Housing, Shelter

Homestretch, Inc.

Empowering Families to Rebuild Lives

Falls Church, VA   |  http://www.homestretchva.org

Mission

Homestretch's mission is to empower homeless families to secure permanent housing and attain the skills, knowledge and hope they need to achieve self-sufficiency. Homestretch accomplishes this mission by providing families with subsidized housing and support services for up to two years. This long-term approach gives them sufficient time to develop the skills necessary to obtain and, more importantly, maintain permanent housing.

Ruling year info

1998

Principal Officer

Mr. Christopher Fay

Main address

303 South Maple Avenue Ste 400

Falls Church, VA 22046 USA

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EIN

54-1894391

Cause area (NTEE code) info

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

Housing Expense Reduction Support, Rent Assistance (L82)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

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

Homestretch clients are generally referred to us from a Fairfax County homeless shelter. These referrals are usually the most challenging cases because they are ineligible for Rapid Rehousing. As a result, Homestretch is often sent families with no work history, few marketable skills, chronic health issues, and significant emotional trauma. Some may not even speak English. In addition:
• Over 90% of the adults in Homestretch families are single mothers.
• Because of the number of children in our client families, the average age of someone in Homestretch is only 9 years old.
• 65% of Homestretch families are homeless due to domestic violence or human trafficking; 75% have been exposed to serious violence.
• 10% of Homestretch families are headed by military veterans.
• 41% of Homestretch clients have documented disabilities.
• 50% of Homestretch adults have no work history.
• 75% have damaged credit and high debt loads.

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?

Transitional Housing for Homeless Families

Homestretch takes homeless families from shelters and other places not fit for human habitation and places them in a safe, scatter site home, then surrounds them with a rigorous concentration of services that are designed to address all the barriers in their path and lead them toward increased economic and social independence.

The time limit on housing depends on the needs as presented by the families. The objective is to identify the family’s needs and obstacles and design an individualized program around them. Housing options include transitional (three months to two years), plus rapid re-housing (three to six months), transitioning in place (when a family enters transitional housing but takes over the lease as their situation improves so the housing becomes permanent), permanent supportive housing (for families with serious, chronic problems or disabilities), and affordable housing (for families needing rents below market rate). We also have a program for families to become first time homebuyers. 10% of graduating families do so well that they become first time homebuyers within three years of graduation.

Besides providing housing and free utilities, the families receive intensive case management; vocational training; educational scholarships; job coaching and placement; credit and budget counseling, debt repayment, savings and tax preparation; life skills training; ESOL classes; tutoring; domestic violence counseling; substance abuse recovery support; legal aid; psychotherapy; parenting help; health and wellness classes including free gym memberships and nutritional instruction; transportation assistance including donated cars and bus tokens; no interest loans; child care help; and multiple children’s educational, health, and social services. Homestretch’s emphasis on health and wellness enables all clients to get a free membership at a local fitness center. The many services for children allow the parents to save their money on things they might otherwise need to pay for such as school supplies, shoes and clothes, birthday and holiday gifts, school fees, bicycles, eyeglasses, medical needs and summer c it gives them the peace of mind to know that their children are getting everything they need to stay healthy and prosper in school. All children are offered free tutoring. Our intent is to provide enough services that the family has no obstacle to make serious and lasting changes; and to provide sufficient support to the children so that the adults can work to achieve major milestones, such as earning degrees, restoring health or finding better jobs with higher income.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Budget
$2,742,367

Homestretch provides housing and comprehensive services for homeless parents with children

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

Homestretch provides a rich array of services and supports for the children of clients.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

Homestretch offers an accredited pre-school for children of client families and for low income families in the area.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children

Where we work

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

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

Homeless people

Related Program

Transitional Housing for Homeless Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Independent outcome studies show that 95% of Homestretch graduates remain housed and employed 2-5 years after completing the program.

Number of clients and family who did not complete the entirety of the program

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

Homeless people

Related Program

Transitional Housing for Homeless Families

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

About 90% of families that enter Homestretch complete the program successfully by graduating into homes they can afford.

Number of low-income families housed in affordable, well-maintained units as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

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

Homeless people

Related Program

Transitional Housing for Homeless Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Homestretch can serve 50 families in our supportive/transitional housing program in. All are provided safe, well-maintained single family homes during the duration of their time at Homestretch.

Average amount of client savings upon exiting Homestretch (in dollars)

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

Homeless people

Related Program

Services for Homeless Parents with Children

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Homestretch requires clients to save 10% of their gross income each month.

Average client credit score

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

Homeless people

Related Program

Services for Homeless Parents with Children

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Homestretch requires clients to obtain employment, gain marketable job skills, and pay off debts. This results in improved credit scores.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

Our vision is to ensure that all client families will graduate from Homestretch with the skills, knowledge, and hope they need to escape the cycle of poverty. To that end our primary goal is to demonstrate at least a 90% success rate for our graduates, which means at least 90% of the families who complete the program are housed and employed long after exiting. We seek to end homelessness permanently for those who complete the program.

Homestretch embodies the belief that high expectations produce outstanding achievements. Our strategy therefore encompasses these aspects:<br/><br/>• Measurable results. <br/><br/>• Comprehensive services. Many homeless families, when they come to us, are accustomed to disappointment. They look for a job, but have no way to get there; or they can't afford child care. They would go to school but can't afford it. They would look for a better job but are too exhausted at the end of the day to search for better opportunities. Homestretch assembles support for all of these needs so they get subsidized child care, access to transportation, scholarships for school, help attaining a new or better job, and help with nutrition and health so they feel equipped to work tirelessly toward better futures for their families. Also, Homestretch individualizes its services to meet the needs of families depending on their needs and challenges. <br/><br/>• Financial literacy and freedom from debt. Families saves 10% of their gross income, which Homestretch's Credit Counselor uses to pay off their debts. Homestretch is their tax preparer. Refunds are used to leverage substantial payoffs, further reducing their debt and raising their credit scores. Local banks offer free bank accounts. Clients meet regularly with their case manager and Credit Counselor to review household budgets. Families tell us of their needs so we can get it for them free or discounted, allowing them to save, pay down debts and not incur new debts. For example, don't go buy a car; tell us and we will help you get a car you can afford. Because we provide so much for their children (holiday and birthday gifts, clothing, shoes, medical costs, bicycles, school fees, etc.), they can save and pay off debts to a degree that they would not be able to do outside of the program. Many families make more rapid progress while in Homestretch than at any other time in their lives.<br/><br/>• Education. While in Homestretch, a parent can pursue education at no cost to themselves, so they incur no debt. Because their household costs are so low, they can work part time and attend school without falling behind. We provide individual tutoring and help with books and other school fees. Because we emphasize education for all members of the family, it is possible that both the adults and children in a single family are being tutoring. We celebrate achievements with incentive awards for children getting good grades and incentive awards for adults achieving degrees or certifications. By celebrating achievements, new clients are inspired to follow in the footsteps of graduating families.

Homestretch has a full time staff of 19 including 4 case managers, an employment counselor, 3 pre-K teachers, a nursery care provider, a relocation coordinator, 2 child services staff, a volunteer coordinator, a grants manager, a director of community relations, a deputy director and an executive director. Part time staff of 3 includes a bookkeeper, custodian and teacher; and contracted staff include a credit counselor, 2 ESOL teachers, a CFO, and a therapist. Homestretch has a 16 member voluntary Board of Directors. Homestretch uses over 800 volunteers a year, including professionals (tax preparers, home remodelers, attorneys, architects, handymen, doctors, dentists, auto mechanics, etc.) and many non-professionals (tutors, painters, landscapers, organizers of collection drives), and receives donated items including furniture, new clothing, bicycles, food, cars, and computers, for a total in-kind value of around $800,000 a year.<br/><br/>Homestretch works cooperatively with all local shelters, as well as other human service agencies (Shelter House, FACETS, Reston Interfaith, New Hope Housing, Northern Virginia Family Service, Bethany House, plus local schools and hospitals and domestic violence shelters) to coordinate referrals, share services, submit cooperative proposals, and provide linkages for clients. Homestretch works closely with colleges including NOVA and ACE to secure scholarships for adult clients. Homestretch participates with the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness and Fairfax County's Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. Homestretch has relationships with dozens of churches and synagogues, and dozens of corporations and local companies to provide services, volunteers, financial support and material donations.

We seek a successful completion rate of 90%, meaning at least 90% of families entering the program complete it successfully by moving into housing they can afford. To that end, Homestretch tracks outcomes including rises in income, improvements in credit scores and language skills, completion of education programs, debt reduction, and increases in client savings.

Over the last several years, Homestretch outcomes are significant:<br/>• The average rise in income for a family in Homestretch is 137% a year.<br/>• The average adult works part or full time while also pursuing a certification or degree in a vocation that is likely to double or triple their income when completed.<br/>• The average family graduates from Homestretch with over $4,000 in savings. That is remarkable since the average family comes into Homestretch with over $6,000 in debts and ruined credit. This amazing positive $10,000 trajectory is the result of Homestretch families putting 10% of their gross income into a managed savings account which is used to pay off the family's debts. Most families pay off their debts within a year, and then that 10% becomes a savings – a “nest egg" for when they graduate. <br/>• 90% of families complete the program, moving into permanent housing that they can afford.<br/>• 10% of families do so well that they qualify as first time homebuyers within a year of graduation from Homestretch.

Financials

Homestretch, 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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Homestretch, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 4/29/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Jennifer Dalton

Brand Mirror

Term: 2016 - 2018


Board co-chair

Mr. Jeff Tarae

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

Term: 2016 - 2018

Cleve Johnson

Clark Realty Capital

Matt Pincombe

Excella Consulting

Amina Amisi

Nursing Student (Homestretch Graduate)

Colleen Barton Sutton

Food Research & Action Center

Stacy Hennessey

McEnearney & Associates

Amy Thorn

BDO

Nicholas Albu

Reed Smith

Michael Leavitt

John Moriarty & Associates of Virginia

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

Keywords

homeless, homeless families, homeless children, homelessness