcomes in each domain build upon the others, within a framework of increasing survivor empowerment. Within our Residential Program, the outcomes most critical for short-term success are increased safety and stability, since all client families in our transitional houses were previously subject to the instability of emergency shelter. While not all clients have children, safety and stability in housing are especially critical when children are involved, and play an important role in a child’s healthy social development and academic performance from early childhood through adolescence.
Program Long-Term Success 

These same five domains are operative in the long term as well. The emergency shelter system cannot bridge the gap between homelessness and self-sufficiency; as a result, survivors are often forced to choose between a stable place to live and sustained improvements in their journey away from abuse. At TSS, we work in partnership with survivors over the long term on independent living, education, and sustainable employment above the poverty level - all concrete measures of success that affect long-term outcomes. We know that the cycle of abuse can’t be broken until survivors can sustain their own stable housing and work environments, free from abuse and the threat of violence. Consequently, major long-term outcomes within and subsequent to our Residential Programs are increased stability, empowerment and autonomy, and meaningful access to mainstream resources.

Program Success Monitored By 

We use a Participant Outcome Scale (POS) integrated into our data management system, which allows us to track client progress along a 5-point Likert Scale across the domains that contribute to these critical outcomes. Important measures we track include: safety from violence; autonomy/empowerment; financial stability; well-being (physical and emotional); access to healthcare services; employment; education; housing; transportation/ mobility; social connectedness; childcare; children's education; and parenting skills. Our database is seen as a model for peer DV agencies in the Greater Boston area, and has recently been the subject of national recognition by the NNEDV (National Network to End Domestic Violence). Using this database together with additional evaluation tools, such as surveys, client feedback, and third-party evaluation, we are able to respond dynamically based on what really works for survivors, as well as report on outputs and outcomes.

Examples of Program Success 

“When I first got to TSS, the room was made up for us as if we were treasured guests. I was met by open arms and gentle and understanding hearts. Living in a communal setting challenged me greatly, but it also gave me a sisterhood of concern I will appreciate for the rest of my life. I learned to live with people of all ethnicities and cultures from many different walks of life. We had that common thread of experience that held us together as a community.”

“The plan that I laid out with the staff wasn’t easy. We had house meetings, parenting, nutrition, and time management classes. I went to school full-time, and juggled homework, cooking, bathing and reading to my kids, and chores. Through all this, TSS helped me become self-sufficient, self-confident, and strong enough to rebuild my life.”

“I’m very excited to be moving into our own home next week. I’ve come a long way during this year. My long term goal is a nursing degree, job and financial security, and owning my own house."


Steps to Justice

DV survivors have complex legal needs, often with multiple issues such as restraining orders, child support, guardianship, immigration, benefits, and housing. Through our Steps to Justice Legal Services Program, we work with a network of community organizations and volunteer attorneys to provide representation for TSS clients regardless of the complexity of their needs. Our two staff attorneys ensure that services are properly coordinated, providing direct representation for survivors, easy access to community and legal resources, and training and supervision of TSS legal and advocate staff. Providing these services pro bono ensures that achieving justice and independence does not come at the cost of financial stability and the family’s well-being.

Budget  $125,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Population Served At-Risk Populations Females Victims
Program Short-Term Success 

We have found the following five outcomes to be critical to success for survivors of DV: (1) decrease social isolation and exclusion, a hallmark of a DV relationship; (2) increase and maintain safety; (3) increase and maintain housing, financial, and emotional stability; (4) increase empowerment and autonomy; and (5) increase meaningful access to mainstream resources.

Within Steps to Justice, the short-term impact is tremendous. We estimate that 70-80% of our clients would not have accessed legal services outside of TSS. This is significant in the context of short-term outcomes, where restraining orders and other emergency legal services are so critical to clients’ safety and stability. Because of the material improvements that result from these services, Steps to Justice is essential to creating a solid foundation from which survivors can build autonomy through empowerment. By minimizing tradeoffs between domains, we can help survivors create a solid foundation for sustained success.

Program Long-Term Success 

Steps to Justice has tremendous impact across the five domains over the long term. While some short-term successes mean that clients can move on to improvements on other measure of well-being, other legal issues often persist long after basic needs have been met. By being responsive to clients' changing lives and assisting with legal issues regardless of complexity, we help survivors ensure that the gains they have made in other areas of their lives are not compromised by abuse tactics that utilize the legal system, such as targeted misinformation, spurious cases, and coercive tactics in custody cases. Providing services pro bono means that achieving justice and independence does not come at the cost of financial stability and the family’s well-being, helping survivors to balance long-term outcomes across the domains. Long-term outcomes, therefore, build from survivors’ gains in safety and stability and focus on sustained empowerment and meaningful access to resources.
Program Success Monitored By 

We use a Participant Outcome Scale (POS) integrated into our data management system, which allows us to track client progress along a 5-point Likert Scale across the domains that contribute to these critical outcomes. Important measures we track include: safety from violence; autonomy/empowerment; financial stability; well-being (physical and emotional); access to healthcare services; employment; education; housing; transportation/ mobility; social connectedness; childcare; children's education; and parenting skills. Our database is seen as a model for peer DV agencies in the Greater Boston area, and has recently been the subject of national recognition by the NNEDV (National Network to End Domestic Violence). Using this database together with additional evaluation tools, such as surveys, client feedback, and third-party evaluation, we are able to respond dynamically based on what really works for survivors, as well as report on outputs and outcomes.

Examples of Program Success 

Each year, Steps to Justice serves over 200 clients and provides well over 1,000 hours of direct representation to clients. We estimate that 70-80% of these clients would not have received legal services otherwise, especially significant in cases of emergency legal services or housing-related advocacy.

“Olivia” came to TSS from another agency, and needed legal help with housing. Her abuser was incarcerated for attempted murder and had applied for parole. She and her child continued to live in the apartment where her abuser had tried to kill her. The housing authority opined that because the abuser was incarcerated and there was not a certain date when he was going to be released, she was not eligible for the emergency DV priority list. Our attorney took the case, provided the housing authority with more evidence and the law, and the housing authority reversed its position. Olivia and her son are now living in public housing.

Youth and Prevention Programs

Knowing that child survivors of DV bear multiple risks associated with their experience of DV, TSS offers a wide range of youth-serving programs combining therapeutic interventions with violence prevention activities. In our Therapeutic After-school Program, children receive stage-appropriate education together with social and emotional support from trauma-informed educators, who follow responsive curriculum plans to augment each child’s individual learning needs. Through our Young Men's and Young Women’s Groups, we serve adolescents ages 9 to 20 who have been exposed to DV and are at heightened risk of becoming involved in abusive relationships. Our specially trained mentors respond to the needs of these young men and women through a combination of therapeutic group sessions and physical and outdoor engagement, spaces where they can build resiliency both as individuals and within a supportive community.

TSS has also strengthened its commitment to community outreach and education as part of a larger emphasis on prevention initiatives. We work with key community partners involved with young men and women to provide awareness and empowerment education about DV and teen dating violence. These partners include local public and private schools, community-based organizations, and communities of faith.

Budget  $215,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Specific Populations
Population Served Victims Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Homeless
Program Short-Term Success 

We have found the following five outcomes to be critical to success for survivors of DV: (1) decrease social isolation and exclusion, a hallmark of a DV relationship; (2) increase and maintain safety; (3) increase and maintain housing, financial, and emotional stability; (4) increase empowerment and autonomy; and (5) increase meaningful access to mainstream resources.

We know that a child’s well-being depends on co-regulation with a guardian. By working with each adult survivor toward long-term well-being across the domains, we also impact each young person and the well-being of the whole family. Youth survivors, however, need additional targeted interventions to directly support their developing selves.: each child in our Therapeutic Afterschool Program performs at grade level and advances to the next grade; children who need them will have appropriate IEPs in place; and children and youth will participate in summer camps or other engagement activities with staff and mentors.
Program Long-Term Success 

In order to track children’s successes over the long term, we have adapted our understanding of well-being to allow us to focus on children’s specific outcomes as well as those of their parents. We are able to see increased integration across the domains of well-being, especially in the areas of decreased social isolation and exclusion, increased empowerment, and meaningful access to resources. Building from short-term outcomes focused on promoting stability within a child’s life, we expect that adolescents will: show an improved willingness and ability to plan for their futures and access supports at TSS and within their educational network; demonstrate a greater sense of support, connectedness, and overall well-being; report a decrease in unhealthy coping behaviors and an improved ability to seek out supportive adults. Through these outcomes, youth will be better able to make healthy choices, plan for the future, and create the resiliency needed to thrive.
Program Success Monitored By 

We use a Participant Outcome Scale (POS) integrated into our data management system. It has been adapted to accommodate the different needs of child survivors of DV, and allows us to track progress along a 5-point Likert Scale across the domains that contribute to these critical outcomes. Important measures we track include: safety from violence; autonomy/empowerment; well-being (physical and emotional); access to school, extracurricular, and support services; education; social connectedness; and pro-social connections with peers and adults. Our database is seen as a model for peer DV agencies in the Greater Boston area, and has recently been the subject of national recognition by the NNEDV (National Network to End Domestic Violence). Using this database together with additional evaluation tools, such as surveys, client feedback, and third-party evaluation, we are able to respond dynamically based on what really works for survivors, as well as report on outputs and outcomes.

Examples of Program Success 

All of the children enrolled in our Therapeutic Afterschool Program in the most recent year have moved to the next grade level, and all have appropriate IEPs in place. The young men and boys in our groups have reported to staff as well as to third-party evaluators that they have experienced less isolation and exclusion, and can talk openly about taking an active role in their plans for the future.

 
“Logan," for instance, takes part in our Young Men’s Group, created to meet the needs of young men and boys exposed to DV. His mother reached out to TSS when Logan started expressing anger and distancing himself from family and school. He now meets regularly with young men from similar backgrounds, with whom he is able to talk openly about his challenges and what he has been through. He has become re-engaged with sports, physical activities, and school, and is on track for a successful high school graduation and is currently applying to colleges.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Second Step is at a pivotal time in our 23-year history. This year alone, we provided more than 800 adult and child survivors with comprehensive services to heal from abuse and rebuild their lives – a figure which represents a 76% increase from just three years ago.

A significant program opportunity for TSS going forward is to continue to build our prevention programs. Building on the connection between effective response and the prevention of future violence and abuse, we are investing in the expansion of our youth violence prevention and outreach programming. As we wrote recently in a letter to the New York Times, domestic and community violence are linked in important ways. It is painfully apparent that DV conviction is a major predictor of future violent crime. We also know that DV is a learned behavior, making deep inroads into a child’s developing mind in those early years at home as well as during a young person’s formative adolescent years.

 

But learned behaviors can be unlearned, and with the right interventions, education, and real support, the impact of adverse experiences can be lessened and the trajectory of a life can be changed. Community-based DV agencies like TSS are optimally positioned to provide precisely these early interventions, yet few do so. As experts in DV and working directly with families impacted by it, TSS believes that we can and should reach out to those youth most at risk of normalizing and perpetrating the abuse they have experienced.

 

In pursuit of this goal, TSS has launched a groundbreaking initiative to provide boys and young men impacted by DV with the tools to be change-makers for peace in their homes and relationships. Our staff and mentors work hand-in-hand with youth to help them build brighter futures free from violence. We have created groups, activities, and outreach plans to target young men and boys throughout our Community Programs, working with them and their families to access resources for physical and mental health, schooland education, and emotional development and well-being. We work hand in hand with parents, schools, authorities, and other members of the community to build lasting supports for youth who would otherwise be left on their own to deal with the traumatic consequences of their abuse.

 
We are confident that our intensified focus and investment on prevention will lead to tremendous impact as we work towards our goal of ending the intergenerational cycle of violence.   
 

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sarah Lynne Perry
CEO Term Start June 2013
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Sarah is the Executive Director of The Second Step, an organization that helps survivors of domestic violence heal from trauma, forge relationships that create a community of support, secure affordable housing, and move toward financial security.  Prior to joining The Second Step, Sarah served as the Executive Director of Harvard Business School’s Community Action Partners (CAP) an organization that has provided pro bono consulting to hundreds of non-profit organizations in the greater Boston area. Sarah also served as Managing Director at New Sector Alliance, a social impact and leadership development organization, and at City Year as Director of Social and Civic Enterprise, a department created to form revenue-building relationships with the private sector.   Perry also helped lead Community Wealth Ventures (CWV) – a for-profit subsidiary of Share our Strength - that helps nonprofit organizations become more financially self-sustaining by generating revenue through business ventures and corporate partnerships. Before joining CWV, Perry worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York, where she advised senior executives of major corporations on strategic issues. 

Sarah holds a BA from Yale University, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.  She has served on numerous Boards of Directors, including New Sector Alliance, Women’s Philanthropy at CJP, the Jewish Women’s Archive, the Peirce Elementary School PTO, and as co-chair of the Meadowbrook School of Weston’s Middle School Parent Council.   She has led pro bono consulting projects for many local organizations, including The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, City Year, Citizen Schools, Step Into Art, and WBUR. 

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

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Roberta Rosenberg June 2008 Sept 2012
Ms. Elisabeth Kirsch Jan 1992 Dec 2008

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Sheila Hovasapian Finance and Business Manager --
Ashley Shoares Senior Manager, Residential Programs --
Matthew Swoveland Deputy Director --
Isabelle Thacker Director, Steps to Justice --
Carole Thompson Director, Community Programs --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
Mass Coalition for the Homeless --
Massachusetts Nonprofit Network --
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence --
National Coalition for the Homeless --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

 

TSS contributes to a strong network of agencies and service providers, including: Jane Doe Inc., the statewide coalition against sexual assault and domestic violence; the DV Collaboratives for several regions including Greater Boston and Metro West; and the Relationship Violence Action Committee (RVAC), co-chaired by our Community Program Director. We have strong ties with Newton City Hall, the Newton Police Department, and Newton Public Schools that allow us to effectively respond to emerging situations and to engage students and community members in outreach and prevention efforts. We collaborate with local community-based organizations such as the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club to provide dynamic and engaging programming for youth. We have a long-standing partnership with Lasell College, which provides space for meetings of Community Program participants, as well as student volunteers who have gone through extensive training to serve as mentors to the children of participants in our IMAGINE program. We also partner with research faculty at Pine Manor College on program evaluation to complement our own outcomes tracking and performance management system.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 15
Number of Part Time Staff 10
Number of Volunteers 450
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 86%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 16
Hispanic/Latino: 4
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 21
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
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 --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
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. Anne Kaplan
Board Chair Company Affiliation CPA / Financial Planner
Board Chair Term Mar 2016 - Mar 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term Mar 2014 - Mar 2017

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Madeleine Biondolillo Department of Public Health Voting
Claudia Dumond-Henderson St. Elizabeth's Hospital Voting
James Fong Morgan Stanley Voting
Heidi Gardner Harvard Business School Voting
Rosa Hallowell Hallowell College Counseling Voting
Sharon Johnson HomePortfolio, Inc. Voting
Anne Kaplan CPA / Financial Planner Voting
Ruth Nagle BlackRock Voting
Andrew Parvey Merrill Lynch Voting
Joel Ristuccia School Psychologist Voting
Domenica Rizza Community Volunteer Voting
Alexandra Simes Community Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Anita Adelson None NonVoting
Lynn Dayton None NonVoting
Angela Falchuk None NonVoting
Doug Gage None NonVoting
Lisa Giudice None NonVoting
Liz Hammer None NonVoting
Liz Hiser None NonVoting
Marianne Karmel None NonVoting
Sherry Katz None NonVoting
Liz Kirsch None NonVoting
Joyce Kulhawik -- NonVoting
Bill Levin -- NonVoting
Susan McMurry -- NonVoting
Lisa Monahan None NonVoting
Sarah Newton None NonVoting
Roberta Rosenberg None NonVoting
Jerry Rossi None NonVoting
Joan Sapir None NonVoting
Anthony Jerome Smalls None NonVoting
Marjorie Stanzler None NonVoting
Clare Villari None NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 9
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 90%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Program / Program Planning

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The last few  years have been transformational year The Second Step. Among other accomplishments, we are especially proud to have:

 

  • Expanded our capacity and programming to meet the needs of our clients by adding extraordinarily talented staff in our Residential, Community, Steps to Justice, and Youth and Prevention Programs.
  • Invested in our facilities, infrastructure, and staff training to bolster our long-term sustainability and to better assist survivors on their journeys to safety, stability, and well-being.

  • Reengaged existing donors and inspired the generosity of many new individuals, and built new win-win partnerships with local businesses to raise awareness of domestic violence and create recurring sources of revenue.

  • Developed - and continue to refine - a more robust outcomes tool to better measure our long-term impact, and to incorporate our outcomes into program delivery and management.

  • Broadened our community outreach, education, and prevention efforts, as well as our partnerships with community agencies, municipal organizations, and schools.

  • Completed – and are in full implementation of – a three year Strategic Plan to position TSS for greater growth and impact moving forward.

  • Closed our last two fiscal years (FY14 and FY15) with a healthy surplus, achieved while making the significant investments mentioned above. 

 

Our bold goal of societal change requires many things.  It requires that we expand our resources and capabilities to meet the demands of those suffering the devastating effects of domestic abuse.  It requires that we stop violence before it begins, and that we educate youth on how to build healthy, respectful relationships.  It requires bold and collective action each and every day.  It requires a commitment to excellence in everything we do.   

 

We are energized by new opportunities for The Second Step going forward. With the growing demand for our services and programs, The Second Step needs to be able to respond in a way that allows us to meet these needs without losing fidelity to a model that we know to be effective. And we stand at no better time to do just that.

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,900,000.00
Projected Expense $1,834,881.00
Form 990s

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

2015 Audited Financials

2014 Audited Financials

2013 Audited Financials

2012 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $2,209,352 $1,670,859 $1,433,791
Total Expenses $1,809,086 $1,697,309 $1,843,097

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $748,856 $745,059 $693,038
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $748,856 $745,059 $693,038
Individual Contributions $995,153 $507,491 $411,051
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $8,274 $9,843 $9,614
Investment Income, Net of Losses $1,828 $7,861 $18,616
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $433,914 $400,605 $301,472
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $21,327 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,308,952 $1,205,190 $1,263,723
Administration Expense $208,869 $199,583 $282,920
Fundraising Expense $291,265 $292,536 $296,454
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.22 0.98 0.78
Program Expense/Total Expenses 72% 71% 69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 13% 18% 21%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $3,617,759 $3,174,004 $3,184,103
Current Assets $1,886,822 $1,161,285 $887,349
Long-Term Liabilities $1,301,850 $1,280,000 $1,280,000
Current Liabilities $78,416 $73,012 $65,508
Total Net Assets $2,237,493 $1,820,992 $1,838,595

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 Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 5.00

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 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 24.06 15.91 13.55

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 36% 40% 40%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Second Step has created a tremendous financial turnaround over the last few years, driven largely by an increase in new donors, deepening relationships with existing donors, and generating more revenue from our major events. In addition, The Second Step has made tremendous strides in the past year securing several hundred thousand dollars in multi-year commitments for FY16 and FY17.  While some multi-year commitments had lapsed during the transition year to a new Executive Director, in FY14 and beyond we have had great success in securing and renewing multi-year pledges, in addition to cultivation of new donors and event growth. The Second Step has also positioned itself for even greater growth and impact going forward.  In this past two years, TSS has expanded our capacity and programming to meet the needs of our clients by adding extraordinarily talented staff in our Residential, Community and Steps to Justice Programs; invested in our facilities, infrastructure, and staff training; developed a more robust outcomes tool to measure our long-term impact; broadened our community outreach, education and prevention efforts, as well as our community partnerships; and are in full implementation of our three-year Strategic Plan.  

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is 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?

   

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?