Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency

Turning Lives Around

aka BOSS   |   Berkeley, CA   |  http://www.self-sufficiency.org

Mission

The mission of BOSS is to help homeless, poor, and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency, and to fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness. BOSS develops solutions to mass homelessness, mass incarceration and community violence and is dedicated to the inclusion of people marginalized by addiction, trauma, criminality, incarceration, poverty, racism, sexism, homelessness and violence.

Ruling year info

1975

Executive Director

Mr. Donald Ivy Frazier

Main address

1918 University Avenue Ste 2A

Berkeley, CA 94704 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

51-0173390

NTEE code info

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

Other Housing, Shelter N.E.C. (L99)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

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

BOSS exists to serve the most vulnerable, high need/high risk individuals in our community - those experiencing homelessness, poverty, justice system-involvement, mental illness/disabilities, substance abuse, domestic violence, and other challenges. BOSS provides shelter, housing, and comprehensive support services to over 3,000 people a year across Alameda County - helping them build skills, access resources, create supportive social networks, and rebuild their lives. BOSS firmly believes that all people are capable of changing their lives, if provided with the right kind of support - this is the heart of our work. Alongside that life-changing direct service work, BOSS is also fighting to end the root causes of poverty: our long-term goal is to end mass homelessness, mass incarceration, and community violence, through collaboration with public and private partners, and sharing our data and learning.

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?

Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS)

The mission of BOSS is to help homeless, poor, and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency, and to fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness. BOSS develops solutions to mass homelessness, mass incarceration and community violence and is dedicated to the inclusion of people marginalized by addiction, trauma, criminality, incarceration, poverty, racism, sexism, homelessness and violence. Established in 1971, BOSS programs serve over 3,000 families and individuals every year at programs located across Alameda County, California. BOSS also conducts local, regional, state and national advocacy and public education to change the underlying causes of poverty, homelessness, and injustice.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people

Where we work

Awards

Making Democracy Work Award 2019

League of Women Voters

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.

BOSS's long-term vision is to end mass homelessness, mass incarceration, and community violence. We work towards this vision at two levels: (1) Providing immediate DIRECT SERVICES to men, women and children in need, and (2) ADVOCACY to create policies and systems that eliminate the root causes of inequity and injustice.

Our goals in these three key areas includes:

MASS HOMELESSNESS: Support communities in creating permanent affordable housing for all residents, at all income levels, as well as emergency housing resources for those on the streets right now.

MASS INCARCERATION: Change the current criminal justice system, which inequitably serves (or fails to serve) persons of color, and support successful reentry and full socio-economic inclusion for justice-involved individuals.

COMMUNITY VIOLENCE: Change the socio-economic systems that keep historically impoverished neighborhoods mired in poverty, unemployment, crime, and hopelessness, and create positive alternatives to violent lifestyles.

Our strategies in each of our three key goal areas are:

MASS HOMELESSNESS:

1) PROTECT: Protect existing affordable housing from demolition, displacement or loss of funding.
2) BUILD: Identify new sites or facilities for use as affordable housing, and develop those sites in partnerships with property owners, investors, and developers.
3) PLACE: Place homeless individuals and families in housing they can afford, with resources to stay housed.
3) POLICIES: Advocacy with policy makers to remove barriers to housing protection/creation and increase the supply of affordable housing.

MASS INCARCERATION:

1) SUPPORT: Provide tangible resources and life-changing services to justice-involved individuals, including education, training, employment, housing, health care, and other resources to support successful reentry.
2) PARTNER: Seek partners - landlords, employers, funders, and other stakeholders - to help increase reentry resources and change policies.
2) POLICIES: Advocate with policy makers to remove barriers to successful reentry, and reform the systems that target persons and communities of color.

COMMUNITY VIOLENCE:

1) SUPPORT: Provide tangible resources and life-changing services to violence-impacted individuals and communities, to provide positive alternative to violent environments and lifestyles.
2) EMPOWER: Support violence-impacted individuals and communities in sharing their stories and advocating for their needs with elected officials, planning forums, and funders.
2) POLICIES: Advocate with policy makers to invest heavily in violence-impacted communities, providing the same range of resources and amenities that are available in higher income neighborhoods, to reverse decades of redlining and neglect.

BOSS was founded in 1971 by a group of volunteers who saw that the emerging population of mentally ill homeless men and women on the streets needed services - volunteers took to the streets to offer information about benefits, shelters, and health clinics, and help people overcome crisis. That immediate and direct responsive action is as much a part of BOSS's DNA today as it was in our beginnings. For nearly 48 years BOSS has continually raised new resources and partnerships, to help us add programs to meet the growing and changing needs we see in the people and communities we serve. In the process we have developed multi-disciplinary expertise that fuels and informs our work.

Today BOSS operates the following programs that serve 3,000 people a year:

HOUSING: Three emergency shelters (141 beds); One transitional house (10 families); Five permanent supportive housing facilities (81 beds); Scattered site housing units (20 units); and Housing navigation services (housing search classes and support).

HEALTH: Drop-in center for the chronically homeless (up to 100 people served per day); Health education, drug/alcohol recovery and symptom management classes, and health care referrals on-site in all BOSS shelter/housing programs.

INCOME: Benefits advocacy to secure public benefit income as eligible; Representative Payee service to individuals who need help managing their funds; Education (basic/GED counseling and higher education enrollments); Training referrals and on-the-job training (transitional work opportunities); and Comprehensive employment services (job readiness, resumes, practice interviews, job search, employer referrals).

SOCIAL JUSTICE: Leadership development and social justice issue classes; collaborative organizing for specific social justice policy goals (local, state, national).

Experience across these disciplines - creating and operating programs independently as well as in partnership with other service providers, funders and partners - gives BOSS the capacity it needs to pursue and achieve its goals. BOSS has expertise in:

- Program design, implementation, and evaluation
- Staff/volunteer recruitment, supervision, and evaluation
- Data collection and analysis
- Financial management
- Reporting
- Fundraising
- Partnership cultivation and management
- Marketing, outreach, and communications
- Advocacy and grassroots organizing

In addition, BOSS is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors who represent the population we serve in terms of race/ethnicity, age, geography, education, and life experience or ability, including 20% from the target population. The Board represents multiple sectors that provide expertise relevant to our work. Staff are also hired for proven expertise/experience, and representation of the population we serve - over 40% have lived experience (90% of reentry program staff).

For nearly 48 years BOSS has helped thousands of men, women, and children overcome homelessness, poverty and crisis, secure jobs and housing, access health care, and rebuild their lives. Each and every one is a success story - they are the reason we do this work. Other accomplishments over the years include:

• Creation of County-wide network of replicated model programs serving 3,000 persons annually
• Creation of over 200 units of shelter and housing stock
• Hiring over 40% of staff from target population (90% in reentry programs)
• Partnerships with over 100 landlords who accept homeless individuals into housing
• Creation of innovative after-school center for homeless children located on-site in emergency shelter
• Partnerships with over 80 local employers who hire BOSS job seekers including individuals with criminal records
• Creation of innovative transitional work model that places ex-offenders in immediate paid temporary work, for incentive and experience
• Creation of peer-led outreach and leadership development programs for homeless and justice-involved individuals

Our goals for the coming years include:

• Creation of NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING in partnership with property owners, investors, and developers (8 projects currently in progress)
• EXPAND SOCIAL JUSTICE COLLECTIVE - leadership development initiative that engages impacted individuals in policy change
• Plan and LAUNCH 501C4 affiliated nonprofit so BOSS can do more system change work while protecting the integrity/direct service mission focus of 501c3 nonprofit

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, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • 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?

    BOSS has a long-standing practice and commitment to hiring people with lived experience - based on feedback from these staff, we are currently developing a Professional Development training module tailored to the needs of staff who have recently emerged from the same crises faced by our participants, e.g. homelessness, incarceration, poverty, community violence.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency
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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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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.

Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency

Board of directors
as of 9/7/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Troy Dye

Salesforce

Harold Leffall, Jr

Not In Our Town

Joseph Dung

Sixteen5Hundred

Troy Dye

Salesforce

Colette Flood

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Hamilton Hunt

Adobe

Marlene Hurd

Commissioner, Oakland Housing Authority

Giani Interiano

USF Law School

Loren Jones

AIDS Educator

Darryl Moore

Oakland Housing Authority

Andrea Spillmann-Gajek

Captricity, Inc.

William White

Mills College

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 09/07/2021

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
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/04/2019

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 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.
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.