Housing, Shelter

Families Forward

There's no place like home

Updated in partnership with OC Nonprofit Central

Irvine, CA

Mission

Families Forward exists to help families in need achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through housing, food, counseling, education, and other support services.Since 1984, our guiding principle has been to link support with accountability by providing comprehensive tools and resources to families in crisis as they regain stability. Last year, Families Forward served over 11,500 children and adults through our housing program and homeless prevention services. Volunteers and in-kind donations of food and household items are an integral part of our service delivery. Volunteers ‘staff’ our food pantry, front desk, and phone referral services. Funding is provided by individuals, families, corporations, foundations and government agencies. The goal of Families Forward is to help homeless families, or families at risk of homelessness, with a 'hand up', allowing them to reach self-sufficiency. Working with and through the community, Families Forward provides safety-net services to families in crisis, assisting them as they work towards stability for their children.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Families Forward is proud to share that, for the 9th consecutive year, Families Forward has earned Charity Navigator's top 4 Star rating, placing our agency among the top 2% of rated charities nationwide. Through Families Forward's careful management of resources, an extensive volunteer corps, and thousands of food and product donations, 90% of all financial contributions directly fund programs and services to client families.

Ruling Year

1985

Principal Officer

Mrs. Margie Wakeham

Main Address

8 Thomas

Irvine, CA 92618 USA

Formerly Known As

Irvine Temporary Housing

Keywords

Families Forward Irvine, Families Forward, Irvine Temporary Housing,

EIN

33-0086043

 Number

6803183549

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

Family Services (P40)

Housing Search Assistance (L30)

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

Data collected by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition in 2015 indicates that Orange County needs approximately 109,965 more affordable housing units to keep up with the growing problem of cost of living increases and stagnant wages for low-income families. Researchers also estimate that a single parent must earn approximately $27.62 per hour or work 105 hours a week at minimum wage to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Orange County.
Families Forward receives nearly 2,000 requests for assistance every year. Approximately 58% of these calls are from families at risk of homelessness and 42% are from families who are already sleeping in cars, storage units, and other spaces not meant for human habitation. Our hope is to ensure that these families avoid and overcome the reality of homelessness as they increase their earning potential and progress towards market-rate housing.

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

Housing Program

Homeless Prevention Services

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

Number of households that obtain/retain permanent housing for at least 6 months

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Families,

Homeless people

Related program

Housing Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children and youth who have received access to stable housing

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Infants to preschool (under age 5),

Children and youth (0-19 years),

K-12 (5-19 years)

Related program

Housing Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people within the organization's service area accessing food aid

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Homeless Prevention Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of job skills training courses/workshops conducted

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Housing Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

In the 2017/2018 year, Families Forward moved to a one-on-one career coaching method and lessened the workshops. The metrics show the unduplicated individuals served through one-on-one and workshops

Total number of counseling sessions performed

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Homeless Prevention Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

The Community Counseling program has seen this number of unduplicated individuals in a fiscal year. The actual number of sessions, is higher depending on the individual.

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?

We expect to achieve the following quantifiable outcomes):
1. 200 homeless Orange County families with minor age children (approximately 680 individuals) receive housing assistance
2. 85% of those served secure and maintain stable housing after program completion
3. 75% of parents increase/maintain their annual income to maintain stability for their children

Families Forward's Housing Program assists families in achieving self-sufficiency and housing stability with the aim of ending family homelessness in Orange County by 2020.

While our comprehensive Housing Program enables us to respond to the reality of family homelessness in Orange County, Families Forward acknowledges that any long-term solution to homelessness must include an increase in the overall supply of permanent affordable housing. Families Forward currently owns or has formalized access to 23 affordable housing units, with an additional 14 units in development and 14 units planned for conversion from interim to affordable housing over the course of 2018. Once these projects are completed, Families Forward will own or operate a total of 51 units of affordable housing. This will assist Families Forward in achieving its 2016-2019 strategic goal of increasing its inventory of accessible affordable, rapid, and shelter units by 25%.

The Housing Program provides housing and supportive services to homeless Orange County families with dependent children. Families Forward participates in the Orange County Continuum of Care (CoC), a public-nonprofit partnership that helps ensure the comprehensive, regional coordination of efforts and resources to reduce the number of individuals who are currently homeless and at risk of becoming homelessness. Families Forward's Housing Intake Coordinator works through the CoC to assess a family's degree of vulnerability. Those who qualify are enrolled in the county-wide Coordinated Entry System, prioritized according to need, and reassigned to various housing agencies within Orange County. Families Forward serves approximately 17-19 families per month for a total of 230 families per year after assignment or match from the Coordinated Entry System. Each family receives a Case Manager who offers accountability around the creation of short and long-term goals, as well as a Housing Resource Specialist who assists with tenant education, housing navigation, and landlord advocacy. Those in need of emergency shelter receive up to one week of motel vouchers while Families Forward prepares an interim unit. Once in interim housing, the family works with their support team to locate a permanent housing solution and overcome key barriers, such as unemployment, eviction history, or poor credit. The Housing Program is designed to assist families for a short period of time, averaging 4-6 months, as they regain independence and take steps towards stability. During this time, families have access to a wide range of supportive services offered at our Program Center in Irvine, including weekly food pantry visits, counseling, career coaching, school supplies in August, and gifts during the holidays. Those who rapidly rehouse into a permanent unit receive steadily decreasing rental assistance. After the family becomes economically self-sufficient, Case Managers check in with the family for up to one year to ensure housing stability.

Housing Program: Placing homeless children and families into stable housing. Families Forward works with homeless families to find realistic solutions for sustainable housing and build individualized plans to return each family to self-sufficiency. By stabilizing these families and giving them tools to build a future, we create a stronger community for all of us. A key factor for success is Families Forward's commitment to collaborate with many organizations to end family homelessness in Orange County, including Orange County United Way, the Commission to End Homelessness, the Children and Families Commission and many other partner agencies and foundations. Only together will we be able to end homelessness in Orange County. Visit the Housing Program page for more information.

Community Services: Providing supportive services to improve lives. Families Forward also reaches out to low-income families to help reduce the pressures that can cause homelessness and help them maintain their stability. Through various safety-net services, those at-risk are given access to assistance such as our on-site food pantry, counseling, career coaching, and financial and life skills education. The goal of the program is to help families recover from a financial crisis so they can maintain their self-sufficiency. Visit the services page for more information.

Families Forward utilizes an internal database called Client Track and the HUD-approved Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to monitor housing and income progress. Using Client Track and our HMIS system, Families Forward is able to report and determine the attainment of goals for both the clients and the organization. Families Forward uses the holistic approach to solving homelessness in Orange County by providing the many stop-gap measures throughout the time that families are in the program. Each family is kept in contact with for up to one year post graduation with assessments taken at 6 and 12 months. Families Forward is proud to state that 94% of families do not return to the homeless provider system during that year post graduation.

Families Forward expanded access to affordable and rapid rehousing in the county. During the grant term, we achieved:
Two new affordable units purchased – Families Forward accomplished our goal of purchasing not only one, but two additional affordable units in 2017. The board has also approved a plan to convert most of our transitional units into affordable beginning in 2018. This change will increase the total number of owned Families Forward affordable units from 13 to 27, enabling us to offer more long-term solutions for families transitioning from homelessness to affordable and eventually market-rate housing in Orange County.
Two new landlord/developer partnerships – Families Forward solidified two new partnerships that will lead to more available affordable housing units designated for homeless parents and children. The first partnership is with Chelsea Investment Corporation, a company planning the groundbreaking of a new apartment community in 2019 that will contain 10 units set aside for Extremely Low and Very Low Income (<50% AMI) homeless families. The second partnership is with National Community Renaissance (CORE), a leading affordable housing developer. National CORE plans to break ground on a new Lake Forest development in 2020 that will contain at least 10 designated units of affordable housing for income-qualifying homeless families. The completion of these will increase the organization's accessible to affordable housing through partnership to 34, providing significant progress towards Families Forward's 3-year goal of 20% growth in rapid rehousing and affordable housing partnerships.
Families Forward achieved 17% growth in the number of people served compared to last year, increasing from 9,851 individuals served to over 11,517. We also increased our overall success rate for long-term family stability. Every year, the county-wide Continuum of Care evaluates Families Forward and other continuum partners to determine agency efficiency in serving homeless individuals and families. The continuum determined that, of those who successfully exit homelessness in partnership with Families Forward, approximately 97% did not enter the homeless service provider system within one year. This is a 4% increase over our last year.
Over the course of the grant term, Families Forward launched its first formalized homeless Prevention and Diversion (P&D) Program. Now serving as a model for others in the county, the initiative employs a team of trained volunteers to return 100% of the calls Families Forward receives from families in a housing crisis. This team offers over-the-phone case management, referrals, and limited financial assistance designed to prevent families from entering homelessness. The P&D team served a total of 790 families during the grant term with 70 families (approximately 245 individuals) reporting that Families Forward's intervention enabled them to avoid homelessness altogether.

External Reviews

Financials

Families Forward

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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.

See what's included

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

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity