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CONNECT

 4 Gerrish Avenue
 Chelsea, MA 02150
[P] (617) 889-1375
[F] (617) 884-8406
www.connectnow.org
[email protected]
Marissa Guananja
Facebook
INCORPORATED: 1979
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2660283

LAST UPDATED: 09/21/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

CONNECT is a partnership of six well regarded nonprofits who have come together to co-locate and bundle complementary services to increase the impact of those services on the economic outcomes of our low-income clients. Our shared mission is to integrate, in one central and supportive Chelsea location, resources to address our community’s financial, housing, educational and employment needs, while nurturing social networks to provide the glue and sustenance for each low-income individual’s and family’s journey toward economic security. The partners are:

  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Career Source
  • Centro Latino
  • The Neighborhood Developers
  • Metro Credit Union
  • Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership

Mission Statement

CONNECT is a partnership of six well regarded nonprofits who have come together to co-locate and bundle complementary services to increase the impact of those services on the economic outcomes of our low-income clients. Our shared mission is to integrate, in one central and supportive Chelsea location, resources to address our community’s financial, housing, educational and employment needs, while nurturing social networks to provide the glue and sustenance for each low-income individual’s and family’s journey toward economic security. The partners are:

  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Career Source
  • Centro Latino
  • The Neighborhood Developers
  • Metro Credit Union
  • Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2013 to Dec 31, 2013
Projected Income $1,237,350.00
Projected Expense $1,226,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • CONNECT

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

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


Overview

Mission Statement

CONNECT is a partnership of six well regarded nonprofits who have come together to co-locate and bundle complementary services to increase the impact of those services on the economic outcomes of our low-income clients. Our shared mission is to integrate, in one central and supportive Chelsea location, resources to address our community’s financial, housing, educational and employment needs, while nurturing social networks to provide the glue and sustenance for each low-income individual’s and family’s journey toward economic security. The partners are:

  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Career Source
  • Centro Latino
  • The Neighborhood Developers
  • Metro Credit Union
  • Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership

Background Statement

CONNECT's premise is that by co-locating and bundling economic opportunity services, clients can make greater gains and the service delivery system can achieve greater efficiencies. The six CONNECT partners seek to create a welcoming, supportive environment that participants utilize to establish financial and career goals and engage in multiple center activities to reach those goals. CONNECT clients are encouraged to meet with a financial coach who assists individuals to tap into the range of services available at CONNECT and who helps them to stay on track as they tackle new challenges. Peer support programming serves to build a support network among clients that is used to garner motivation and to expand upon what is possible.
 
The six CONNECT partners have a signed Memorandum of Understanding and established a governing structure. The partners include:
 

•     Bunker Hill Community College provides certificate and college coursework and financial aid assistance;

•     Career Source–part of the state’s One Stop Career Center system delivers job placement services and career counseling;

•     Centro Latino is our community's adult education provider of ESOL, GED and computer classes;

•     The Neighborhood Developers provides affordable housing, financial education, financial coaching and peer support programming;

•     Metro Credit Union provides access to financial services; and

•     Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership helps CONNECT clients to maintain affordable housing and to access the Family Self Sufficiency matched savings program.


Impact Statement

CONNECT is a systems changing program in which six non-profits formally collaborate to help low-income residents advance towards family sustaining jobs and household financial stability.  The program was launched in January 2012.  Joanne Goldstein, MA Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, praised the CONNECT model saying that collaborative efforts are “the direction we all need to go in” noting that “single stand alone programs can’t move a family out of poverty.” In June 2012, the program was selected for a highly competitive US Department of Labor Workforce Innovation Grant for its model programming. 

CONNECT offers several unique features that distinguish it and illustrate changes to existing systems:

1.   CONNECT bundles housing stabilization services with education and workforce development services. Research indicates that CONNECT's four service areas are critically important for moving from a place of economic hardship to economic security.

           Housing Stabilization and Income Supports

           Financial Capabilities Education and Services

           Employment Placement and Counseling

           Adult Education

2. CONNECT’s collaborative structure supports a nimble and adaptive program. CONNECT brings already established programs together, avoiding duplication of services, and allows for a broader array of braided services. The CONNECT model builds on research-proven best practices and employs a learning oriented evaluation system that allows for on-going refinement and adaptation to changing needs.

3. CONNECT builds social networks to support client outcomes as peer-to-peer relationships and a broad network are critical to the success of individuals pursuing a path to greater economic security by providing support, motivation for goal persistence, and by expanding an individual’s ambitions.


Needs Statement

The Need for Dedicated Programming Space: Currently, CONNECT is utilizing existing office space available at The Neighborhood Developers and we are bursting at the seams as our programming increases in scale. The Neighborhood Developers, CONNECT's operational partner, is currently conducting a capital campaign to support an expanded facility for CONNECT. The proposed facility will provide a welcoming center that CONNECT clients can return to again and again as they take on new challenges. The fundraising target is $609,000 of which $139,000 has been raised from more than 50 donors.
 
CONNECT's annual program budget for 2013 is $1.75 million. We have secured all but $150,000 of this total. Contributions made in support of CONNECT allow for financial coaching, peer support programming, and client intake and screening. 
 
The program offers many opportunities for volunteerism. Please contact us to see how you can best get involved.  For example, a team of Harvard Alumni are currently working with CONNECT to support the program's communications and resource development strategies. During each tax season, 20 volunteers learn how to help low-income households to file their taxes; for a few hours a week or a month from January to April -- you too could join this team of volunteers!
 

CEO Statement

My colleagues are often surprised when they learn that the my personal experience with Weight Watchers was a driving force behind the development of the CONNECT program model.  Much as I garnered motivation and support from Weight Watchers, CONNECT provides coaching and peer support as individuals tackle financial, educational and employment goals.  We believe that this personal support, combined with ready access to multiple services, provides the motivation for goal persistence and incremental success.
 
Another feature of CONNECT that is so important is its collaborative structure. By bringing together under one roof the expertise of six highly regarded non-profits, we are building new systems and achieving greater impact for our clients. We are one of the first collaborations of this type in Massachusetts. Our goal is to share our successes and challenges with our many colleagues so that others can tackle similar collaborations in their own communities.

Board Chair Statement

CONNECT provides the Chelsea and surrounding community with a historic opportunity to assist low-income households to tap into resources that will help them to move out of poverty.  The story of one of our clients illustrates how CONNECT can impact lives. Three years ago, Renee went through a tough financial stretch. Homeless, she lived in a motel with her two children until she found an affordable place to live. An advertisement for budgeting assistance led her to CONNECT where she completed financial management workshops, and soon Renee began a process of one-on-one financial coaching. Working with her coach, she learned to develop a budget and opened a savings account so she could begin to build her own safety net. When Renee speaks about her progress, she thinks back on the milestones that she has achieved. “At first I was homeless. Then I became house-able. Now I am employable.” Even though she is now working full-time, Renee’s next big step is to head back to college. “As a person begins to transition in their life, there will be other programs there for each step of their life,” said Renee, praising the CONNECT model.


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
CONNECT serves clients from Boston’s Metro North region, though most come to CONNECT from Chelsea and three abutting cities.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Financial Counseling
  2. Employment - Job Training
  3. Education - Adult Education

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

Yes

Programs

CONNECT

As a six-party collaboration, CONNECT offers many programs in the following areas:
  • Housing Stabilization and Income Supports
  • Financial Capabilities Education and Services
  • Employment Placement and Counseling
  • Adult Education

 CONNECT's coaches and intake staff help clients to tap into the services available across the partners.  We encourage staff to make a plan with a financial coach, and then access the many services that will help them to reach their financial goals.

Budget  1,750,000
Category  Human Services, General/Other Financial Counseling
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 
Annually, CONNECT seeks to serve 4,000 individuals, with 2,000 utilizing two or more services at CONNECT each year. The milestones that our clients make are indicators that they are working on economic goals and include:
  • completing classes that build employment skills;
  • developing a household budget and managing financial decisions based off of the budget;
  • opening a new savings or checking account;
  • working with an employment counselor to find a new job;
  • securing stable and affordable housing; and
  • working with a coach to set and work towards financial goals.
Program Long-Term Success 
CONNECT's data collection system allows the program to monitor client outcomes on these financial indicators:
  • increases to income;
  • decreases in expenses;
  • changes in employment leading to higher pay and/or advancement opportunities;
  • improvements to credit scores;
  • demonstrated use of bank accounts to pay bills and save;
  • increases in savings and assets; and
  • increase in English language skills, attainment of a GED, or post-secondary certificate or degree attainment.
 
Program Success Monitored By 
CONNECT has established a new database that can electronically communicate across the partnering agencies by downloading and uploading electronic files. This is evidence of the partnering agencies working to create new systems and is an important outcome of our work.This interagency database is critically important as it will allow the partners to know how clients enter into CONNECT and what services are then utilized, and what outcomes are achieved.
 
Additionally, CONNECT has secured resources to hire a third party evaluator to measure our outcomes over the next three years. The evaluation will be led by Mt. Auburn Associates based out of Cambridge. 
Examples of Program Success 
2455 clients were served at CONNECT by one of the partnering agencies since the beginning of 2012. Of these, 480 completed our intake process (indicating that they wanted to return for additional services), and of these 112 have returned to CONNECT for two or more services after their first appointment.
 
Ingrid is a single mother who first came to CONNECT for its housing related services, and now continues to utilize services that give her hope and a path for a better future for her family. She came to a CONNECT orientation, enrolled in a matched savings program, took a Credit workshop and engaged in Financial Coaching. Her dream is  to help her 12 year old daughter to go to college when the time comes, and to provide for a better life for her family. Equipped with a recent credit report and new strategies to deal with creditors, she was able to start paying off some debt. She is looking to identify her spending patterns and enhance her financial capability.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

CONNECT received a huge boost in mid-2012 when the federal Department of Labor and Workforce Development selected CONNECT as one of 24 programs nationwide for a multi-year $3 million grant. This award quadruples CONNECT's resources allowing the partners to realize our bold vision. Our long-term goal is to build support for CONNECT so that the program can sustain its incredible momentum.  We are hopeful that the work we are doing is going to prove fruitful and encourage future collaboration.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Ann Houston
CEO Term Start Nov 2003
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Chelsea is an exciting cosmopolitan city with great potential to do interesting work in a community committed to revitalization. I began work in Chelsea in 2004, taking over after a period of reorganization sparked by a Board of Directors dedicated to creating more housing opportunities in Chelsea. My work in affordable housing and community development began more than 25 years ago. I learned my trade and developed a broad network of colleagues by working in leadership positions at Massachusetts Housing Partnership, Codman Square NDC, Valley Opportunity Council in Chicopee and Holyoke, and as a residential and commercial lender for Mass Development/Mass Government Land Bank. I enjoy lecturing and serve on numerous boards and policy committees; I am a former President of Citizen’s Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA). I earned a masters in Real Estate Development from MIT, and a BA in Community Planning from UMass Boston.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Marissa Guananja Director of Resident Asset Development --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

CONNECT is a collaboration!

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 30
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan --
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. Ann Houston
Board Chair Company Affiliation The Neighborhood Developers
Board Chair Term Jan 2012 - Dec 2013
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Charlene Bauer Metropolitan Credit Union Voting
Ms. Ann Houston The Neighborhood Developers Voting
Mr. Christopher Norris Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership Voting
Ms. Linda Rohrer Career Surce Voting
Ms. Vanessa Shannon Bunker Hill Community College Voting
Mr. Juan Vega Centro Latino Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Board Information

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

Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As a multi-party collaboration, CONNECT has developed a governing structure that is outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding.  Each of the six organizations is a Managing Partner; the Executive Director or a senior manager represents each managing partner on the CONNECT governing board that meets monthly.  The Neighborhood Developers serves as CONNECT's sole operational partner. In this role, TND is responsible for CONNECT's facility, personnel, financial management and overall program management. The Core Services Team includes one or more representatives from each managing partner; this team meets monthly to integrate programming.

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Total Revenue $1,800,000 $1,237,357 --
Total Expenses $1,757,019 $1,226,013 --

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$241,000 $137,000 --
Government Contributions $1,040,000 $580,200 --
    Federal $1,000,000 $525,000 --
    State $40,000 $55,200 --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $25,000 -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- $20,000 --
Other $494,000 $500,157 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Program Expense $1,421,432 $1,016,591 --
Administration Expense $295,587 $169,422 --
Fundraising Expense $40,000 $40,000 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.02 1.01 --
Program Expense/Total Expenses 81% 83% --
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 3% 6% --

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Total Assets -- -- --
Current Assets -- -- --
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets -- -- --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
Metro North Regional Employment Board / US Department of Labor $1,000,000.00
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
Boston LISC & the United Way of Greater Boston & Merrimack Valley $90,000.00
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
MA Dept of Housing and Community Development $60,000.00
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) 0.0%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose The CONNECT Capital Campaign seeks to raise $609,000 to to renovate and expand TND's offices to provide dedicated programming space for CONNECT.
Campaign Goal $609,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2012 - Dec 2014
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $139,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

CONNECT's finances are managed by The Neighborhood Developers; the program will be audited as part of TND's annual audit starting with the 2012 fiscal year.
 
The CONNECT program budget includes a significant amount of "in-kind" funding as each partner is responsible for paying for their services delivered at CONNECT. The costs to operate CONNECT are the "glue" to integrate services for the clients and across the partners, and the costs associated with the CONNECT facility and administration.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per CONNECT, to reflect the organization's financials which are managed and housed by/within The Neighborhood Developers. The Form 990s and audited financial documents posted above are per The Neighborhood Developers. CONNECT was formed in 2012, as such, only two years of financial data is posted above. Asset data can be found within the documents posted for The Neighborhood Developers, as specific asset data in relation to CONNECT is not available.
 
The amount represented in "Other" above, reflects CONNECT partner services, per the organization. 
 
Please note the Metro North Regional Employment Board/ US Department of Labor grant, is 3-year $3 million grant award made in support of CONNECT (2012 to 2015). Boston LISC and the United Way of Greater Boston and Merrimack Valley grant, is a 2-year $180,000 grant award (2012 - 2013).

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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

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

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

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