Saheli Inc

Support and Friendship for South Asian and Arab Women and Families

aka Saheli Boston   |   Burlington, MA   |  www.saheliboston.org

Mission

Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families is a social work agency that empowers South Asian women in Massachusetts to lead safe and healthy lives in the US. To ensure the safety of women who are survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence we offer a 24 x 7 helpline, trained advocates, safety plans, assistance to find shelter, meet basic needs and connect survivors of abuse to services and a large South Asian community. To ensure the good health of women we offer economic empowerment opportunities: funds to obtain skills and training, manage crisis with financial aid, financial and computer literacy classes, and job networking and career mentoring. We speak seven South Asian languages and share them with other social work agencies. We help children as well.

Ruling year info

2005

President of the Board

Ms. Neelam Wali

Co-Executive Director

Divya Chaturvedi

Main address

P. O. Box 1345

Burlington, MA 01803 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

03-0547972

NTEE code info

Family Violence Shelters and Services (P43)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Many immigrant and refugee women who come to the US from South Asian and Arab countries live in conditions that are susceptible to domestic violence. They have limited proficiency in English (LEP), lack job related skills, have limited knowledge about the financial and legal system, and have limited or no access to resources. This and the patriarchal culture and structured gender norms influence the way in which abuse happens and the way in which a victim or survivor responds to the abuse. South Asian and Arab women and girls who seek to escape abusive relationships have very limited culturally competent services that are available for them. Furthermore, language is a daunting barrier for them to access mainstream services. Saheli's goal is to be an agency that provides comprehensive services that is culturally competent and linguistically responsive to South Asian and Arab survivors of domestic violence.

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?

Economic Empowerment Program

Saheli’s Economic Empowerment Program gives immigrant domestic violence survivors who are low-income and limited in English language proficiency tools and resources to live safe, self-sustaining and empowered lives. This includes financial and computer literacy classes, education and awareness about job training resources, assistance in job search, resume and interview preparation.

Population(s) Served
People of South Asian descent
People of Middle Eastern descent
Low-income people
Immigrants
Victims of crime and abuse

Saheli has five trained domestic violence advocates who provide support, safety planning, crises management, identify and access resources and trauma informed case management. Speaking seven South Asian languages such as Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu they provide compassionate and non judgemental support to families in crises. Saheli's staff also conducts support groups that are culturally specific for South Asian and Arab survivors of domestic violence.

Population(s) Served
People of South Asian descent
People of Arab descent
Immigrants and migrants
Low-income people
Victims of crime and abuse

Saheli works with women and families who have experienced trauma. Saheli's contracted mental health counselors and therapists offer one-on-one sessions that are culturally competent and language specific. The therapists also conduct group therapy sessions for survivors to equip them with skills to process and decrease mental healthy symptoms. Saheli's trauma-informed yoga specialist works on providing alternative and mindful techniques to deal with trauma and anxiety. Saheli also organizes awareness campaigns among many ethnic and racial groups to raise awareness about how domestic abuse can lead to depression, anxiety and PTSD.

Population(s) Served
People of South Asian descent
People of Arab descent
Immigrants and migrants
Low-income people
Victims of crime and abuse

The goal for Saheli's Legal Advocacy Program is to enhance immigrant domestic violence survivors access to culturally competent and affordable legal assistance. To that end, Saheli's DV Advocactes provide warm referrals, offer case management by acting as a liaison between attorneys and survivors, explaining legal jargon and proceedings, advocating with various authorities on behalf of survivors, accompanying the survivor to court proceedings happening all over Massachusetts from Worcester County to Bristol County, providing assistance in writing affidavits, assisting survivors with protection orders when necessary and much more.

Population(s) Served
People of South Asian descent
People of Arab descent
Immigrants and migrants
Low-income people
Victims and oppressed people

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.

Number of participants counseled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Children and youth

Related Program

Domestic Violence Intervention & Response

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Culturally sensitive and linguistically responsive domestic violence counseling services provided to immigrant women and girls

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Families, Ethnic and racial groups

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Children and youth, Students

Related Program

Domestic Violence Intervention & Response

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Skilled South Asian second generation millennials are eager to help Saheli. Often we struggle to find meaningful projects for them to be involved in. We know, if we cannot engage them, we lose them.

Number of women who received financial aid

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Muslims, Families

Related Program

Economic Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Saheli advocates give $200 in cash to victims of violence in crisis, and girls and women receive $2,000 to pursue skills, education and economic empowerment to gain independence, safety and health.

Number of clients assisted with legal needs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People of South Asian descent, People of Middle Eastern descent, Low-income people, Immigrants and migrants, Victims of crime and abuse

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Saheli's Legal Advocacy Program serves survivors by connecting them with low-cost and pro-bono attorneys. Saheli's DV Advocates provides language specific case management services.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

1) Enhance access to culturally competent legal services to low-income and LEP survivors of domestic violence through the Saheli Legal Advocacy Program
2) Enhance access for low-income and LEP immigrant domestic violence survivors to tools and resources that will help survivors move towards economic independence and self sufficiency through the Saheli Economic Empowerment Program
3) Enhance access to culturally competent mental health support and services through the Saheli Mental Health Program
4) Enhance access to affordable and safe housing for immigrant domestic violence survivors

1) Legal Advocacy Program
(a) Connect survivors with culturally competent lawyers experienced in serving DV survivors
(b) Warm referrals and multilingual case management
(c) Educate about options and rights through multilingual reader-friendly materials to help survivors make informed decisions
(d) Court accompaniment
(e) Legal Clinics and Know Your Rights
(f) Interpretation and translation
2) Mental Health Program
(a) Connect survivors with contracted culturally competent and language specific mental health counselors providing one-on-one sessions
(b) Trauma informed and survivor-centered group therapy by licensed professionals
(c) Culturally informed and multilingual support groups
3) Economic Empowerment Program
(a) Educate survivors about job skills training and career opportunities by connecting with various organizations which provide free trainings for low-income survivors.
(b) Financial literacy workshops informing survivors about opening a bank account, accessing credit reports and maintaining credit scores, basics of budgeting, financial abuse and identity theft.
(c) Assist survivors in applying for public benefits and other temporary assistance.
4) Housing Program
(a) Help survivors move towards permanent supportive housing by providing rental and flexible assistance
(b) Assist survivors in applying for affordable housing
(c) Assist survivors in finding an emergency shelter to escape abuse
(d) Connect survivors with local agencies and resources that assist them with accessing affordable housing


Saheli is a domestic violence service agency providing assistance and services immigrant survivors of domestic violence for over 25 years. Being embedded in the South Asian community, Saheli is connected to organizations, businesses and professionals who support Saheli's mission. Saheli has a 9-member board of community leaders and philanthropists. Saheli also has an Advisory Committee with skilled professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders.

Saheli's has five part-time DV Advocates who are trained in providing trauma-informed and language specific services to immigrant survivors of domestic violence, two Co-Executive Directors with experience in non-profit management and deep roots in the community and on Development and Communications Coordinator. Saheli's staff, volunteers and board members are fluent in more than 12 South Asian languages and Arabic.

Saheli served more than 300 survivors in 2020 with many of them being single mothers, LEP and low income. Saheli has grown to provide comprehensive programs that go beyond immediate crisis intervention. Over the years, Saheli has worked hard to strengthen and widen its program to offer end-to-end services to survivors, and to ensure that survivors are on a path towards safety, healing and independence.

Saheli has been the proud recipient of many awards for its exceptional service over the years. In 2012, Saheli was awarded by Governor Deval Patrick on behalf of the Indian American Forum for Political Education for its “Extraordinary Contributions to the Residents of Massachusetts.” In 2015 Saheli received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Asian American Commission and received an award for its community oriented work from the Massachusetts Partners in Transportation in 2017. The same year, Saheli received its first state contract for Domestic Violence services from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Over the next few years Saheli aims at increasing its programs to serve immigrant youth and educate them about teen dating violence and healthy relationships; increase services to South Asian and Arab immigrant survivors of sexual assault and stalking; and strengthen all existing programs.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes,

  • 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,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, Many of our clients are limited in English proficiency and have limited technical skills,

Financials

Saheli 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

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

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Saheli Inc

Board of directors
as of 2/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Neelam Wali

Usha Vakil

Co-Founder and Senior Project Manager, Iron Mountain, Inc. Boston

DIVYA CHANDRA

Treasurer, CPA, Student at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Shweta Agrawal

Board Member, Alcion Systems

Neelam Wali

Alvin Mullin

Meenakshi Garodia

Tanu Basu

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/16/2021

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
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/16/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. 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 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 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.