Solutions at Work, Inc.

Working together to end homelessness

Cambridge, MA   |  www.solutionsatwork.org

Mission

Solutions at Work focuses on breaking the economic chains that bind people in homelessness and poverty. We provide the paid employment, skills training and tangible resources that help people make the transition to independence. We want to end homelessness. At Solutions at Work we solve problems with real, tangible solutions. We offer the means to help families and individuals make a successful transition out of homelessness and provide homeless persons with the tools, information, and places to make their voices heard effectively as self-advocates..

Ruling year info

1997

Co-Chair

Dr. Alice E. Kidder

Co Principal Officer

Mr. Paris Swindle

Main address

1151 Massachusetts Ave

Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3262577

NTEE code info

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (W19)

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (O19)

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

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?

Children's Clothing Exchange

Provides free clothes, shoes, books, baby furniture, and toys. Our unique barter service allows families to donate outgrown children's clothing in exchange for high-quality gently-used clothing in appropriate sizes. Non clothing items are avaliable without exchange. The program is a resource for all families without regard to income.

Population(s) Served

Provides high quality, gently used, interview-appropriate clothing with accessories to persons referred by shelters, other human service agencies, Cambridge Multi-service Center and the Office of Returning Citizens of the City of Boston. We also partner with Temple Salem in Dorchester to provide clothing for low income residence.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Incarcerated people

Green Street Shelter is located at 11-15 Green Street in Cambridge Mass
It serves up to 80 guests a night. Breakfast is offered. There is a women's section and a man's section. The shelter also provides job counseling and skills assessment. In the future the staff hope to offer writing and craft workshops.
Please email your request to the Green Street Shelter at [email protected] or call the shelter at

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Working poor
Low-income people
Extremely poor people

The Meals Program is located across the street from Starbucks in Central Square Cambridge
It serves 65 meals a night Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 Sometimes extra items such as backpacks and sanitary products are available. Solutions at Work partners with local businesses and the City of Cambridge to provide for this program. Please call Tara Riopelle at 617 576 0039

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

FSolutions at Work run workshops that train our staff and community members in the art of grant writing. This has become a very successful program. By training advocates to access funding not only is Solutions at Work ensuring that our organization has future grant writers but it is strengthening our entire community.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged 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 new grants received

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

Family relationships, Economically disadvantaged people, Ex-offenders, Victims of disaster, Work status and occupations

Related Program

Green Street Shelter

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of advisory councils the organization is a part of

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

SolutionsWear

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

Assist persons who are low income save funds which permits them to pay rent and avoid homelessness.  Give attractive clothing to persons coming out of job training to enhance their feeling of self-worth, and assist them in finding employment.  To provide emergency assistance of material goods to persons displaced by fire, or otherwise in need. To develop the capacity of staff and participants to "give back" to the community. We also have a meals program which serves about 300 hot meals a week in Central Sq. This helps feed people that otherwise would go hungry. We have also added a grant writing training program. Advocates can seek funding for their projects and missions. Access to funding makes our community stronger as a whole.

Solutions at work meets its goals by:
Hunger: We have been funded by the city of Cambridge and have partnered with local businesses to provide hot meals 5 nights a week.
No Poverty: Solutions at Work provides gently used adult and children's clothing, survival supplies like sleeping bags and coats, school supplies including book bags, holiday toys and games, gift cards for teens and more.
Housing: We offer a 50 bed shelter at 11 - 25 Green Street in Cambridge MA, serving three meals a day to guests.
Education: We offer free workshops on grant writing; This helps new organizations to establish themselves. Educating grass roots leaders empowers other groups and our community. We provide support for women in our shelter and mothers in our clothing programs.




We have opened our first shelter at 11-15 Green Street, Central Sq, Cambridge.It can sleep 75 guests..Because of social distancing, shelters are more limited in the numbers of guests they can take and more shelter space is needed to keep up with the increasing demand. Every bed is needed.
We feed up to 65 people five nights a week in our hot meal program in Central Sq. We have fed thousands of people since we opened in the late Spring.
We continue to provide quality clothing for families and people who are job hunting. We have partnered with many agencies in Metro Boston such as Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and African Community Economic Development Corporation of New England.
900 children were able to celebrate Xmas because of our Holiday program.$25 will help buy a teenager a gift certificate. We are the only area Xmas program that gives to teenagers.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve people who suffer from economic insecurity and food insecurity. Many our participants are homeless.

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

    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, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We recently opened a shelter and have used guest opinion to provide support programs such as job search.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Our guests feel that our programs make their life better

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

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Solutions at Work, 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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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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

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Solutions at Work, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 3/7/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Alice Kidder

Equa Community Consultants

Term: 2018 - 2021

Alice Kidder

Equa Community Services

Paris Swindle

Equa Community Consultants

Christine Murray

Gorton CPA

Debbie Clarke

retired

Harold Raymond

Veterans Clearinghouse

Heather Dabreau

Louis D Brown Peace Institute

Jim Brown

retired

Pastor Oliver

minister

Mary Gaylord

retired

Christine Murray

Gorton CPA

Abdulkadir Hussein

ExecutivDirector, African American Economic Development Corp

Milton Jones

Louis D Brown Peace Institute

Wilfred Louissaint

Whitney Transportation

Dania De Jesus

Eastern Bank

Thomas Bingham

Forrester Research

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 ? No
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/29/2022

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)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/12/2021

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 help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.