PLATINUM2023

My Sister's Place, Inc.

Ending Violence, Empowering Lives

aka MSP   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.mysistersplacedc.org

Mission

My Sister’s Place (MSP) shelters, supports and empowers survivors of domestic violence and their children, while providing leadership and education to build a supportive community.

Ruling year info

1982

Executive Director

Mercedes Lemp

Main address

PO Box 21463

Washington, DC 20009 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1263256

NTEE code info

Family Violence Shelters and Services (P43)

Hot Line, Crisis Intervention (F40)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

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

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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?

Emergency Shelters for Domestic Violence Survivors

Sanctuary Plus - our emergency shelter for survivors fleeing domestic violence and their children. Home to 15 families, Sanctuary Plus provides residents with counseling, case management, daily coaching, and referrals to enable them to successfully transition to permanent housing and independence.

Sanctuary II – Opened in October 2022, the additional shelter expands our emergency shelter bed capacity by nearly 50% provides an additional 18-20 survivors/survivor families a year safe shelter they urgently need.
The building has been newly renovated and is accessible to community resources, good schools, and pertinent social services.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Homeless people


Transitional-to-Permanent Housing- Our innovative programs help families fleeing from domestic violence move from crisis and homelessness to safety and stability. Our staff provide case management and other supportive resources aimed to empower participants of this program. Rental payments are subsidized by MSP for one or two years. Families have the option to remain in the homes they have made for themselves, promoting long term self-sufficiency and freedom from abuse.

Population(s) Served

We offer counseling, case management and referrals to legal services for victims of domestic violence who are not in immediate need of shelter.  This program serves women and their children who could not previously access needed services unless they were in a shelter.  The non-residential program implements evidence-based treatment modalities for working with women and children affected by victimization.  Beyond intervention, counselors collaborate with clients to address other barriers to safety and work with clients to develop goals toward independence.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Families

MSP provides outreach and education to the Latino community to combat domestic violence and empower Latina survivors to seek services. This program provides trainings, tablings, speakers, and capacity-building for both community members and for organizations serving the Latino community.

Population(s) Served
People of Latin American descent
Victims and oppressed people

Upon exiting the residential and non-residential programs, clients benefit from ongoing contact with case-management staff to support them in their independence. Services include counseling, referrals to community-based services, and advocacy as needed for a minimum of 90 days. Our goal is to provide active outreach and assist clients in building long-term supportive systems within their communities, to reduce the likelihood of future victimization.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Families


Fresh Start Fund - The Fund has helped many families with one-time payments, such as security deposits, items clients need for their new homes, car repairs, educational opportunities, job certifications, and more. The Fresh Start Fund ensures that a small financial setback does not undermine all the progress a client has achieved. Aftercare - clients exiting our housing programs receive ongoing contact with case-management staff to support them in their independence, including counseling, referrals to community-based services, and advocacy. Our goal is to provide active outreach and assist clients in building long-term supportive systems within their communities, to reduce the likelihood of future victimization.

Population(s) Served


Move-In Program - The Move-In program collects gently used donated furniture and other household items, so that when a client moves out of the shelter into transitional housing, they are able to move into a fully furnished and well stocked place they can truly call home.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Families
Victims and oppressed people
Families
Victims and oppressed people
Families

Among our most recent achievements is our newly launched emergency cash transfer program, RISE Trust. The program, which launched in January 2023, provides survivors with monthly payments and helps survivors set and meet financial goals that support long-term self-sufficiency and independence.  While there have been several cash transfer programs across the country, none are specifically targeted to domestic violence survivors. Because financial limitations are often the reason that survivors stay in abusive relationships, a cash transfer program supports their well-being and helps ensure that survivors do not return to an abuser out of financial necessity.

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

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

DC Coalation Against Domestic Violence 2010

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average number of service recipients per month

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

MSP serves over 600 domestic violence survivors annualy but the number varies monthly given where they are in the program and the capacity of shelter and support for transitional housing.

Number of people using homeless shelters per week

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

Family relationships, Social and economic status

Related Program

Emergency Shelters for Domestic Violence Survivors

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The emergency shelter provides housing to 15 families which includes children of domestic violece survivors

Number of homeless participants engaged in housing services

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

Age groups, Work status and occupations, Social and economic status

Related Program

Transitional-to-Permanent Housing

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of families in transitional to permanent housing.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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


MSP Goals

1. Provide life-saving emergency housing (Sanctuary Plus and Sanctuary II) and intensive supportive services to survivors of domestic violence serving 140 survivors a year and enabling at least75% families to make a successful transition from violence, abuse, and homelessness to safe and stable housing.

2. Provide transitional-to-permanent housing to 45 families a year through MSP’s transitional housing program RISE (Reaching Independence through Survivor Empowerment), with 15 families graduating RISE and becoming self-sufficient.

3. Provide rental support and supportive services for 32 families for two years through MSP’s RISE Plus program, with 15 families moving to a Rapid Rehousing model that progressively decreases the rent support they require as they become more self-sufficient.

4. Provide wrap around services to Shelter, RISE, RISE Plus, and FRSP (Family Rehousing and Stabilization Program) participants including case management, advocacy, counseling and therapy, to support a family’s progress towards self-sufficiency.

5. Provide workforce development workshops and opportunities to increase income for at least 50 clients through new or improved employment, training, and access to public benefits.

6. Provide furnishings and household goods for clients moving to transitional housing from shelter through the Move In program which provides help to 50 families a year by supporting moving and appropriately furnishing their new homes.

7. Provide After Care services to at least 50 families exiting RISE and RISE Plus to ensure a continuum of care aimed at preventing recurrence of abuse and homelessness.

8. Provide one time emergency financial assistance through the Fresh Start Fund program to 200 families in any of MSP’s programs to stabilize their path to success.

9. Provide case management and other supportive services to over 200 families through the FRSP program that houses families in DC government subsidized units.

10. Continue to educate the community by conducting at least five trainings to a variety of partners with a goal to increase DV awareness and to prevent domestic violence as well as how to recognize DV symptoms and share tools and resources for help.

Projects Goals for Emergency Shelter & Supporting Strategies
Please note that project goals are set on an annual basis. Our goal is to increase the number of clients in each target annually. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, we are conservatively estimating the numbers to be the same in year two.

Activities:
1. Assist 150 survivors who call the shelter with safety planning and referrals.
2. Develop 130 safety plans with DV survivors seeking or receiving emergency housing.
3. Provide life-saving emergency shelter to 140 survivors (adults and children) along with case management to enable clients to make a successful transition from violence, abuse and homelessness to safe, stable housing.
4. 600 intensive case management and counseling sessions to help survivors heal from trauma, identify needs, create realistic service plans and in achieving goals, includes referrals agencies providing healthcare, legal services, childcare, job training, and housing among other supports
5. 35 direct legal connections to the DC Volunteer Lawyer Project for legal assistance on custody matters, immigration needs and other legal matters, on-site legal services to address custody and immigration issues, as well as providing education and advocacy
6. 500 meals providing nutritious, healthy food to assist families in meeting their nutritional needs.
Activities:
7. Assist 150 survivors who call the shelter with safety planning and referrals.
8. Develop 150 safety plans with DV survivors seeking or receiving emergency housing.
9. Provide life-saving emergency shelter to 140 survivors (adults and children) along with case management to enable clients to make a successful transition from violence, abuse and homelessness to safe, stable housing.
10. 600 intensive case management and counseling sessions to help survivors heal from trauma, identify needs, create realistic service plans and in achieving goals, includes referrals agencies providing healthcare, legal services, childcare, job training, and housing among other supports
Project Goals for transitional housing and activities
RISE project goals, activities and anticipated outcomes include but not limited to the following:

1. 400 sessions of case-management, counseling and advocacy services to participants as determined by their self-identified needs, which may include: 1) referrals for critical services such as health care, psychiatric care, addiction treatment, child care and legal assistance; 2) provision of individual, family or group counseling and 3) referrals for other supportive services to help participants reach self-sufficiency. All of these services are voluntary and offered as needed by each individual family.
2. Assess participant’s financial ability to afford rent and living expenses, helping participants increase or downsize their units or find other sources of income/better or additional jobs as needed;
3. Offer a minimum six months of aftercare to all participants, following their exit.

My Sister’s Place new mission statement describes our work to shelter, support and empower survivors of domestic violence and their children, while providing leadership and education to build a supportive community. MSP is unique in offering a full continuum of care from emergency shelter through transitional-to-permanent housing and providing after-care support long after families have exited our housing programs. MSP serves families from the first days of deciding to flee to long after they have established their own homes, for as long as they want to stay connected with us.

MSP developed our unique “Move-In Program” to provide furnishings and other household goods as clients move into new homes and our own “Fresh Start Fund” to help families with financial support to ensure they do not fall back into homelessness because of one unexpected bill.

The end of 2022 marked extraordinary expansion for MSP. We opened a new shelter, Sanctuary II, increasing our emergency shelter capacity by nearly 50%. We expanded our footprint throughout all programs, adding transitional housing to 15 more families and support services to another 150 clients in transitional housing programs. We are currently the largest provider of housing for families fleeing domestic violence in DC.

Among our most recent achievements is our newly launched emergency cash transfer program, RISE Trust. The program will help clients set and meet financial goals that will support long-term self-sufficiency. While there have been several cash transfer programs across the country, none are specifically targeted to domestic violence survivors. Because financial limitations are often the reason survivors stay in abusive relationships, and the reason they go back to their abusers, we believe that a cash transfer program for this population will not only lead to increased well-being but will also save lives.

MSP also stands out in our intentional hiring of highly educated, licensed and multi-cultural staff. Our experienced team of licensed social workers, therapists, case managers and residential counselors provide intensive case management and counseling sessions, art therapy, psycho-education workshops, workforce training, youth programs and activities, health and parenting work-shops and addiction counseling. Key programming that strengthens MSP portfolio of programs is our mental health support provided to clients through licensed therapist, including our own very popular full-time art therapist. These supportive services ensure that clients are empowered to recover and thrive so that they can maintain their independence, gain employment, placement into job-training and educational programs.

FY 22 results to be published once available, FY 21 results are the following:

MSP served a total of 160 adult survivors and 285 child survivors throughout all programs.
110 survivors provided with safe secure emergency shelter
1247 case management and counseling sessions provided to adults and children
49 individual safety plans designed, 96 client goals set, and 57 financial and budgeting plans created with
survivors
57 sessions held to assist survivors with securing employment, increasing income, or education program placement
57 psycho-education workshops and 70 youth activities conducted for shelter residents
98 survivors transitioned from shelter or other crisis location to transitional housing
94 survivors served through transitional housing programs on an on-going basis
18 domestic violence survivors moved to independent permanent housing
40 Move Ins completed to help clients establish homes
117 Fresh Star Fund grants awarded to help families with unexpected expenses when needed most
Conducted 8 Domestic Violence and Bystander Intervention training to over 200 community participants
20 weekly DV resource clinics held in the community and virtually
Partnered with more than 30 community services providers to meet our clients’ needs
Established relationships, formal agreements and DV tenant right education with 38 local landlords to better serve survivors in transitional to permanent housing. 

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome

Financials

My Sister's Place, Inc.
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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

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.

My Sister's Place, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 09/05/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Shawn Wright

Partner, Blank Rome LLP

Term: 2022 - 2024

Beverly Allen

Medstar Washington Hospital Center

Michelle A Kisloff

Hogan Lovells

Lisa Rosenthal

Mayvin Consulting Group

Zoe Sharp

Optoro, Inc.

Amy Berger

Retired

Sara Adland

Kimbrely Sheldon

Santina Rocca

Vice Chair

Diana Rubins

Debbie Berkowitz

Gilbert Smith

Jenny Brody

Faye Cobb

Shelley Guiley

Michael Sahakian

Elaine Scivetti

Bailey Williams

Rebecca Carr Rizzo

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 2/2/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/24/2021

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 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.