My Sister's Place, Inc.

Ending Violence, Empowering Lives

aka MSP   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.mysistersplacedc.org

Mission

My Sister’s Place (MSP) shelters, supports and empowers survivors of domestic violence and their children, while providing leadership and education to build a supportive community.

Ruling year info

1982

Executive Director

Mercedes Lemp

Main address

1436 U Street, NW Suite 303

Washington, DC 20009 USA

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EIN

52-1263256

NTEE code info

Family Violence Shelters and Services (P43)

Hot Line, Crisis Intervention (F40)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Sanctuary Plus Emergency Shelter

Many mothers come to MSP's shelter in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and, of course, their children.  Our confidential emergency shelter and supportive services, including individual and group counseling, provide survivors of violence with a secure, peaceful environment in which to begin the journey toward independence.  For many, it is the first time in years they have felt safe.  In fall 2010, MSP completed its initiative to expand and renovate its emergency shelter, Sanctuary Plus, to provide shelter for up to15 families.  The 9,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility features 15 bedroom suites, a children's resource center, a secured playground, and a commercial kitchen with a full-time chef who plans nutritious meals for families.  The shelter's dormitory-style design encourages a sense of community and support that reminds families that they are not alone during this tough period of their lives.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Homeless people

The transitional housing program offers continuity of support services (including counseling, clinical case-management, and skills development) in addition to housing which were begun while at the emergency shelter, and still needed as clients transition to a new independent life.  Families who enter our transitional housing program are linked with a range of supportive and community services that help them move towards permanent housing as well as emotional and financial independence.  Clients receive counseling and case management, learn financial management, attend school or receive job training, and receive assistance in finding permanent housing.  The interim apartment can become permanent housing depending on the client's needs and eligibility for other housing options.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Families

We offer counseling, case management and referrals to legal services for victims of domestic violence who are not in immediate need of shelter.  This program serves women and their children who could not previously access needed services unless they were in a shelter.  The non-residential program implements evidence-based treatment modalities for working with women and children affected by victimization.  Beyond intervention, counselors collaborate with clients to address other barriers to safety and work with clients to develop goals toward independence.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Families

MSP provides outreach and education to the Latino community to combat domestic violence and empower Latina survivors to seek services. This program provides trainings, tablings, speakers, and capacity-building for both community members and for organizations serving the Latino community.

Population(s) Served
People of Latin American descent
Victims and oppressed people

Supported by a Grant from the District of Columbia’s Child and Family Services Agency, the Batterer Intervention Program (BIP) is designed to help keep children and families safe in DC. Last year, CFSA identified addressing domestic violence as key to achieving family preservation and re-unification. Specifically, families are often separated due to domestic violence and unable to safely reunite due to the lack of resources available to the batterer. Our BIP is perhaps the first Batterer Intervention Program for fathers whose families have been identified as being at risk by CFSA.

Through a 24 week intensive program facilitated by licensed clinicians, MSP staff work with fathers who are batterers to provide a safe community place to learn about healthy relationships, become accountable for their own violent and abusive behavior, and learn how to replace violence and abuse with positive and healthy behaviors. MSP is using the Men Stopping Violence curriculum developed in Atlanta that integrates an ecological perspective by acknowledging systems of oppression and then empowering men to build communities that support men in achieving healthy relationships. The goal of the BIP group is to provide participants with greater self-awareness to help them identify themselves as abusers, and to develop appropriate strategies to properly address aggressive behaviors.

Additionally, with our expertise in domestic violence, MSP provides training, technical assistance and case consultation to CFSA and CPS staff to help protect children and strengthen families. MSP and CFSA staff work together to properly screen CFSA cases for domestic violence.

Population(s) Served
Men and boys
Parents

Upon exiting the residential and non-residential programs, clients benefit from ongoing contact with case-management staff to support them in their independence. Services include counseling, referrals to community-based services, and advocacy as needed for a minimum of 90 days. Our goal is to provide active outreach and assist clients in building long-term supportive systems within their communities, to reduce the likelihood of future victimization.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Families

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average number of service recipients per month

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

MSP serves about 500 participants annualy but the number varies monthly given where they are in the program and the capacity of shelter and support for transitional housing.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.


MSP Goals

1. Provide life-saving emergency shelter (Sanctuary Plus) and intensive supportive services to survivors of domestic violence serving 40-60 families a year and enabling at least 50 families to make a successful transition from violence, abuse, and homelessness to safe and stable housing.

2. Provide transitional-to-permanent housing to 30-40 families a year through MSP’s transitional housing program RISE (Reaching Independence through Survivor Empowerment), with 15 families graduating RISE and becoming self-sufficient.

3. Provide rental support and supportive services for 30 families for two years through MSP’s RISE Plus program, with 15 families moving to a Rapid Rehousing model that progressively decreases the rent support they require as they become more self-sufficient.

4. Provide wrap around services to Shelter, RISE, RISE Plus, and FRSP (Family Rehousing and Stabilization Program) participants including case management, advocacy, counseling and therapy, to support a family’s progress towards self-sufficiency.

5. Provide workforce development workshops and opportunities to increase income for at least 50 clients through new or improved employment, training, and access to public benefits.

6. Provide furnishings and household goods for clients moving to transitional housing from shelter through the Move In program which provides help to 40 families a year by supporting moving and appropriately furnishing their new homes.

7. Provide After Care services to at least 50 families exiting RISE and RISE Plus to ensure a continuum of care aimed at preventing recurrence of abuse and homelessness.

8. Provide one time emergency financial assistance through the Fresh Start Fund program to 45 families in any of MSP’s programs to stabilize their path to success.

9. Provide case management and other supportive services to 54 families through the FRSP program that houses families in DC government subsidized units.

10. Continue to educate the community by conducting at least five trainings to a variety of partners with a goal to increase DV awareness and to prevent domestic violence as well as how to recognize DV symptoms and share tools and resources for help.

Projects Goals for Emergency Shelter & Supporting Strategies
Please note that project goals are set on an annual basis. Our goal is to increase the number of clients in each target annually. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, we are conservatively estimating the numbers to be the same in year two.

Activities:
1. Assist 150 survivors who call the shelter with safety planning and referrals.
2. Develop 130 safety plans with DV survivors seeking or receiving emergency housing.
3. Provide life-saving emergency shelter to 110 survivors (adults and children) along with case management to enable clients to make a successful transition from violence, abuse and homelessness to safe, stable housing.
4. 600 intensive case management and counseling sessions to help survivors heal from trauma, identify needs, create realistic service plans and in achieving goals, includes referrals agencies providing healthcare, legal services, childcare, job training, and housing among other supports
5. 35 direct legal connections to the DC Volunteer Lawyer Project for legal assistance on custody matters, immigration needs and other legal matters, on-site legal services to address custody and immigration issues, as well as providing education and advocacy
6. 416 meals providing nutritious, healthy food to assist families in meeting their nutritional needs.
Activities:
7. Assist 150 survivors who call the shelter with safety planning and referrals.
8. Develop 130 safety plans with DV survivors seeking or receiving emergency housing.
9. Provide life-saving emergency shelter to 110 survivors (adults and children) along with case management to enable clients to make a successful transition from violence, abuse and homelessness to safe, stable housing.
10. 600 intensive case management and counseling sessions to help survivors heal from trauma, identify needs, create realistic service plans and in achieving goals, includes referrals agencies providing healthcare, legal services, childcare, job training, and housing among other supports
Project Goals for transitional housing and activities
RISE project goals, activities and anticipated outcomes include but not limited to the following:

1. 400 sessions of case-management, counseling and advocacy services to participants as determined by their self-identified needs, which may include: 1) referrals for critical services such as health care, psychiatric care, addiction treatment, child care and legal assistance; 2) provision of individual, family or group counseling and 3) referrals for other supportive services to help participants reach self-sufficiency. All of these services are voluntary and offered as needed by each individual family.
2. Assess participant’s financial ability to afford rent and living expenses, helping participants increase or downsize their units or find other sources of income/better or additional jobs as needed;
3. Offer a minimum six months of aftercare to all participants, following their exit.

My Sister’s Place new mission statement describes our work to shelter, support and empower survivors of domestic violence and their children, while providing leadership and education to build a supportive community. MSP is unique in offering a full continuum of care from emergency shelter through transitional-to-permanent housing and providing after-care support long after families have exited our housing programs. MSP serves families from the first days of deciding to flee to long after they have established their own homes, for as long as they want to stay connected with us.

MSP developed our unique “Move-In Program” to provide furnishings and other household goods as clients move into new homes and our own “Fresh Start Fund” to help families with financial support to ensure they do not fall back into homelessness because of one unexpected bill.

MSP also stands out in our intentional hiring of highly educated, licensed and multi-cultural staff. Our experienced team of licensed social workers, therapists, case managers and residential counselors provide intensive case management and counseling sessions, art therapy, psycho-education workshops, workforce training, youth programs and activities, health and parenting work-shops and addiction counseling. Key programming that strengthens MSP portfolio of programs is our mental health support provided to clients through licensed therapist, including our own very popular full-time art therapist. These supportive services ensure that clients are empowered to recover and thrive so that they can maintain their independence, gain employment, placement into job-training and educational programs.

In FY20 MSP achieved the following results:

• MSP served a total of 181 adult survivors and 329 child survivors.
• 142 survivors were provided with safe, secure shelter for an average of 90 days
• 1990 case management and counseling sessions were provided including 195 mental health sessions and 108 addiction counseling sessions
• During case management, 108 safety plans, 96 goals were set and 148 financial and budgeting plans were created with survivors
• 75 sessions held to assist survivors with increasing income, gaining employment or education program placement
• Conducted 80 psycho-education workshops and 108 youth activities for shelter residents
• 98 survivors served through RISE Transition housing program
• 97 survivors transitioned to transitional or permanent housing and 37 survivors graduated RISE transitional housing program and living in permanent housing
• Conducted 12 Domestic Violence and Bystander Intervention training to 190 community participants
• 39 weekly DV resource clinics held in the community
• Partnered with over 36 community services providers to meet the needs of the survivors we serve
• Established relationships, formal agreements and DV tenant right education with 43 local landlords in the district to better serve survivors in transitional to permanent housing.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome,

Financials

My Sister's Place, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

My Sister's Place, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 9/7/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Zoe Sharp

General Counsel, Optoro, Inc.

Term: 2020 - 2023

Jackie Malkes

SAS

Martha Shannon

Cohn Reznick

Beverly Allen

Medstar Washington Hospital Center

Katrina Clemons

Grant Thornton LLP

Brenda Gaines

BG Consulting Services, LLC

Michelle Kisloff

Hogan Lovells

Kristen Maddox

Altria

Lisa Rosenthal

Mayvin Consulting Group

Camille Wheeler

Children's School Services

Zoe Sharp

Optoro, Inc.

Sarah Miller

PwC Deals

Noelle Dubiansky

Goodwin

Sophie Sahaf

LIFT

Shawn Wright

Blank Rome LLP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/07/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/24/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.