Religion, Spiritual Development

Casa Chirilagua

Learning together to love our neighbors as ourselves

aka Casa Chirilagua

Alexandria, VA

Mission

Mission: Developing relationships with families to see the Chirilagua neighborhood transformed by Christ. We provide educational support and foster spiritual, character and leadership development for under-served students in the Chirilagua neighborhood of Alexandria, VA, primarily through after school programming and one-on-one mentoring relationships. In response to COVID-19 related job losses in the community, Casa Chirilagua has been distributing weekly 1,000 boxes of fresh produce, 60 fresh food boxes and hundreds of grocery bags containing non-perishable food items, personal care items, baby supplies, household cleaning supplies and feminine hygiene products.

Notes from the Nonprofit

The COVID-19 crisis has increased the economic disparities previously existing in our community by leaving many without a job, sick from the virus, and unable to access urgent resources needed to survive the pandemic. Of Casa Chirilagua families, 100% have suffered either job loss or a reduction in work hours. The percentage of cases testing positive for COVID-19 in the community is 57%. Casa staff continues regular check ins with the over 120 families who are inquiring about support available to meet basic needs. As of June 2020, Casa Chirilagua has distributed 180,000 pounds of fresh produce to the community, which is heavier than 49 cars, 120 cows or one loaded space shuttle. Since 2007, we have been developing long-term relationships with families in the community so that we can serve alongside them. Since Casa's relationships with families are already strong and have a long-history, we are well positioned to respond to immediate needs that have come up related to COVID-19.

Ruling Year

2011

Executive Director

Ms. Adriana Gomez Schellhaas

Main Address

4109 Mt. Vernon Ave.

Alexandria, VA 22305 USA

Keywords

Community development, Academic enrichment, youth development

EIN

27-4575777

 Number

4117508717

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Christian (X20)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Ethnic/Immigrant Services (P84)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Sixty-one percent of Latino immigrants in our community, including children, have reported experiencing trauma due to family violence, gang-dominated neighborhoods in their country of origin, sexual abuse, and migration journey trauma. Most families live in poverty and only a small percentage graduates from high school. Many struggle with low self-esteem, depression, isolation, and identity issues. Casa combats these issues by providing after school spaces and adult spaces that build self esteem, create a sense of belonging, and develop community leaders who break the aforementioned cycles for themselves and future generations. Together we dismantle the barriers of serious trauma resulting in whole, restored families and a flourishing community.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

1 2 3 4 5 10 11 17

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Kids Club

Mentoring

Local Leaders Program

Summer Kids Club and Summer Teens Club

Teens Club (Middle School After School Program)

Teen Bible Studies

Fresh Produce and Grocery Bag Distribution (COVID-19)

Parent Committee (Comite de Padres) and Monthly Family Dinner Night

Casa to College

Soy Lider (I am a Leader) Adult Education Program

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Percentage of students who are first in their families to attend college

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

People of Latin American descent

Related program

Casa to College

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Percentage of students who received scholarships

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

People of Latin American descent

Related program

Casa to College

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Percentage of students accepted to college

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

People of Latin American descent

Related program

Casa to College

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our mission is to develop relationships with families to see the Chirilagua neighborhood transformed by Christ. Our five-year vision (2019-2024) is focused on the following three goals: 1. Strengthened leadership pipeline: Our goal is to help young people and adults flourish as leaders by being a part of Casa Chirilagua programs and eventually lead the organization and their community as educated, emotionally intelligent and spiritually formed individuals. We believe indigenous leadership is a vital and important piece to true community transformation. 2. Increased mental health resources: A majority of Chirilagua residents have experienced a variety of traumas; from the immigrant journey to the US to emotional abuse and domestic violence. These traumas have created mental barriers which keep individuals from flourishing. By implementing mental health resources in our programs, we believe individuals will learn tools and skills to overcome these barriers and continue to flourish individually and as a community. 3. Confident community advocates: Our goal is to provide education and resources to the community around the importance of using one's voice to advocate for oneself, our families and our community.

Strengthened leadership pipeline: Since 2017, our programs have expanded to serve not only youth but adults as well. Our Kids Club program focuses on youth in 1st grade to 5th grade, followed by Teens Club for 6th to 8th graders, followed by Casa to College for high school students which focuses on decreasing high school drop out rates within Hispanic students and provides information on scholarships, FAFSA, and the college and trade school application process. When a student is a part of these programs, they qualify to be matched with a mentor through our one-on-one Mentoring Program. After Casa to College, a student can apply for the Local Leader program where, if accepted, they will receive part-time employment as assistant Kids Club and Teens Club directors. Local Leaders represent indigenous leadership, which we believe is a vital and important piece to true community transformation. We also address needs expressed by adults in the community. Due to the high Spanish illiteracy rate among adults, we've implement a Spanish Literacy program where adults learn reading and writing skills. Adults who have participated in this program have expressed full ability to read and write in Spanish, leading to an increase in confidence, self-esteem and decrease in depression. Increased mental health resources: We currently implement such as self-awareness lessons and activities in our youth programs and monthly family strengthening workshops for parents. We also partner with city and community organizations to connect vital resources to community members. Key program staff are training in Youth Mental Health First-aid to understand the effects of trauma and offer appropriate responses to situations and emergencies. We hope to have an in-house Christian counselor to offer individual or group therapy sessions and directly address the effects of trauma so that individuals can overcome these barriers. Confident community advocates: We desire to see confident community advocates use their voice to bring about positive change to their community and awareness of the triumphs and hardships of the community. All our programs are as follows: Kids Club, Teens Club, Mentoring Program, Casa to College, Local Leaders, Summer Kids/Teens Club, Adult ELL "Yo Hablo Ingles" program, Adult Spanish Literacy, These goals are measured using a logic frame model and SMART goals. Progress is measured through impact stories, surveys, program curricula

Casa Chirilagua is staffed by professionals (four full-time and eight part-time staff members) many of whom are bilingual and bi-cultural and have lived and worked abroad in Central America. We have over 250 volunteers who support all programming and events, managed by our Volunteer Coordinator. We apply for grants which enhance our programming. In 2019, we were awarded a $15,000 grant to enhance our community engagement efforts, specifically with the families of Casa Chirilagua. This grant will be used in 2020 and will fund the annual Great Country Farms family field trip. Events like these are integral to building relationships with families and maintaining a high staff and family retention rate. Events like these help collect important information from families related to issues they may be facing as well as ideas they may have to enhance programming.

Casa Chirilagua uses a logical framework model (logframe) to implement our strategic goals and ensure proper program planning, monitoring, and evaluation. Our staff and program directors developed SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) indicators for our programs to ensure that resources, time, and staff allocation align with the logframe goals by establishing outcomes, outputs, and specific activities for each program. Our programs have metrics, mandatory trainings, reporting, and pre and post-survey mechanisms that gauge the success of each program, while also garnering input from key stakeholders and community members to enhance programs. We are not limited to quantitative metrics; we value and solicit qualitative data as well. Establishing relationships is the lifeline of our organization, and providing venues for our community to be heard is what allows us to flourish and continually grow as an organization.

2019 Accomplishments In January, Casa had a community-wide health fair complete with a Mommovan where women received free mammogram screenings thanks to a new partnership with Nueva Vida, an organization aimed to provide breast cancer prevention to Latinas. Over 100 community members participated and received free health screenings such as glucose, HIV, and blood pressure. In February, Casa Chirilagua began it's 4th semester of the adult ELL program Yo Hablo Ingles with 42 students In April, Casa Chirilagua held another successful online Spring2Action online fundraising campaign, raising $65,000 in 24 hours. In July, Casa's board of directors chose a new Executive Director and the community celebrated together as the co-founder and former Executive Director passed the baton of leadership to the new Executive Director. In August, we registered 20 new families to the programs, the highest amount of new families. Additionally, three former Kids Club students joined the staff as Local Leaders, helping lead Kids Club and Teens Club programs and representing the first cohort of indigenous leadership within Casa Chirilagua In September, Casa hires a new Programs Director and has a fully-staffed team. In December, Casa finished the year with a successful community-wide Christmas celebration and a successful year-end fundraising campaign, highlighting the story of one of the Local Leaders and the impact he is making through his leadership. 2020 Accomplishments As of June, Casa Chirilagua has distributed over 180,000 pounds of fresh produce to thousands of families in the community. This weight is heavier than 49 cars, 120 cows or one loaded space shuttle! In 2020, Casa Chirilagua will continue its 5-year vision of strengthening the leadership pipeline, increasing mental health resources and having confident community advocates. We are preparing for 20 new families in the fall of 2020 to join programs increasing our reach to over 130 families.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

Casa Chirilagua

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/26/2020

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender Identity
Female, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

Race & Ethnicity

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

Disability

No data

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 01/31/2020

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

done
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
done
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.

Policies and processes

done
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
done
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.