GOLD2023

Upward Transitions Inc

Ending Generational Poverty

Oklahoma City, OK   |  www.upwardtransitions.org

Mission

To prevent generational poverty through community collaboration, emergency relief and empowerment, therefore inspiring hope with our neighbors experiencing housing instability.  Upward Transitions began as Travelers Aid and has served the Oklahoma City Community since 1925. Our Community Outreach Program provides emergency relief, case management, and direct services to address the issues of homelessness and generational poverty. These services and financial bridges are effective at removing barriers to obtaining or preserving housing and moving people beyond their presenting circumstances. UT uses a strengths-based case management model in which case managers focus on empowering clients and their families and encourage the clients to take the lead in identifying their own needs.

Ruling year info

1965

CEO

Periann Pulliam

Main address

1134 W. Main St.

Oklahoma City, OK 73106 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Travelers Aid and Homeless Assistance Center Inc.

Travelers Aid Society

EIN

73-0590277

NTEE code info

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

Transportation (Free or Subsidized) (P52)

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

Upward Transitions began as Travelers Aid and has served the Oklahoma City Community since 1925. Our Community Outreach Services Program provides case management and direct services to address the issues of homelessness and generational poverty. We also provide services to those in need of travel assistance to reconnect with a support system or go to a place of safety. Our target populations are individuals and families who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness, stranded travelers, and victims of domestic violence and human trafficking

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?

Community Outreach

Our services provide assistance to families and individuals who face threats to financial stability. In many cases, Upward Transitions can provide a short-term financial bridge in the form of emergency assistance and access to community resources to maintain stability. Eligible families may work with case managers on a long-term basis to increase and develop skills that can provide a sustainable income. Case managers work closely with these families to create a plan with goals that address specific needs and create the means to avoid future homelessness. Individuals who are homeless and working to regain their independence can turn to Upward Transitions for help. Our services provide the following forms of assistance:Legal document retrieval assistance for clients who are homeless (birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc.)State ID purchase assistance for clients who are homelessUtility and rent assistanceTravel assistance for qualified stranded travelersEmergency travel assistance for victims of domestic violence and human traffickingLinkage to other services

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Economically disadvantaged people

Upward Transitions operates the Travelers Aid Volunteer Program at Will Rogers World Airport to assist travelers in need. Through this program, our trained volunteers offer the following:Information on airport services and the Oklahoma City metro areaAssistance to stranded travelers and military personnelResource referrals to individuals with social service issues

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Affiliations & memberships

United Way of Central Oklahoma member agency 2019

COVA - Central Oklahoma Administrators 2019

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber 2019

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, Standards of Excellence Program Graduate 2019

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.

Our services and financial bridges are effective at removing barriers to obtaining or preserving housing and moving people beyond their presenting circumstances. UT uses a strengths-based case management model in which case managers focus on empowering clients and their families and encourage the clients to take the lead in identifying their own needs.

Through our Community Outreach program, we assisted more than 3,300 people with their basic needs including 1) legal document and ID retrieval for individuals who are homeless to access employment and housing, 2) rent and utility assistance for families and seniors to prevent homelessness, and 3) emergency travel for stranded travelers and victims of domestic violence and human trafficking to travel to a place of safety with support systems.

- A qualified client will gain access to financial and housing security.
- A qualified client will gain housing stability.
- A qualified client will increase their safety through travel assistance.
- A qualified client will achieve a positive sense of future.
- A qualified client will gain knowledge about community resources after receiving services.

Oklahoma City's 2018 Point in Time count which took place on January 25, 2018 identified 1,183 people as literally homeless. It is estimated that a community's annual number is four to five times its one-night census. In this case, between 4732 and 5915 people in a year. A study completed by The Homeless Hub found that 70% of the homeless clients they encountered did not have photo identification or other identification documents. Without these documents a person cannot obtain housing or financial security. Upward Transitions assists with removing this barrier as many homeless clients face challenges in their attempts to obtain these documents due to the costs, literacy, behavioral and cognitive factors.

The 2019 Prosperity Now Scorecard shows that about 45.3% of renters in Oklahoma are paying more than 30% of their income for housing. The Eviction Lab (Princeton University)reports that there were 6,483 evictions in Oklahoma City in 2016. Heartline/211 reports receiving 10,492 calls/texts from persons seeking assistance with rent and 15,212 calls/texts for assistance with utilities in 2018. More than 100,000 Oklahoma County utility accounts were in arrears in 2017. A household that has a utility shut off is in danger of being evicted. Most households can avoid homelessness when a financial crisis occurs with a one time rent or utility payment to maintain their housing. Upward Transitions assists families and seniors with rent and utility payments to prevent eviction and increase housing security.

In 2016, Oklahoma was ranked #4 in the nation for women murdered by men in domestic violence incidents. Upward Transitions assists victims of domestic violence and their children and victims of human trafficking with travel to a place of safety and support.

-We have served those who are homeless, on the brink of homelessness or stranded in Oklahoma City since 1925.
-Homeless prevention services and identification assistance services have been shown to be effective across the nation.
-We are known in the OKC community as the go to agency for assistance with retrieving legal documents, obtaining state IDs, and providing emergency travel.
-Our success rate with homeless prevention assistance has been consistently higher than the Wilson Sheehan Study rates.
-Our agency received the Harry Perry Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management in May 2018 from ESCCO.
-Our Chief Operations Officer has 31 years experience in business operations, training, marketing, and administration. She serves on the Board of Directors and Professional Council for Travelers Aid International. Our COO holds Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits' Standard of Excellence and Nonprofit Management Certifications.
-Our Community Outreach Program Director has 41 years of experience providing social services. She is the convener for REACH, a monthly meeting attended by case managers of various agencies to remain current about the scope of each respective agency's services.
-Our three Community Outreach Case Managers have a combined total of 55 years of experience providing social services.

Our partners include the City Rescue Mission, YWCA, Palomar, Salvation Army, Grace Rescue Mission, Jesus House, Homeless Alliance, City Care/Day Shelter, VA Homeless Services, NorthCare, Red Rock, Hope Community Services, Neighborhood Services, SiSu, Heartline/211 and the Wonderfully Made Foundation. These shelters and agencies refer homeless clients to our agency for homeless services. We partner with the YWCA, Palomar and The Dragonfly Home to provide homeless services and travel services to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.

We partner with Catholic Charities, Areawide Aging and the Salvation Army to provide utility assistance. We have partnerships with Sunbeam Family Services Early Childhood Program, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program, Positive Tomorrows, Mental Health Association and ReMerge. These agencies that work with families at or below the poverty level with young children birth to age 12 directly refer families receiving services from their programs who are in need of homeless prevention services.

Several locals churches donate funding to assist clients with direct services through our In Good Faith Program.

The Central Oklahoma Labor Federation provides funding for holiday food baskets.

The Central Oklahoma Work Force Board provides a representative who comes to our office to work with clients on job search skills.

In Fiscal Year 2019,
- 1,383 (80%) of clients gained access to financial and housing stability when they obtained birth certificates and State IDs.
- 828 (83%) of clients maintained stable housing with utilities connected for 1 year.
- 158 (100%) of clients increased their safety by 100% by traveling to a place of safety and support.
- 3,199 (96%) of clients achieved a positive sense of future.
- 3,206 (97%) of clients gained knowledge about community resources after receiving services.

Upward Transitions assisted more than 3,300 people with direct assistance. This included the basic needs of identification, transportation, and housing.

UT helped people obtain 1,658 legal or identifying documents. This includes birth certificates, identification cards, drivers licenses, and marriage licenses. Individuals are able to utilize these documents to obtain housing, apply for employment, or access other services in the community.

UT supported 853 people with bus tokens and gas vouchers allowing them to travel to employment opportunities, medical appointments, and social services.

UT supported 998 people in 346 households who received temporary short term and medium support in the form rent and/or utility payments. One year following assistance, 83% of clients were still houses with their utilities connected.

UT directly impacted the lives of 946 children by helping their families obtain or maintain housing. Our services create a more stable home environment and reduce adverse childhood experiences.

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 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 get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, 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

Financials

Upward Transitions 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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lock

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.

Upward Transitions Inc

Board of directors
as of 01/03/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Brandon Kemp

Ogletree Deakins

Term: 2023 - 2024

Melinda Merideth

Kirkpatrick Oil Company, Inc.

Dana Giroux

Community Volunteer

A.J. Singer

Derryberry & Naifeh, Inc.

Melanie Ramseyer

HSPG & Associates

Taylor Fudge

Claims Management Resources

Markie Berg

OG&E

Simon Bright

McAfee & Taft

Shanequah Brison

The Boeing Company

Meagan Carter

Oklahoma State Department of Health

Corey Coleman

Peters & Chandler CPA

David Dani

Chesapeake Energy

Stephanie Harris

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

Frank Hinton

Chicago Title

Casey Johnson

REDW

Joncia Johnson

Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Sarah Lucy

Stetson Bentley

Trent Riley

Oklahoma Contemporary Art

Andrea Weig

Jay London Homes, LLC

LaNeka Wilson

Bank of Oklahoma

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 ? No
  • 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 1/3/2024

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
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/03/2024

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

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.