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Family Promise North Shore Boston

 330 Rantoul Street
 Beverly, MA 01915
[P] (978) 922-0787
[F] (978) 993-7160
www.familypromisensb.org
[email protected]
Russ Queen
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INCORPORATED: 2012
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-1801635

LAST UPDATED: 04/05/2018
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 »

The mission of Family Promise North Shore Boston is to end homelessness on the North Shore one family at a time by providing shelter, meals, and comprehensive case management to families experiencing homelessness as they seek permanent sustainable housing.

Mission Statement

The mission of Family Promise North Shore Boston is to end homelessness on the North Shore one family at a time by providing shelter, meals, and comprehensive case management to families experiencing homelessness as they seek permanent sustainable housing.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $283,600.00
Projected Expense $280,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Interfaith Hospitality Network

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

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


Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of Family Promise North Shore Boston is to end homelessness on the North Shore one family at a time by providing shelter, meals, and comprehensive case management to families experiencing homelessness as they seek permanent sustainable housing.


Background Statement

Family Promise North Shore Boston (FPNSB) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides shelter, meals, and comprehensive case management to homeless families from the North Shore of Massachusetts. This inter-faith hospitality network began with a group of concerned individuals determined to offer a holistic community response to the needs of homeless families on the North Shore.

This group learned about Family Promise National (FPN) and decided to follow the wrap-around model that had demonstrated so much success across the country. FPN began as the Interfaith Hospitality Network in 1986 to address the plight of homeless families in New Jersey. Since that time FPN has provided food, shelter, and support services for thousands of homeless families utilizing the facilities of faith organizations.

After deciding to become an independent affiliate of FPN, the Board of Directors of FPNSB formed in November 2011 and gained 501 (c)(3) status. After fundraising for basic expenses, the board hired a Network Director, an office assistant, and a case manager to begin hosting the first qualified families in May 2013.

Our network of trained volunteers is the heart of our program. We now have over 1000 volunteers from over 30 congregations working directly with guests. Host congregations provide temporary overnight lodging in otherwise unused space. The trained volunteers then cook and serve meals, play with children and interact with families with a sense of compassion and mutual respect. By getting to know the participants in our program, volunteers come to know the face of homelessness. These volunteers constitute a powerful force for change in ending homelessness. FPNSB is not only about providing direct service; it is about building community to affect systematic change.

Our headquarters in Beverly houses staff offices and a day center that participant families can use for job hunting and connecting with critical services. Our van transports our guest families between our headquarters and host congregations. Families can receive mail, catch the school bus, and get ready for the day at the day center which has showers and laundry facilities. We also employ a professional social worker, who is devoted to helping participant families find jobs, education/training opportunities and permanent housing, as well as referring family to other needed services. 


Impact Statement

Since our inception in May 2013, Family Promise North Shore Boston has served over 35 families in our ongoing Residential Program, as well as over 30 more families in the community who are at risk of experiencing homelessness themselves. In 2017 alone, Family Promise was able to serve 9 families in our Residential model and 15 families in the community, keeping them in their homes or finding alternative placements for them. We do this with only 2 full time staff. Over the course of the last 3 years, we have successfully trained over 1000 volunteers who help serve our families on a weekly basis. One of our best examples of our impact to the communities we serve is that of all the families that have successfully "graduated" from our program, none of the families have re-entered shelter. This speaks to the intensive nature of our weekly case management services as well as the incredible work our families put in to locating work and finding sustainable housing. 


Needs Statement

Over the course of the past 5 years, one added barrier that multiple families have come up against is the lack of affordable housing that is available to them after increasing their income, paying off debt/arrears etc. One way to combat this is for Family Promise to locate and secure some transitional units for our families to reside in, until something permanent can be located. In October of 2017, Family Promise signed a 3 year master lease with our current landlord  to be used as transitional housing while more time for permanency is needed. We call this our Families Forward model. This has a two-fold effect on the Organization. Firstly, this will allow a family to continue what they have gleaned from the Organization by re-entering the community with stable employment, proper training around financial literacy and any other community supports they need to make a successful transition. Secondly, this will open the front door to Family Promise to begin working with families that need help with shelter, intensive case management, etc. 

CEO Statement

It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with Family Promise North Shore Boston’s dedicated Board of Directors and network member congregations during this last calendar year (2014). Through the committed actions I have seen firsthand from members of our FPNSB team display their passion for helping homeless families to maintain hope as they move through the difficult and traumatic circumstance of family homelessness. Seeing dedicated service to a National issue right in our back yard, is truly humbling on a daily basis. Coming along side our volunteer Board of Directors as well as the more than 1000 volunteers who consistently give of their free time and energy to serve families experiencing homeless is truly one of the most rewarding moments of my career.

After more than a decade with the State's child welfare system, I can say this model is truly unique and has a lasting impact, not only the families that we serve but on the volunteers as well. What sets this model apart is the focus on hospitality. Hospitality involves showing respect for one’s guests, providing for their needs, and doing so while treating them as equals. This is not just service delivery. It is through hospitality that labels are discarded, barriers are broken, and the dignity of our guests is protected. When the labels come off, the human face of family homelessness emerges and advocates for the needs of homeless and low income families are created. It is through hospitality that our neighbors – homeless families with children right here on the North Shore – come to know that they have not been forgotten.

Another unique element to our program model is our heavy use of existing resources to fill an urgent need. Like many other individuals, I have been tremendously concerned when I think about resources going to waste when there are so many among us who need so much. Space in our area houses of worship that had been sitting idle and empty for much of the week have now become safe shelter and the place where human connections are made – the kind of connections that foster a rapid ascent from poverty and homelessness to stability and independence. This ascent is aided by the fine human services providers who are already doing compassionate and competent work with families here on the North Shore. We’re not reinventing any wheels with this program – merely connecting people with resources that already exist – fostering collaboration and cooperation along the way.

This is a very exciting time and I look forward to working with this great organization for years to come.

 


Board Chair Statement

It’s hard to believe we are approaching the milestone of 5 years of operation in May! I recall when we took a leap of faith and hired our first staff member in August of 2012 – there was a strong belief that we really could gather the needed host and support congregations and train enough volunteers in the coming months in order to open the doors to the families we knew were waiting for our help!


While we take a moment to celebrate, it is also a time to look ahead at how Family Promise North Shore Boston can better serve our mission of ending homelessness on the North Shore, one family at a time. You may be aware that we are in the midst of an important survey to gather feedback from a large cross-section of people involved in FPNSB. What we learn from our supporters - volunteers, donors and sponsors - will guide our future strategies. Thank you to all who have answered the call to help with this valuable project.

During this past year, we’ve realized that while our program has evolved, we haven’t done such a good job of communicating how the basic program has changed over time to meet the realities we found. As families graduated, we instituted an “after” program to stay in touch with families, and where needed, to offer guidance and continued support services. Along the way, we also began to track the services we provided in a sort of “pre” program, where referrals were provided for families we weren’t able to serve due to space or other factors. We discovered that many people need assistance in navigating the services available in the community. The impact of Family Promise is much more than just the four families we have in the residential program at any given time.

We also recognized the increasingly difficult problem of finding affordable housing for our families when they were ready to move on. Staying longer in Family Promise wasn’t the answer but often appropriate housing could not be found. We made a decision to look at how to provide a “transitional” place to live while a family continued searching for an apartment. The result was a small apartment for a defined short term that could later be used by the next family. This concept allows Family Promise to be able to serve more families each year. It’s a model that we would like to expand and we will be working with local property owners in the coming year.

Lastly, we can’t ever thank you enough for everything that you do for the children and their parents. All of your many contributions make such a difference in the lives of these families – they are often overwhelmed that so many people care about them and truly want to see them succeed! Your generosity and warm hospitality for these families struggling to get back on their feet is appreciated beyond what words can express.

Warm regards,

Dale Earl, President

 


Geographic Area Served

NORTHEAST REGION, MA
Family Promise North Shore Boston serves any and all families from the Greater North Shore area of Massachusetts.

Organization Categories

  1. Housing, Shelter - Homeless Shelters
  2. -
  3. -

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

No

Programs

Interfaith Hospitality Network

Our Interfaith Hospitality Network Program (the flagship program of Family Promise North Shore Boston- also called our Residential Model) provides temporary shelter, meals, hospitality, and services to homeless families with children utilizing available space and volunteers from an interfaith network of member congregations.  The program also utilizes a Day Center where guests do laundry, shower, conduct work and housing search activities and receive individual casework services from a professional social worker.  School-aged children in the program are picked up at the centralized Day Center on school days by their home school system enabling continuity in education and socialization.

 
An additional program offering is our Preventative Model. In this model, Family Promise works with members of the North Shore community who are tenuously housed, at risk for eviction or who have already received an eviction notice. By providing ongoing case management to families in this model, Family Promise is able to share resources, advocate for families and children and help families either sustain their current housing situation or find a new housing solution for their family.
 
Our final program offering is our after-care model. In this model, families who successfully "graduate" to permanent housing receive ongoing case management for 12 months to help ensure stability in their new housing situation. Family Promise has found that the first 12 months for families is often filled with anxiety and fear for families and providing case management as a way to pass along resources and assist with any issues or needed services helps smooth the road for families as they make their new start. 
 
 
 
Budget  200,000
Category  Housing, General/Other Homeless Shelter
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Since opening our doors in May 2013, over 35 families have been served in our residential model. In 2016 and 2017, Family Promise saw enormous growth in the need for additional case management for families tenuously housed. While a strategic risk to our small staff's workload, families engaging in this model have been successful is maintaining their living situation or finding new homes.
Program Long-Term Success  As noted earlier, of all the families we move from our residential model to permanent housing, none of them have re-entered a shelter program. We count this a huge success, not only from a program performance basis but also a testimony of how incredibly hard families work to succeed.
Program Success Monitored By  We will measure our success by the number of families that successfully enter into sustainable housing.  We will survey past program participants to determine the rate at which they are maintaining their housing one year after exiting the program.  Guests will be linked with all private and public resources for which they are eligible.  
Examples of Program Success 
As noted earlier, of all the families we move from our residential model to permanent housing, none of them have re-entered a shelter program. We count this a huge success, not only from a program performance basis but also a testimony of how incredibly hard families work to succeed.
 
Another example of success in our preventative model is "Christine". Christine initially applied to our rotational shelter model, but had concerns about the impact it would have on her autistic son. Because of this, Christine decided to remain in her current living situation and engage in the ongoing case management that Family Promise offered. Given the housing expertise that Family Promise had and relationships with various housing providers, Christine was able to locate and secure new permanent housing for her and her son after just 90 days.  

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Please see the other comments sections for additional information on challenges and solutions.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Russell Queen
CEO Term Start Mar 2014
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Russ brings a diverse skill set to the role. He spent 10+ years in he child welfare system for the State of Masachusetts, both in a case management role as well as a managerial role. Managing contracts, a $6MM annual budget, overseeing youth in various forms of congregate care, etc. Most recently, Russ co-founder a company to further understand the day to day operations, financial etc of a start up company. This varied experience places Russ is a unique position to manage the day to day needs of a start up non-profit. Russ is also an active member of one of the host congregations in Ipswich, serving an ordained Deacon for the past 5+ years.

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

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter 2011
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 4
Number of Volunteers 1,200
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
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 No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mrs. Dale Earl
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired
Board Chair Term Nov 2016 - Nov 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Duncan Ballantyne Retired Researcher Voting
Mr Tucker Bixby Community Volunteer Voting
Rev. Michael Duda First Church Wenham Voting
Ms. Dale Earl Massachusetts Dept. of Higher Education --
Mrs. Linda Goodspeed Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Michael Keefe-Feldman non-profit Quarterly Voting
Mr. John Kenney Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Cathryn Kent Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Cheri Marquart Retired School Teacher Voting
Mrs. Tricia McCall Community Volunteer Voting
Mrs. Dale Miller-Bouton Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Elizabeth Murray Citizens Bank Voting
Ms. Heather Thistle Community Volunteer Voting
Mrs. Bonnie Wilson Community Volunteer 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: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 8
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 95%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Personnel

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $230,877 $220,802 $225,322
Total Expenses $245,832 $236,694 $200,934

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $5,000
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $0 $5,000
Individual Contributions $161,457 $169,685 $190,965
Indirect Public Support -- $0 $0
Earned Revenue -- $0 $0
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $0 $0
Membership Dues -- $0 $0
Special Events $69,420 $51,117 $29,357
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- $0 $0

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $101,619 $105,929 $84,614
Administration Expense $79,306 $71,032 $62,452
Fundraising Expense $64,907 $59,733 $53,868
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.94 0.93 1.12
Program Expense/Total Expenses 41% 45% 42%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 28% 27% 24%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $129,147 $150,453 $160,203
Current Assets $76,152 $88,362 $89,015
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $20,465 $26,816 $20,674
Total Net Assets $108,682 $123,637 $139,529

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
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? 2.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.72 3.30 4.31

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As we look at the landscape of affordable housing on the North Shore, perhaps the biggest challenge we face as an Organization is moving our families out into permanent housing in the shortest time possible, from intake to discharge. Often times, the amount of monthly rent our families can afford on a sustaining level is too high based on their income. Because of this, they need to spend more time in shelter to save for that expense, clogging up the front door for those families who also need assistance. There are simply not enough affordable units on the North Shore for the amount of families that need them and more and more families find themselves experiencing homelessness.
However, the opportunity is there for the taking. As an Organization, we have a big opportunity to address the housing issue that plagues many families on the North Shore. In the short term, we will move forward with using transitional units for families in order to get more families through our front door. While accomplishing that, consideration is given to a multi-pronged approach to addressing the need for additional affordable units. Whether Family Promise will purchase a building, subsidize rental units in the community, or partner with a property management company in the future is yet to be determined. But, our collective Board of Directors agree that if we are truly going to help with a long term vision of sustainability for each family we serve, we must address the affordability of apartments for families in need.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the nonprofit's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
 
The organization had a change in fiscal year from a March 1 - Feb. 28 fiscal year to a calendar year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31), as such, the 2012 Form 990 posted above covers 10 months (March 1 - Dec. 31).
 

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?

 The ultimate and overarching goal of Family Promise North Shore Boston is to work toward ending family homelessness on the North Shore of Boston through a community approach that comes alongside individual families experiencing homelessness in the North Shore region. By leveraging the hospitality and resources of our community, we seek to help the families in our program find and maintain permanent, affordable housing. In addition, we seek to raise awareness within the community about family homelessness in our area. Currently, we are working towards these goals by offering shelter accommodations, meals, community hospitality, and comprehensive case management to families in this area experiencing homelessness.

As we seek to grow this program in the next three to five years our strategies as outlined below would allow us to build upon the success we already have by being able to offer services to more families over time and to educate more community members about the problem of family homelessness in this region. In order to accomplish these goals, we need to address barriers that cause many of the families in our shelter program to stay in shelter longer than they may need to. We also must empower our volunteers to advocate in the fight against family homelessness.

Success in this program long-term can be seen in the families who have already completed the shelter program. As they remain stable in housing, this program has created lasting change. Also, when the community who provides the hospitality for families in this program see the success of graduate families, they are able to see the power of a collective response to ending homelessness, advocate for the families in the community who may be facing homeless, and help educate their neighbors to reduce the stigma of family homelessness. We, therefore, will know that we are successful if we are able to graduate more families from this program each year than we were the year before. As those graduate families remain stable, our success continues as well.

 


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Through working with four families in intensive case management at one time, we have found that these families are able to maintain their housing when they move out. Also, the hospitality aspect of our program is offered by over 1000 trained volunteers who have the chance to interact with families experiencing homelessness and become advocates for the fight against homelessness in our own community.

As we have been utilizing the above methods in our program for the past few years, we have realized that at times families stay in shelter for longer than anticipated due to more challenging barriers they must overcome to be self-sufficient. These barriers include transportation, child care, job and life skills training, and most importantly affordable housing. In order to overcome these barriers in a lasting way for families, we intend to grow and strengthen community partnerships where families in our program can access necessary resources and develop needed skills. We have begun these partnerships with a local childcare facility that is willing to offer reduced rate daycare slots and with a local taxi company who offers reduced rates for families in our program. We have also been in conversations with a local bank, a parent-child center, and the local community college to develop a life skills workshop series where experts in the community help families in our program address some of their barriers. These workshops could also be offered to those families experiencing homelessness in other shelters or those at risk for homelessness in the community, allowing us to serve more community members at one time. These community partnerships will also allow us to connect with a broader network and educate more people in the area about the plight of homeless families on the North Shore.

In addition, we are in the process of securing transitional housing units as a next step for families who have increased their income and are searching for a permanent, affordable housing unit. Often families are motivated to increase their income quickly upon coming into the program, but it has taken time to find an apartment they can afford. This causes them to lag in our shelter program while they wait for adequate housing. With transitional housing units, families would be able to practice the skills of living independently while continuing to work with our organization on budgeting and searching for a permanent apartment. This will reduce the length of stay in our shelter facilities, allowing us to accommodate more families experiencing homelessness in this area.

Finally, as we stratagize about empowering our trained volunteers to become engaged as and advocates against family homelessness, our strategy is to continue to host community events such as the First Annual Walk to End Homelessness that we hosted in October 2014. This event raised over $25,000 for our organization and educated hundreds of walkers about family homelessness in a non-threatening way. As we educate our community, we want them to know that homelessness can happen to anyone and we must find ways to help our neighbors who may be experiencing homelessness. While we work to plan a second annual walk, we are also looking at hosting open houses at our shelter facilities as well as diversifying our audience by offering events like art shows.


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

Our organization’s greatest asset is the network of over 1000 trained volunteers. Along with our full time director and case manager, we have a pool of expertise to draw from in addressing the barriers that families face upon entering our shelter. We utilize this network to connect families to resources such as employment training, education, and affordable housing. In addition, we are working towards leveraging these resources to provide families in our program with a life skills curriculum taught by experts in the community. This network is key in many of our fundraising strategies as about half of our expected funding comes from contributions from individual supporters and local congregations.

Further, our unique approach in working with families experiencing homelessness is a strength that allows us to pursue our goals effectively. We work intensely with four families at one time, leaning heavily on the expertise of both the director and assistant director who both have extensive backgrounds in social services. While this seems like a small scale approach, we have found that this tactic allows us help families address a multitude of barriers while they are in shelter, preventing them from re-entering shelter once becoming re-housed. Families are also able to be housed in an average of 136 days as opposed to the 229 day average length of stay for families in state shelter. This allows us to help more families over time move out of homelessness and remain stably housed.

 


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

 

There are several measurable indicators by which we track our success as an organization. The first is length of stay for families in the program. Right now our average length of stay is 136 days. However, our goal is to have families become stably rehoused within 90 days of entering this program. As we increase stabilization services for families over the next year, our goal is to reach this average length of stay by the end of 2015. Accomplishing this goal would give way to helping us meet our second benchmark of increasing the number of individuals served from 30 a year to 45 a year by the end of 2015. These benchmarks can only be reached if are able to increase the number of families who are able to obtain employment and increase their income while in the program. Partnering with job training organizations and local businesses as employers will help us meet this goal. We also measure success by the percentage of families who remain stably housed upon exiting the program. At this time 100% of the families who have graduated remain housed, and we would like to retain that statistic even as we increase our numbers. Our goal for success is to work just as effectively with more families by leveraging community involvement.


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

 Now that we have been in operation for almost 5 years, we have learned that our intensive and small-scale approach with families is very effective. We see that reflected in our numbers as referenced above, especially in recognizing that all of our graduate families remain stably housed. We have learned how to partner with families in case management so that they feel empowered to achieve their goals and create a sustainable future for their children. As we recognize that the experience of homelessness can be chaotic, we have learned that it is imperative to provide a strong sense of structure and accountability in helping families re-establish themselves.

This track record is beginning to be recognized by businesses in the community as we seek to establish partnerships with them to address barriers that families in our shelter commonly face. Without establishing a strong case management base at the center, local partners would not be as willing to engage in collaboration with us to provide affordable and transitional housing, job training, transportation, or childcare to families to help them get back on their feet.

In pursuing these partnerships, however, we have recognized the need to be out in the community more. Since we have established ourselves, we need to promote this approach to addressing family homelessness across our region so that we might establish effective partners who may not otherwise know about us unless we go to them. With this in mind, we have increased the hours of the assistant director from 30 to 35. We have learned that just as a relational approach is best when working with families in our program; it is also effective in growing our collaborations in the community. With an increased number of collaborations in the next year, we hope to transition families out of shelter more quickly and achieve our overarching goal of serving more families on the North Shore experiencing homelessness.