3 A Bereavement Foundation

Houston, TX   |  www.3abereavement.org

Mission

3ABF's mission is to enable low-income and working poor bereaved families to secure services to comprehensively address their bereavement needs. We occupy a unique position in the Houston Metropolitan Area as the only nonprofit organization with a sole purpose to provide comprehensive bereavement services to economically disadvantaged families. We envision the elimination of the feelings of despair and hopelessness experienced by bereaved families who have limited or no means to bury their loved ones, or to obtain needed counseling services for healing and wholeness.

Notes from the nonprofit

The greatest difficulty faced by 3ABF over the past several years on our fundraising activities was the impact of the troubling economic times and the slow economic recovery for many Donors. It was anticipated that obtaining new funding sources would be challenging; however, 3ABF experiences an increase in the number of bereaved individuals and families we serve each year.

Ruling year info

1997

Executive Director

Ms. Michele Lara

Main address

5330 Griggs Rd., Suite A108

Houston, TX 77021 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

76-0534471

NTEE code info

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

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

3ABF serve low-income families and over 95% are ethnic minorities. 71% of these households have at least one working adult – evidence that the majority of our families consist of working-poor residents, versus individuals seeking to live off of government assistance. We strive to convey the importance of recognizing bereavement services as a vital need throughout the Houston Metropolitan Area – not for the benefit of the deceased but to provide hope, healing and a future for surviving loved ones. Our long-term goal is to bridge the gap in the availability and quality of bereavement services available to indigent and low-income families. Local governmental resources are limited to County services. These services must be requested within 48 hours of a death, unless the death occurred in a County facility. Families are denied County services, which is the only source of public support, for waiting too long to request support or for having as little as $550 to cover funeral expenses.

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?

Family Support Services "Helping Hands"

Though financial need is what prompts families to call 3ABF, Helping Hands is the heart of what we do. 3ABF advises and accompanies family members through all aspects of preparing for funeral and interment services, with particular focus on where costs can be cut to provide affordable, yet dignified services for their loved-one.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults

Informal and professional grief counseling services are available for up to one year following initial intake to immediate family members (spouses, children, siblings, and/or parents). 75% to 80% of our families receive in-house counseling support. Providing an informal, relaxed setting is critically important as low-income populations tend to be more averse to counseling than middle and upper-income persons.

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

Financial support is provided to assist in avoiding delays in funeral services. Due to the cost of funeral expenses basic fees start at $3,500 for a small child and $5,000 for adults 3ABF is able to provide partial assistance to only 25% of eligible families. 3ABF verifies the need and that there are no other sources of funding, and then provides up to $1,000 to offset expenses. Support goes directly to funeral homes or cemeteries, never to families.

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

20% of all referrals to 3ABF are families seeking Crime Victim Compensation through State services. 3ABF assists these families through the arduous task of filing for Compensation Claims and Appeals to cover funeral and/or counseling expenses. 3ABF has been specializing in this area for over 10 years and is pleased to have a measurable impact on the increased number of approved applicants in the Houston Metropolitan Area.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Workshops and talks, in English and Spanish, are provided in low-income neighborhoods to increase public awareness and educate residents about all aspects of bereavement planning.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Consultations and referrals to families prior to the death of a loved one. 3ABF advises and assists families on planning final arrangements for loved ones with terminal illnesses, in hospice care, in hospitals on life support, diagnosed with memory loss disease (Alzheimer's, Dementia).

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Providing follow-up services to families at 3 and 6 months intervals after the initial office contact to monitor the need for counseling, social services or emergency assistance and to conduct community education/outreach in low-income Houston communities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults

Where we work

Awards

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.

3ABF has five programs developed to provide comprehensive services to low-income bereaved and working poor families. All are rendered without regard to ethnic, social, religious or cultural background.

1. Bereaved Family Assistance Funds – Financial support to low-income bereaved families to help defray expenses and avoid delays in end-of-life services. Assistance ranges between $500 and $800 per family, as needed.
2. End-of-Life Consultations – Guidance to assist families to acquire services at the lowest possible cost, while enabling them to celebrate their loved-one’s life with dignity. Calls have significantly increased as families continue to seek assistance for the loss of a loved one during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
3. Crime Victim Services – Mediation, counseling, filing assistance and appeal services for surviving loved-ones. Families of homicide victims are often unaware of the availability of Crime Victims Compensation (CVC) assistance.
4. Care Team Services – A dedicated volunteer-based program that regularly checks in with all interested family members and close companions for up to a year after end-of-life services. In addition to providing inspiration and encouragement, Care Team volunteers assess the need for grief counseling, emergency assistance referrals and other human services. Care Team members are doing even more outreach to encourage our families as they experience the added loneliness and seclusion of COVID-19.
5. Grief Counseling – Grief counseling is available to immediate family members or companions, on a group and/or individual basis. Services are provided at no charge by certified in-staff volunteers or contracted professionals.

3ABF's long-term goal is to bridge the gap in the availability and quality of bereavement services available to economically disadvantaged families in the Houston Metropolitan Area.

It is our belief that accessibility to affordable bereavement services and grief counseling are a basic and vital need for impoverished children, individuals and families impacted by the death of a loved one. Thus, 3ABF provides services for low-income and working poor families with a simple vision in mind – that they will have accessible, quality bereavement services to relieve the pain of their loss. We realize that children and senior citizens are particularly vulnerable.

3ABF envisions the elimination of the feelings of despair and hopelessness experienced by bereaved families who have limited or no means to bury their loved ones, or to obtain needed grief counseling services for healing and wholeness.

3ABF also seeks to increase public awareness in low-income communities about available bereavement planning services and advocate for an increase in municipal, county and state governmental support for bereavement services and grief counseling for low-income and working poor individuals and families.

3ABF desires to increase Bereaved Family Assistance Fund (BFAF) support to cover at least 40% of eligible families; with the 3-year goal to support 75% of eligible families. The immediate impact would decrease the number of potential delayed funeral services from over 25% to under 10%. We also seek to expand Helping Hands to follow-up at 3, 6 and 9 month intervals after the initial office contact to monitor the need for counseling, social services or emergency assistance. Participation in grief counseling services by at least 60% of families who have experienced traumatic losses, to insure long-term recovery.

3ABF provides workshops in partnership with local churches and other nonprofits designed to educate low-income and working poor individuals and families; who are often uncertain about how to prepare for and obtain affordable bereavement services, area social services, crime victim compensation and other relevant topics.

What enables 3ABF to reach so many families every year is its committed staff. 3ABF currently has a full-time Executive Director and one full-time Family Support Assistant; who is bilingual in English and Spanish. On any given day, 3ABF is assisting six or more families (each case averaging between two to four weeks). Working with low-income and working poor bereaved families every day can be disheartening. Yet, 3ABF takes pride in the professional and compassionate services delivered to each family member by a staff that continually reinforces and expresses hope for the future.

In January 2016, 3ABF launched a new program initiative, the “3ABF Care Team”. This is an aftercare program “staffed” by volunteers to provide a safety-net for bereaved individuals and families served by 3ABF as they move through their grief journey.

Care Team Volunteer Members are doing even more outreach to encourage our bereaved families as they experience the added loneliness and seclusion due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Consistent community partners include Harris County Bereavement Program, Catholic Charities and Memorial Assistance Ministries. In some instances, families have exhausted all of their resources for the funeral, forsaking basic immediate needs. Therefore, while many service providers will not support bereavement assistance; they will provide emergency funds for rent, utilities, food, medical expenses, etc.

3ABF annually serves over 810 families, there are at least four surviving immediate family members (spouse, siblings, children and/or parents) within every referred family. Therefore, the bereaved families served in 2020 equates to approximately 3240 individuals that directly benefit from 3ABF services.

Since our inception in September 1997, 3ABF has:
1. Assisted over 12,158 families, each consisting of multiple persons.
2. Directly provided over $463,000 in funeral/burial assistance and grief counseling.
3. Assisted families in receiving over $2.6 Million from other supporters (approximately 98% from Crime Victims Compensation funds and 2% from FEMA for 2005 Hurricane Victims).
4. Provided over 1120 hours of group and/or individual counseling services.
5. Families are comforted in knowing 3ABF's counseling services are available to them up to 12 months following the death of their loved one.
6. Families of crime victims are spared the additional emotional anguish of attempting to access crime victims funding within a bureaucratic system without guidance.
7. A volunteer-based Aftercare Team was created in 2016 to provide a safety net for bereaved families as they move through their grief journey.

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?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • 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 strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    3ABF formulated a volunteer-based aftercare team in 2016 to interface with bereaved families in need. Over the past year after providing volunteer peer support meetings we realized that there was a need to revisit the structure of the After Care Team Volunteer Program: 1. Volunteers will be encouraged to work 3 months then take a break. 2. The break will allow the volunteers to refresh and restore their spirits. 3. We are also realizing the importance of small and meaningful activities to show our appreciation for our volunteers. 4. Cultivate a Care Team of 15 Core Volunteers with rotation schedules, so there will be 10 active Care Team Core Volunteers at all times. 5. Give Care Team Volunteers opportunities for peer support meetings, so they can share their concerns and challenges.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    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?

    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, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

3 A Bereavement Foundation
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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3 A Bereavement Foundation

Board of directors
as of 8/6/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr Gabriel Luke

City of Houston Fire Fighter

Term: 2020 - 2023

Annie Briscoe

Attorney At Law

Mary Knotts

Retired State of Texas Employee

Gabriel Luke

City of Houston Fire Fighter

Sharon Phillips

Entrepreneur

Bennie Daniels

Teacher

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 08/06/2021

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
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability