Housing, Shelter

Interfaith Family Services

Empowering working families to break the cycle of poverty.

Dallas, TX

Mission

Interfaith empowers families in crisis to break the cycle of poverty. Interfaith provides housing for homeless families in one of our 25 lovingly decorated, furnished apartments. In addition to housing, parents are required to meet weekly with their personal success coach and financial empowerment coach to provide the accountability and support needed to reach their goals. Additionally, unemployed and underemployed parents must participate in our Career Development Program until viable employment is obtained. We also provide on-site counseling, child-care assistance, after-school & summer programs, and life skills training.

Ruling Year

1985

Chief Executive Officer

Mrs. Kimberly Williams

Chief Development Officer

Mrs. Ashley Agnew

Main Address

P.O. Box 720206

Dallas, TX 75372 USA

Formerly Known As

Interfaith Housing Coalition

Keywords

Working poor, housing, homeless children, stability

EIN

75-2028254

 Number

2963130840

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Temporary Shelter For the Homeless (L41)

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

Interfaith is committed to bettering the lives of working families in Dallas. We are dedicated to helping these families break the cycle of poverty through access to our empowering programs, including career coaching, financial coaching, counseling, and after-school and summer programming for children. Over 130 individuals have participated in these programs in the last year alone. The challenges facing working poor families in our community are daunting, but by working together, we can create a community in which every working family has access to opportunities, resources, and a stable home that they can call their own.

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

Hope and Horizons Children and Teens

Home and Hope Transitional Housing Program

Where we work

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?

Since 1985, Interfaith Family Services (Interfaith) has been a leading resource for working poor families in Dallas who are homeless. Of the three predominant segments of poor at risk for homelessness (the chronically homeless, subsidized poor, and working poor), the working poor do not require, nor do most desire, long-term subsidized housing. Interfaith exists to give them the "hand up" they need when a crisis leads to homelessness. Our objective is to not only stabilize families but to also help them decrease or eliminate the need for federal assistance. This is important because 60% of children who grow up living in subsidized housing will repeat the cycle as adults. In fact, our strategy is very unique given that almost all Dallas-area transitional housing providers graduate the majority of their residents into subsidized housing.

During our 25th Anniversary in 2011, we renewed our commitment to family self-sufficiency by launching the True Transformation Project. When we launched the initiative, we set an aggressive goal to help 1,000 individuals (or 400 families) of the approximately 3,028 homeless women and children in Dallas in any given year to transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency by the end of 2015—the year of our 30th anniversary. The initiative was created to affect long-term change for program participants via four key target objectives:

• Equip 400 families to overcome homelessness
• Educate 300 homeless children by advancing their math and reading skills
• Employ 200 adults in careers with livable wages
• Empower 100 graduates to maintain self-sufficiency 1 year or longer

We are in year three of True Transformation and our outcome results prove that our program works.

• As of 3/31/15, we have served 301 families of our goal of 400 families by September 30, 2015.
• The average graduate wage increased from $9.48/hr. to $15.32/hr.
• 69% of children in our tutoring program improved one or more grade levels in reading and math.
• Graduate employment rates increased from 50% at 6 months post-graduation to 86%.


As you can see, the long-term impact of our work results in stronger families who graduate from the program in a better position to avoid and overcome future crises. Our families are also less dependent on public supports. Our comprehensive services help us quickly address some of the root causes of homelessness, placing the entire family in a better position to reach their goals.

Working poor families desperately need programs like Interfaith's because we offer true solutions to four key barriers to their stability.

• LACK OF TRANSITIONAL SUPPORT: Typically, the working poor do not have strong support systems to rely on when they experience a housing crisis. Many are faced with returning to negative environments or applying for subsidized housing (Section 8). Applying for public benefits is understandable. However, it is not usually “temporary" support. In fact, families live in subsidized housing for an average of 8 years. Studies suggest that their children have a 60% likelihood of living in subsidized housing as adults. However, Interfaith provides homeless families transitional housing as the alternative. As a result, 78% of our graduates continue to live free from the need for rental subsidies two years later.

• LOW-WAGE CAREERS: A woman working full-time, year-round at minimum wage ($7.25) makes close to $15,000 a year -- $3,600 below the poverty line for a family of 3 (National Women's Law Center). In the article “Whose Job Is It? Creating Opportunities for Advancement," the Center for Law and Social Policy stated that “job training can help low-income workers increase their earnings and obtain access to better jobs." Interfaith's Career Development program provides every adult a career assessment, coaching, and training to obtain employment with viable wages. Although 75% of adults are unemployed or under-employed at program entry, 91% find jobs with an average wage of $12.99/hr.

• LACK OF FINANCIAL EDUCATION: Roughly three-quarters of Americans live check-to-check and have little to no emergency savings (Bankrate.com survey, June 2013). What's more, 27% of those surveyed had no savings at all. In Dallas, 52% of poor households are headed by women. The Institute for Women's Policy Research states that “in times of economic hardship, savings and retirement accounts provide the safety net needed to keep women, families, and communities above poverty." Interfaith volunteers provide one-on-one financial education and coaching, with a minimum of 20 sessions needed to graduate. Families also receive assistance with debt negotiation when needed.

• LACK OF ACCESS TO CHILD CARE: Child care eats up 35.9% of a low-income family's monthly budget (Center for American Progress, Importance of Preschool and Child Care for Working Mothers 2011). Furthermore, lack of child care is also a significant barrier to moms receiving the training needed to increase their pay. Interfaith spends nearly $40,000 a year to provide high-quality child care at no cost to families in our program when needed. We also provide free daily after-school and summer programs for school-aged children.

Interfaith strives to provide these holistic programs without duplicating services offered by other housing providers. We collaborate with the following organizations to leverage services in our continuum of care and to provide seamless referrals. To help unemployed residents in our program secure viable employment, we partner with several agencies that assist with job training and other services. The Wilkinson Center and the Aberg Center for Literacy provide G.E.D. classes for our clients. Oasis Institute and City Square provide computer training. We also collaborate with H.I.S. Bridge Builders, Family Gateway, and El Centro for vocational training that clients need to secure viable jobs. We collaborate with My Second Chance and Urban League of Greater Dallas when individuals have issues finding employment due to a felony. Child care is provided through partners like Vogel Alcove and Dallas CAN. Networking opportunities are provided by Career Connection, and professional clothing is donated by Attitudes and Attires. Parkland Hospital offers our families preventive screenings. The Children & Teens program is enhanced by program partners such as the Dallas Independent School District, which provides interns and tutors. Dallas After School assists with educational training and curriculum. Rainbow Days provides access to family and summer outings for our children. Essentials like diapers and other supplies are donated by Captain Hope's Kids.

In addition to our collaboration with several partners, Interfaith utilizes and rely heavily on the support of approximately 100 regular volunteers who work directly with families on their journey to self-sufficiency. For example, volunteers serve families each week by providing employment coaching, teaching our financial education curriculum, tutoring students who are behind academically, and assisting teachers with activities in the children's after-school and summer program. Volunteers also provide assistance with preparing apartments for new families entering Interfaith.

Additionally, we work with dozens of churches and community groups such as Watermark Community Church, Highland Park United Methodist Church, Northwood Woman's Club, Park Cities Presbyterian Church, Women of Saint Michael, Lakewood Service League, The Junior League of Dallas, and National Charity League – to name a few. These groups dedicate their time to special projects or family events such as our Pamper and Play Mother's Day event, Summer BBQ, Fall Carnival, and Christmas Store. Interfaith's Board of Directors is also comprised of volunteers. Their backgrounds are primarily in the nonprofit, legal, and financial sectors. The 22-member Board of Directors provides fiscal and program oversight, supports development efforts, and assists in agency governance.

Outcome System
Evaluation is managed by our full-time Outcomes Manager, and our results prove our model is effective. We evaluate our program in the following phases:

1. Knowledge obtained is evaluated via pre/post tests for financial education and life skills. Adults improve an average of 10 points for financial literacy and 20% for life skills. Youth are evaluated on reading and math competencies. They improve an average of 2 grade levels in reading and math.

2. Knowledge applied is monitored via client progress in reaching Self-Sufficiency Milestones during the program year. Key milestones, along with our 2013-14 outcomes, are employment (91% were employed), debt reduction (79% reduced debt), savings (93% had a savings safety net), contingency plans (60% had a long-term plan), and permanent housing (89% transitioned to stable housing).

3. Knowledge retained is gauged using quarterly graduate surveys. We track job and housing retention (90% maintained employment and housing) and continued debt reduction and savings at 12 months (95% were still saving/reducing debt).

Data is shared monthly with agency leaders and our board. We also post results online.

Goals, Baseline, and Target Numbers for FY 2015
• Interfaith will serve approximately 100 families, approximately 90% of whom will be headed by single mothers
• 70% of Interfaith families will complete Phase 1 (Homelessness Elimination Program) by exiting with full-time employment and permanent housing. 85% of Interfaith Families will also complete 20 sessions of financial coaching.
• 60% of families will complete Phase 2 (Self-Sufficiency Program) by reducing debt and building a savings safety net of $1,000 or more.
• 50% of families will complete Phase 3 (Sustainability Program) by participating in one year of mentoring post-graduation. 80% of these participants will maintain employment for 12 months and continue to save or reduce debt.

For families who are homeless and want to break the cycle of poverty, Interfaith's Home & Hope Transitional Housing program provides 25 lovingly decorated, furnished apartments that foster dignity and stability, while parents receive the career coaching, financial coaching, and life skills training need to become self-sufficient.

Our Outcomes

93% transition to permanent housing.
88% are employed at exit with an average wage of $14.05 per hour.
87% reduce debt (average of $2,107) and build a savings safety-net (average of $835).
100% of 2016 graduates maintained employment one year later.
100% of 2015 graduates are living without the aid of Section 8 two years later.
Interfaith saves tax payers approximately $8 million annually.

Hope & Horizons

Children and teens attend Interfaith's on-site Hope & Horizons Program. This special program is designed to stabilize homeless children through a combination of arts and crafts that emphasis creativity, play therapy to address emotional and social issues, individualized tutoring to address common academic gaps, and field trips and camps that expose children to the larger world.

Our Outcomes

76 children were served through our program.
30% Advanced By One or More Grade Levels in both Reading and Math
6 out of 10 exited at or above grade level in reading.
Over 300 hours of counseling was provided to children.
90% of exiting children aspire to go to college and felt better about their future.

External Reviews

Financials

Interfaith Family Services

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
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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