PLATINUM2022

ALTERNATIVES INC

Dignity Through Independence

Raritan, NJ   |  www.alternativesinc.org

Mission

Alternatives, Inc. provides comprehensive support services to individuals/families with special needs to enable them to reach their highest level of independence and integration in the community.

Notes from the nonprofit

Alternatives, Inc. works to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities, those experiencing homelessness, and others benefitting from services within the Greater Central New Jersey area since 1979.

Ruling year info

1998

President

Ms. Nancy Good

Main address

600 First Avenue

Raritan, NJ 08869 USA

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EIN

22-2318999

NTEE code info

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

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

Alternatives, Inc. provides comprehensive services to individuals/families with special needs to enable them to reach their highest level of independence and integration into the community.

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?

Services for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

Alternatives serves individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), which encompasses a variety of diagnoses, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, and those who may require behavioral supports and medical oversight. The agency follows an interdisciplinary model, which includes input from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Registered Nurse (RN), when developing service plans and identifying staff training needs. Management level professionals are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, with a second tier of Director-level professionals who are ready to respond when needed. Alternatives is also an approved vendor for representative payee services. Residential services are provided in Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean Counties. In each region, several programs are geographically clustered creating many benefits including sharing resources such as staffing, recreation, transportation, etc.

​Alternatives staff encourage clients to develop their skills in all areas of their lives, helping to foster independence in their home and community. The agency offers individualized services in a variety of residential settings that aim to meet each person’s unique needs. Based on the level of support required, individuals can reside in group home settings or apartment living, where supports are customized to meet the person’s needs. Supports may include health management, medication administration, transportation, meal planning, financial management, recreation, self-care and community involvement.

Alternatives hosts several recreational events throughout the year that are free of charge for those receiving residential services. Additionally, each program plans events and activities around the interests of the individuals. Individuals frequently attend free events or those involving a nominal fee, such as community fairs, festivals, shopping trips, dining experiences, celebrations, movies, theater, etc. A benefit to residences being clustered in similar geographic regions is the ability to offer opportunities for increased socialization.

Population(s) Served
Adults
People with intellectual disabilities

Alternatives, Inc. offers community mental health services, to those who have a mental health diagnosis including individuals who have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder, through our Community Support Services. Services are provided to individuals residing in Somerset County, who live either on their own or in one of our affordable housing options.

Services are provided by a team of Licensed Clinicians and Case Management staff who utilize a person-centered approach to help clients develop individualized goals and services focused on wellness and recovery.

Services help clients gain insight into their lives and learn ways to achieve enhanced wellness. Alternatives’ staff provide services such as: clinical counseling, psycho-education, assistance with skill building, money management, linkage to community resources, medical and mental health providers, etc. Community Support Services assist clients in gaining the necessary skills to sustain independence, as well recover from symptoms of mental illness.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Alternatives, Inc. is dedicated to helping families who are experiencing homelessness. The Franklin House Program offers temporary shelter to homeless mothers and their children, with an emphasis on building self-sufficiency and parenting skills.

The goal is to help families stabilize following their period of homelessness , and assist in locating permanent housing upon graduation.

This program provides up to 12 months of housing, as well as on-site Case Management. Alternatives’ staff use a person-centered approach to help all clients develop individualized goals and services with a focus on wellness and recovery. Services are flexible and can be enhanced as needed or requested.

Population(s) Served

Alternatives helps people with a broad range of skills and abilities find successful employment. Through Bridges to Employment, we provide pre-employment evaluation, preparation, job matching job retention services.

Employment Specialists provide ongoing support to both the client and the employer to ensure success and satisfaction whether the client is learning job skills, seeking a job or working on maintaining employment.

Alternatives provides employment support services to the deaf and hard of hearing in seven counties throughout Central New Jersey. The services are offered through the Career Development Center located at 3 Route 27 in Edison, New Jersey.

Transition services for high school students and other youth are also available through Bridges to Employment. Young adults and their parents/guardians are provided information and guidance to make the transition from high school to adult life.

Assessments can be administered to identify skills and jobs well suited to the individual. Classes on job readiness and retention are offered in groups as well as on a 1:1 basis. The Bridges team can provide one-on-one career exploration, structured learning experiences, trial work experience, job placement , job coaching and job training services.

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 adults with disabilities living in congregate care facilities

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

Services for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of adults with disabilities receiving sufficient social and emotional support

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

Services for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

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.

Alternatives Inc. values the individuality of each person served and believes that everyone has the right to self-determination. This includes making decisions and life choices related to overall wellbeing, relationships, employment, community integration, etc. The agency also values a flexible, person-centered philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of diversity, cultural considerations and personal goals throughout the process of providing individualized services. Alternatives Inc. is committed to maintaining and improving quality service in all aspects of each client's life. Therefore, Alternatives, Inc. systematically assesses each of its departments and programs throughout the year utilizing several methods to monitor the quality of service and to identify areas for improvement.

According to the agency's 5-year Strategic Plan, the primary goal is to expand existing services in order to meet the increasing needs of our special needs community. Two methods in which to accomplish this and meet Candid's 2030 Sustainable Development Goal for Good Health and Well Being is to open more Group Homes in strategic locations including at least one medical Group Home and to increase Nursing services to clients in need.

Alternatives has more than 40 years of experience in the field of caring for individuals with special needs. In this time, we have helped foster and grow our selection of group homes. The agency currently owns or operates 21 group homes and five additional homes are in development. This growth is supported by a well established staff of professionals with the guidance of voluntary board of trustees.

In 2022, Alternatives opened it 20th group home, which has all of the additional safety and supervisory necessities of a medical group home.

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?

    Alternatives, Inc. provides services to more than 400 people in ten New Jersey counties through diverse programs that include case management, housing, employment and clinical services to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the deaf and hard of hearing, and services and transitional housing to homeless families and individuals, some of whom have mental illness and/or substance use disorder.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • 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?

    The COVID-19 pandemic naturally caused a reduction in the number of activities in which our clients could engage. In response to feedback that we received for the need for continued interaction among clients, the agency hired a Recreation Manager with direct responsibility for providing alternate and safe methods to provide this important service.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

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

    Asking for feedback from those we serve is not a new concept for Alternatives, Inc. The agency has had a Client Advisory Committee and has conducted client surveys for more than 30 years. Alternatives also has client representation on several committees and boards that guide activities.

  • 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 get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), 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, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

ALTERNATIVES 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

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

ALTERNATIVES INC

Board of directors
as of 11/10/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Morris Malmstrom

Perfect Remedy Packaging

Term: 2019 -

Linda Leparulo

Attorney at Law

Patricia McMurtry

Volunteer

Susan Anczarki

Volunteer

Nancy Good

President, Alternatives Inc.

Maria Fidelibus

VP of Information Technology/Quick Chek

Helen Grunwald

Volunteer

Richard Sample

IT Depends

Joseph Westlein

Johnson & Johnson - Retired

Brian Auger

Somerset County Library

Janet Keating

Wasilewski & Keating

Paige Mangan

Birkshire Hathaway

Mohan Tummalapalli

Morgan Stanley

Ashish Haruray

AXA-XL

Kiran Karkhanis

Morgan Stanley

Patricia Vollmar

Colgate-Palmolive

Harry Kerr

Copper Hills Ventures

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 8/5/2022

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data