South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency

Caring for the South Asian community

aka SAHARA   |   Artesia, CA   |  www.saharacares.org

Mission

The South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency (SAHARA) serves survivors of all forms of abuse in the South Asian community by providing them with culturally-sensitive and linguistically-specific services.

Notes from the nonprofit

SAHARA's Mission – The South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency (SAHARA) serves survivors of all forms of abuse in the South Asian community by providing them with culturally-sensitive and linguistically-specific services. SAHARA was founded on the belief that services should be offered in a culturally sensitive environment where individuals feel a sense of safety, connectedness, respect, and dignity. Guided by this philosophy, SAHARA has evolved into a well-respected organization with an unwavering commitment to the South Asian community. SAHARA, meaning “support" in Hindi, was established in 1991 by a dedicated group of five clinical social workers and two physicians who came together to meet the needs of the South Asian community in Southern California. Over the last 30 years SAHARA has expanded its programs to include a robust menu of culturally sensitive and linguistically specific services focused on improving the quality of life of individuals seeking support.

Ruling year info

2008

Executive Director

Mrs. Marilyn Neece

Main address

17100 Pioneer Blvd. #260

Artesia, CA 90701 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-0736033

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SAHARA is one of only a handful of organizations that successfully address the growing need for culturally sensitive and multilingual organizations that cater to the South Asian community residing in the Greater Los Angeles and Orange County Areas.

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?

Domestic Abuse Program

SAHARA provides a multi-pronged, intensive array of culturally sensitive support services to assist survivors of domestic abuse gain emotional stability and craft lives of economic independence.Counseling/Case Management:Assess immediate safety needs, provide psychological support through mental health counseling, and start planning for financial viability and self-sufficiency.Advocacy: Assist in obtaining restraining orders and securing custody of children in danger, apply for proper immigration status and provide consultation about divorce. Referrals to pro bono and private attorneys.Rehabilitation/ Reintegration: Safe housing to survivors of domestic abuse and their children at SAWIN (South Asian Women In Need), a Long Term Shelter/Transitional Living Home. Life skills training to help secure employment before entering US mainstream society.Education:Life skills training and education for development of self-sufficiency, promote empowerment and feeling of self-fulfillment.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Goal:To reduce barriers to care, and promote health and wellness for South Asian seniors by providing them with a comprehensive system of tailored support services. Health Benefits:Eligibility screening and enrollment assistance for state and federal benefit programs.Geriatric Psychosocial Evaluation and Treatment:Case management, counseling, psychotherapy to address concerns particular to this population.Senior Care Coordination:Ensure access to a continuum of relevant and affordable services and resources.Education:Computer literacy, financial training, and conversational English classes at SAHARA's Education Center. Referrals and Linkages:Connections to various resources such as transportation meal provision, housing assistance, legal assistance, medical referral and family and caregiver support.Outreach:Community education about chronic illness, behavioral risk factors, and issues that contribute to physical and mental health disparities particular to the South Asian population.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
Economically disadvantaged people

All services provided are available to all community members as well. Community members are assisted with public benefit applications, employment, housing, citizenship application process, mental health counseling etc.

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
Adults

SAHARA encourages youth to be agents of change. Youth are uniquely positioned to engage their peers, family, and the broader South Asian community in discussions and to take action on pertinent social justice issues. SAHARA offers tools and resources with the goal of equipping the next generation of leaders to challenge the status quo and positively impact their communities.

This six-week summer program provides an opportunity for youth to discuss and learn about social justice topics including discrimination, cultural identity, and healthy relationships. At the end of the session, youth will lead a summit and spark an ongoing dialogue with the community about their learnings, insights, and action plan for social change.

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
Young adults

South Asian Referral and Helpline Agency help LPR's who are qualified to become US citizens. We hold free regular citizenship clinics at our office and also collaborate with local partners to bring free citizenship assistance to local communities. Our clinics comprise of application assistance, legal review and filling out fee waivers (for eligible clients)

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
Adults

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 engaged in programs

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

People of Asian descent, Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and migrants

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric relates to all of our program areas. The majority of participants we serve are in our domestic violence program, followed by our older adult program and community resource program.

Number of older adults being supported to live at home through home care, assistive technology, and/or personal support plans

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

Older adults, Seniors

Related Program

Older Adult Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

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.

SAHARA’s overarching aim is to realize the board’s vision and grow our impact as quickly and wisely as our data-driving strategies can manage. We seek every opportunity to be both effective in our client service as possible, with the same attention we give efficiency with our community’s contributions and government contracts.

SAHARA, meaning “support" in Hindi, was established in 1991 by a dedicated group of five clinical social workers and two physicians who came together to meet the underserved needs of the South Asian community in Southern California. What began and was sustained for a number of years through primarily volunteer service and investment has grown into a fully staffed agency supporting youth, older adults, and survivors of domestic abuse.

Over the last 30 years SAHARA has expanded its programs to include a robust menu of culturally sensitive and linguistically specific services focused on improving the quality of life of individuals seeking support. Confidential and personalized professional services are available at the main office in Artesia, California.

The organization has successfully sustained its services and programs for over a quarter of a century, with the support of over 50 committed professionals, volunteers, core consultants, and well-developed collaborations with other community-based organizations. SAHARA's dedicated team of professionals speak five major South Asian languages, including Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Gujrati, and Bangla. SAHARA also ensures that every person that walks through the door gets adequate service and has every opportunity to gain the support that is needed to regain their self-confidence.

SAHARA continues to work towards providing comprehensive services to the SA community. What we would like to accomplish is creating a deeper impact within the older adult community.

Financials

South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency
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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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South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency

Board of directors
as of 4/15/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Brinda Gandhi

Chugh Law Firm

Term: 2017 -


Board co-chair

Ms. Rubina Najeeb

Brinda Gandhi

Chugh Law Firm

Rubina Najeeb

Rahul Gupta, Esq.

Aamir Irshad

Chugh Firm

Miji Vellakkatel, Esq.

District Attorney’s Office

Naresh Solanki

Aamir Irshad

Chugh Law Firm

Seema Arora

Psychologist

Janak Patel

CEO Ultimate Paper Box

Diviya Loomba

Sangita Bhatia

Moeen Kadri

Dylan Entertainment

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 11/06/2020

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/06/2020

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 ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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.
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.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • 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.