Bel Inizio

The Race for a Better Life

Houston, TX   |  www.bel-inizio.org

Mission

Bel Inizio (Beautiful Beginning) helps disadvantaged women develop self-confidence and life skills through fitness and nutrition. Participants train to complete a 5K, which helps prepare them for the ultimate race - the race for a better life. After 8weeks/16 sessions our women are healthier and are more confident; enabling them to more effectively handle the challenges of life and to be positive role models for their children.

Ruling year info

2011

Executive Director

Theresa Strong

Main address

7710 Del Rey Ln

Houston, TX 77071 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-3577215

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

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

Our clients are women ranging from their 20s to their 50s, all of whom are in active recovery from various forms of abuse, chronic homelessness, incarceration, and addiction.  All are at risk of homelessness, and most live in transitional housing. Of those that have their own place to stay and are employed, they are minimum wage earners who rely on public transportation, while trying to maintain adequate housing, preserve their sobriety, take care of their children, or stabilize themselves health wise and financially. They are facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, which pose a looming threat to their resiliency and stability. Bel Inizio’s program is unique in that it expands beyond its basis to provide the support that helps keep clients on track and moving forward despite these challenges. As a result, many have the opportunity to succeed in a way that they never thought possible: they will set a healthy goal and achieve 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?

Fitness and Nutrition Program for Disadvantaged Women

Bel Inizio (which means Beautiful Beginning) offers a distinctive, strategically designed nutrition education and fitness program for disadvantaged women living in Houston's shelters and transitional housing to increase their self-esteem and build life skills for a strong future. Most transitional housing facilities provide those at risk of returning to homelessness, sex trafficking, addiction, and abuse with case workers, recovery programs, and job skills training. What gets overlooked, and is critically needed, is a program to help vulnerable individuals achieve the overall health, self-confidence, and stress management tools that can come from an ongoing exercise/nutrition program. Bel Inizio provides these services three times a year to seven different agencies. There are no other organizations in Houston offering this support and the need is growing. Clients engage in an 8-week fitness and nutrition program including the Run-Walk-Run method of distance training, instruction from a registered dietician on basic nutrition, team building, therapeutic massage and yoga, the opportunity to participate in a 5K race, and a graduation ceremony. After an 8-week session our women are healthier, educated on how to eat properly, and are more confident; enabling them to more effectively handle the challenges of life and to be positive role models for their children.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Community Partner of the Year 2014

Brigid's Hope

Irma Award for Outstanding Community Service 2014

Finish Line Sports

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 clients who report a greater sense of purpose and improved overall wellness

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

Substance abusers, Economically disadvantaged people, Incarcerated people, Ethnic and racial groups, Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Fitness and Nutrition Program for Disadvantaged Women

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

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.

Bel Inizio’s is trying to accomplish two primary goals:
1. To help as many disadvantaged women as possible improve their self confidence and life skills through fitness and nutrition education.
2. To continuously improve all aspects of our program to maximize the effectiveness of training programs at each agency with every client.

Bel Inizio is working with many agencies throughout Houston to help women living in transitional housing build a foundation of success. Our approach is three-fold.

Bel Inizio is a proven physical fitness program. Bel Inizio uses the Run-Walk-Run method of training that stresses 30 minutes of walking interspersed with intervals of running – with intervals increasing each week. This method reduces the aches, pains, and injuries associated with other approaches. Most importantly, this method combined with better nutrition opens the possibility of finishing a distance race to everyone.

Second, Bel Inizio is a short-term therapeutic model that uses a brief intervention of eight-ten weeks (Is that right number of weeks, how many days a week?) to change the life direction of its clients. The program asks participants to identify a major life concern – physical fitness - and set a goal – the commitment to complete a 5K run. Staff and volunteers then help participants develop strategies, adopt active and effective techniques, and use problem-solving skills in order to achieve that goal.

Third, Bel Inizio is an empowerment program that seeks to help participants by placing them on teams. Each team identifies its own leadership and generates the mutual commitment, increased energy, encouragement, and collaborative effort necessary so that each individual and every member of the group can generate the power to achieve the goal.

Bel Inizio continuously evaluates our program through pre and post self-esteem and nutrition tests, agency debriefing, and client follow-up. Programs are reviewed and adjusted three times a year after each session to increase efficacy.

Bel Inizio has a very active and involved board that has direct experience in managing and participating in our programs. We also receive feedback from agency partners, registered dieticians, trainers, case managers, and program directors. In addition, we work with experts from the University of Houston and MD Anderson in program evaluation and client follow-up. With over 2,000 volunteer hours provided in 2014 and nearly $100,000 in in-kind contributions, Bel Inizio also thrives because of significant community support.

Bel Inizio has grown tremendously since starting in 2011 with one group of just a few graduates. Most recently we had 80 clients and volunteers complete a major Houston 5K and that is only one of three training sessions we do annually. We are currently serving seven agencies and expect this number to grow.

We are not yet satisfied with client follow-up. Our clients are transient and difficult to reach after they leave our program and their transitional housing. We are in the process of developing a more robust, incentive-based follow up system which has had proven results with similar clientele.

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?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys,

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Client feedback indicated that they wanted more virtual Zoom experiences like financial planning workshops and yoga classes. Both were added in the next training sessions.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Bel Inizio
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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

Subscribe

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.

Bel Inizio

Board of directors
as of 1/27/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cindy Knox

Rachel Huisman

Private Practice

Rebecca Spaulding

Caldwell Everson P.L.L.C.

Bridget McLaurin

Heard & Medack P.C.

Paige Myrick

Houston Grand Opera

Moya Varner

Arbonne International

Rochelle Mannigel

YogaWorks

Theresa Bueno

Lincoln Financial Advisors

Patricia Martin

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Suzy Seeley

Seeley & Associates

Lynn Nazareth

Entregado Group

Katrina Esco

People's Trust Credit Union

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 01/27/2021

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
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: 01/27/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • 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.
  • 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 have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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.