Part of the Solution, Inc.

Feeding Our Neighbors. Nourishing Our Community.

aka POTS   |   Bronx, NY   |  www.potsbronx.org

Mission

The mission of Part of the Solution (POTS) is to be a loving community in the Bronx that nourishes the basic needs and hungers of all who come to our door.

Ruling year info

1991

Executive Director

Ms Christina Hanson

Main address

2759 Webster Ave

Bronx, NY 10458 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3425071

NTEE code info

Personal Social Services (P50)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

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

POTS believes the greatest issue affecting its community, poverty, is a twofold one. The first is that pervasive poverty causes many challenges in health, career advancement, educational outcomes and housing quality. The second is that all encompassing supports to address these challenges are insufficient in the Bronx community. There are over 420,000 residents of the Bronx that fall below the federal poverty line. Close to one-third of the borough’s residents have an increased risk for a host of difficulties that accompany pervasive poverty such as hunger, malnutrition, homelessness, health problems and developmental or educational delays. The poor and working-poor families that POTS serves are forced to make difficult choices every day – food or rent, transportation costs or childcare, heat in the cold of winter or medication. The poverty impacting one-third of Bronx residents is a complex community challenge. POTS “one-stop shop” model is proven to mitigate and reverse it.

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?

Next-Step Services

POTS’ Next-Step Services (NSS) team provides case management, legal representation, information and referrals to access shelter, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and educational programs. It also provides application assistance, advocacy and legal representation for those improperly denied benefits; assists in eviction prevention and affordable housing access; and screens for entitlements, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and health insurance. POTS’ Workforce Development team, conducted under NSS, also provides assistance to those seeking employment advancement. NSS’ comprehensive case services, with the help of the stability and self-sufficiency mentor, works with a cohort of individuals and families facing poverty to identify and work to achieve short- and long-term goals focused on advancing stability and self-sufficiency. POTS has further expanded its NSS offerings and launched the Family Club to assist families with school-aged children on their journeys toward stability; this after-school program provides educational, nutritional and social support to children and their caregivers.

Population(s) Served

POTS’ Emergency Food Programs, which are comprised of the Community Dining Room and the Food Pantry, address one of the greatest needs in the Bronx: accessibility to healthy and nutritious food. POTS’ Food Pantry serves food in a supermarket-style, ensuring individuals are able to choose the foods they like, while also adhering to set nutritional guidelines. POTS’ Food Pantry is open Monday through Saturday mornings as well as Saturday afternoon. Each individual utilizing the Food Pantry has a brief encounter with a staff member on every visit so that individuals have an opportunity to express emergent needs and access additional services. The Community Dining Room was the first POTS program and it continues to not only address an immediate need (hunger) but also serve as a gateway to other programs for individuals seeking to improve and stabilize their lives. The restaurant-style dining room allows for clients to relax and enjoy a healthy meal with other members of the community while being served in a respectful manner.

Population(s) Served

For over 20 years POTS’ Day-to-Day Services has met needs by providing essential services that build confidence and stability such as shower and mail facilities, allowing clients to begin their journey toward self-sufficiency. Every day hundreds of clients walk through POTS’ doors facing challenges such as pervasive poverty and hunger. Many of POTS’ Day-to-Day Services program clients are unable to obtain the daily necessities to help them move away from crisis. Often times they lack clothing, a secure address to receive mail or the basics needed maintain proper hygiene. POTS’ Day-to-Day Services program meets client needs by providing them with essential services that build their confidence and sense of stability so they can begin their journey toward self-sufficiency. Clients are also provided with information on other services offered at POTS that can be of help, such as the Food Pantry and immigration assistance.

Population(s) Served

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 meals served or provided

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

Emergency Food Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients served

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of placements defined as full-time

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

Next-Step Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

For more than 35 years, POTS has been providing emergency food, social services and legal representation to low-income Bronx families and individuals through its Emergency Food Programs, Day-to-Day Services and Next-Step Services. With the critical support of the community, POTS assists individuals and families in crisis on their journeys towards greater stability and self-sufficiency.
POTS greatest aim is to offer the best solutions to client problems, either through programs offered internally at POTS or through its referral network, in order to drive clients toward stability. POTS' unique “one-stop shop” model provides a comprehensive mix of interrelated programming that addresses both basic client needs and more complex crises. POTS’ Emergency Food Programs and Day-to-Day Services provide for clients' most immediate needs, hosting POTS Community Dining Room, Food Pantry, clothing room, mail program, haircuts and shower facility. Simultaneously, POTS’ Next-Step Services hosts case management, comprehensive case management, a social services coordinator, workforce development and legal clinic offerings, which respond to more complex crises by finding gaps to help clients move from crisis to stability.

POTS Case Managers assess each individual client’s situation and connect them to life-sustaining benefits as well as internal and external service referrals. POTS Social Services Coordinator assists primarily homeless clients and clients suffering with mental illness find long-term supportive housing. Participants in the comprehensive case management program work on a series of goals to chart a pathway out of poverty. Workforce Development provides clients a tailor-made job search approach that focuses on either finding participants a suitable job or connecting them to employment training programs. POTS legal clinic assists households facing eviction or improperly denied benefits. To round out its comprehensive package of support, POTS hosts a medical and dental clinic, financial counseling services, tax preparation and immigration assistance. The organization’s unique combination of services and expanding referral network allows POTS to function as a central resource for its low-income neighbors with few other options.

POTS also aims to better systematically measure outcomes to ensure that its programs are meeting client needs and that its clients are experiencing improved stability in their own lives. As a longer-term goal, POTS aims to counteract the negative impact poverty has on individuals and families in this Bronx community. POTS efforts in achieving this goal are best represented in POTS’ comprehensive case management program. POTS’ comprehensive case management is an intensive service that works with a cohort of individuals and families facing poverty explicitly seeking to bring about significant change.

POTS’ “one-stop shop” of services addresses issues that often accompany pervasive poverty. Due to the organization’s service mix and strong partnerships with other service providers POTS is situated to dynamically change the lives of those it serves.

Many clients first enter POTS’ doors because of hunger, and the organization will provide access to food, while also striving to address other needs. Many coming to POTS for the first time are unaware of all of the help they can receive. Because of this they are screened for, and connected to additional services and benefits for which they may be eligible. For example, families who visit the Food Pantry are encouraged to enroll in SNAP, if qualified. Those who seek access to SNAP benefits are also screened for other relevant benefits that they are eligible to obtain. Those who seek legal help for eviction prevention are offered the chance to speak with a financial counselor, case manager or social worker for access to life-sustaining benefits, education or job training programs. With this type of comprehensive approach, POTS is able to assist clients with individualized, client-directed plans for stability. Clients who reported using a combination of services for more than one year reported the lowest rates of food insecurity among POTS’ population.


POTS’ comprehensive service offerings address issues in areas that must be strengthened for a client to reach stability. These areas are financial, health, education, housing and day-to-day and the organization refers to this set as POTS Stability Index (Index). The Index is used as an internal rubric to assess client stability. To ensure that POTS staff can obtain a clear picture of client circumstance, service usage and best next steps, the organization uses a customized Salesforce database. Within this database, POTS is able to y track client stability with the Index’s noted areas to determine avenues for improvement and progress toward self-sufficiency.

A client is measured in accordance to the Index after completing an intake process. The intake results and client profile is recorded in POTS customized Salesforce database. POTS performs intakes to screen clients for benefits eligibility and provide an orientation of the agency’s programs. Through this intake, clients gain access to POTS’ Next-Step Services offerings, providing them the opportunity to enroll in essential benefits and receive workforce development training. The Salesforce database streamlines the intake process and allowing frontline staff to inform clients on the range of services available at POTS during their first visit.

The development of the database filled the strategic goal of refining a program model that focuses on client stability and self-sufficiency. It allows for more efficient communication among POTS’ staff, appointment scheduling, seamless offsite access and POTS is better able to measure the outputs and outcomes of thousands of client interaction.

POTS’ unique “one-stop shop” model of interrelated programming helps low-income individuals and families move from crisis to stability and ultimately self-sufficiency. Since moving into its current facility in 2012, POTS began offering new programs and expanded existing services to enhance the effectiveness of its “one-stop shop” model. The number of individuals that have benefited from POTS’ services is up from 16,000 in 2012 to 30,000 in 2018.

POTS’ Emergency Food Programs include the Community Dining Room and Food Pantry, which address hunger among those who have no access to consistent nutritious meals. POTS’ Day-to-Day Services provide individuals with other essentials of daily living – a secure mailing address, shower facilities, a barbershop and clothing room. POTS’ Next-Step Services (NSS) programs include general case management assistance, with a focus on screening for eligibility and access to income supports, and legal assistance, primarily focused on clients facing eviction. In addition, POTS Next-Step Services staff provides access and referrals to shelter, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and educational programs; advocacy and legal representation for those improperly denied benefits; and advice and application support for affordable housing access. POTS’ NSS added two essential programs in 2016 that are designed to help clients meet their goals and the goals they have for the next generation: employment assistance to those seeking job placement or employment advancement and comprehensive case management, an intensive life coaching service that works with individuals and families who have ambitious goals and need support in reaching those goals. Finally, POTS’ NSS program hosts Immigrant Justice Corps fellows who provide advice, application assistance and guidance for those who have a pathway to work authorization, permanent residency or citizenship.

POTS’ Salesforce database increases productivity and enables POTS staff to analyze how clients are moving away from crisis and towards self-sufficiency as it aligns with POTS Stability Index. Staff members may track specific measurements which define stability in financial, health, education, housing and day-to-day need categories. Salesforce allows POTS staff to take an objective look at program effectiveness and the areas of stability and track clients progress. The recording of information through Salesforce lets POTS measure the success and growth of each program through quantifiable means.

POTS also has a group of committed volunteers and funders that help sustain the organization’s high-quality services as it grows. The organization works with various community groups, congregations, schools and businesses to recruit volunteers and skill-based pro-bono services and benefits a network of 3,500 individuals that volunteer annually. These volunteers support POTS’ efforts, its staff, its daily policies and activities and its guiding principles.

POTS’ “one-stop shop” design is becoming a recognized best practice model in assisting people move from crisis to stability and ultimately self-sufficiency. In 2016 POTS was selected as a semifinalist for New York Community Trust’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards. POTS is also a past recipient of the Food Bank’s Agency of the Year Award and City Harvest’s first Annual Visionary Award.

In 2018 POTS served almost 150,000 meals in the Community Dining Room, provided over 853,000 meals through the Food Pantry. Through POTS’ Day-to-Day programs, POTS gave nearly 800 unique individuals haircuts, supplied 1,200 individuals with a secure mailing address and enabled over 690 people, most of whom were street homeless, to get a hot shower nearly 7,430 times.

POTS Next Step Services screened 5,350 unique households for benefits that resulted in securing over $11 million in benefits to 2,444 client households. Benefits included Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Public Assistance and Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability. POTS Social Services Coordinator secured supportive housing for 7 mentally-ill homeless individuals.

POTS’ Legal Clinic prevented the evictions and/or preserved access to affordable housing for over 400 households. POTS’ Workforce Development program placed over almost 100 clients in full- or part-time employment and placed approximately 100 people in a workforce development program to improve their skills. POTS Family Club provided comprehensive case management, education, social and nutrition support to 27 in-need families.

In February 2018, POTS hired a stability and self-sufficiency mentor (SSSM), who now works with a cohort of clients to set long- and short- term goals towards stability and self-sufficiency. Last year, 81 clients received personalized case plans and 57% of these clients met their short and/or long term goals with almost 50% of clients showing progress in three of five Stability Index areas: Financial, Health, Day-to-Day, Housing and Education.

POTS estimates that it provided $24 million in value to the community through provision of meals, showers, haircuts, and clothing; access to SNAP and Medicaid; eviction prevention services; and supportive housing placements.

POTS has launched a capital campaign to enable expansion of targeted services, specifically workforce development and comprehensive case management. Following POTS ongoing rate of success, the organization anticipates that added resources will lead to POTS’ services reaching 38,000 individuals in 2025.

Emphasis on intensive services that lead to long-term stability and self-sufficiency are the priority of the expansion, so the highest area of program growth will be within POTS’ Next-Step Services department. POTS will increase its staffing in this department which in turn will increase POTS total annual economic return to the community from approximately $24,000 to $35,000.

Financials

Part of the Solution, 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
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Part of the Solution, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 8/27/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Mark Miller

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Eric Gies

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John Krall

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Keith Pagnani

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Barbara Raho

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Fran Conroy

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Joanne Daly

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Nicholas Finn

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Sean Hoover

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Frank De Maria

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Kathy Byrnes, SC

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Rev. Terry Elsberry

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Heather Goodridge

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John Kuster

Sidley Austin

Brian Newman

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Lauren Braswell

KKR

Charlotte Raftery, SC

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Terry Feeney

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Conan Dolce

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Patti Moores

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Thomas Butkiewicz

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James Cannon

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Adriel Cepeda Derieux

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Ann Citerella, SC

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Nicole Denvir