SUNNYVALE COMMUNITY SERVICES

Working to prevent homelessness and hunger since 1970.

aka SCS   |   Sunnyvale, CA   |  www.svcommunityservices.org

Mission

Founded in 1970, the mission of Sunnyvale Community Services (SCS) is to prevent homelessness and hunger in our local community. SCS is one of seven nonprofit “Emergency Assistance Network” (EAN) agencies in Santa Clara County. Our EAN designated area includes all zip codes in Sunnyvale and Alviso. SCS also offers programs across Santa Clara County for homeless individuals and families. Eighty-seven percent of our budget goes directly to local services for those in need. Our 3,000+ volunteers together contribute nearly 40,000 hours of effort each year, and we work collaboratively with 30+ community organizations.

Notes from the nonprofit

Sunnyvale Community Services has been the safety net for our local community since 1970. Keeping housed with food on the table is challenging for thousands of families here in the "Heart of Silicon Valley." We are grateful for the generosity of individuals, businesses, and community groups in supporting our shared mission to prevent homelessness and hunger in our community.

Ruling year info

1970

Executive Director

Ms. Marie Bernard

Main address

725 Kifer Road

Sunnyvale, CA 94086 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-1713897

NTEE code info

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

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

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

Sunnyvale Community Services serves residents of Sunnyvale, California, as well as homeless individuals and families. Our mission is to prevent homelessness and hunger in our local community. Our vision is a community where everyone has a home with food on the table.

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?

Comprehensive Safety Net Services

Sunnyvale Community Services (SCS) provides Comprehensive Safety Net Services, offering financial aid, food, case management, referrals, and other support that prevents homelessness and hunger in our local community.

Nothing is more basic than the need for food, shelter, and health care. SCS provides financial aid, food, and other in-kind assistance to low-income families and seniors walking a financial tightrope, helping our neighbors to keep their balance when an unexpected emergency strikes: job loss, reduced hours, uncovered or unaffordable medical expenses. Our assistance prevents homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, and untreated medical conditions. We know that keeping families housed with food on their tables and access to medical care is more cost effective, both in terms of dollars and human lives, than dealing with later problems with more expensive solutions.

Our comprehensive emergency assistance is year-round. At SCS, we will see clients quickly and assess their needs, respond within 24-48 hours when a client is facing eviction, and treat their emergencies effectively. We engage 2,500 volunteers annually, connecting us to the community and enabling us to keep our costs low.

All eligible clients can apply for the following services:

Food and In-Kind Assistance, giving up to seven distributions of nutritious food and produce per family each month valued at over $450 per month for a family of four, helping them to afford other necessities. Food distributions include:
• Daily emergency food
• Weekly “Produce Mondays” to over 1,000 families
• Monthly food distributions for families and for seniors
• Kids’ Summer Food, giving extra food to 1,700 children when schools are closed, along with filled backpacks and $40 shoe gift cards for every child.
• “Challenge Diabetes” program in partnership with El Camino Healthcare District, offering free Diabetes screening and 10-month nutrition and education program.
• Community Holiday Center, giving clients the dignity of selecting a two-week supply of food, new gifts for infants through teens, and a household gift for each family
• Other in-kind services including bus passes, gas vouchers, and school backpacks and shoe gift cards

Financial Assistance:
Financial aid for rent, rental deposits, utility bills, and other family emergency bills. All families asking for financial aid complete a three-month budget, and receive budget counseling to help them stretch their finances further. All information is verified by the caseworker. Clients are also offered emergency food assistance, and enrollment in our weekly produce and monthly food distributions and other in-kind services.

Case Management for at risk populations:
• “Work First Sunnyvale” program helping 50 homeless individuals to have access to job training and opportunities to be stably housed through the dignity of work.
• Families and Seniors Case Management offering 3-12 months of in-depth support to secure benefits, housing, and other assistance to achieve self-sufficiency.
• Housing Case Management to connect landlords and renters so that families/individuals can secure and retain safe housing.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

Where we work

Awards

Business of the Year 2020

City of Sunnyvale

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
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Comprehensive Safety Net Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Nothing is more basic than food security. Over 950 families come weekly for produce and monthly for food distribution. Our lobby is full every weekday with clients seeking financial aid.

Number of individuals who receive financial assistance (rent, utilities)

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Comprehensive Safety Net Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Financial aid for rent, utilities, rental deposits, move-in costs.

Number of children who received school supplies

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Comprehensive Safety Net Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Each child receives a new backpack with age-appropriate school supplies & a shoe gift card. All summer long, families with school-aged children also receive extra food when schools are closed.

Number of unduplicated individuals who receive one or more services annually.

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Comprehensive Safety Net Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of unduplicated individuals coming for food assistance, financial aid, referrals, and case management services continues to rise, while the intensity of need for each family/person grows.

Number of homeless participants engaged in housing services

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Comprehensive Safety Net Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Housing assistance and supportive services for adults and families who are homeless, including referrals and outreach at the North County Shelter.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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 THEORY OF CHANGE:
Sunnyvale Community Services believes that early intervention is the most effective way to prevent homelessness and hunger. We do this by:
- Stabilizing families
- Connecting people to benefits and services
- Building skills to increase resiliency
- Advocating for policies to improve lives

Sunnyvale Community Services has been the critical safety net agency in Sunnyvale, CA since 1970. Our long-term goal is to influence policy so that low-income families, individuals, and seniors can remain housed while still being able to buy food and seek medical care when necessary.

STABILIZING FAMILIES:
Financial assistance (rent, utilities, car repairs, medical bills)
Emergency shelter (hotel stays, referrals to shelter beds)
Year-round food assistance (weekly grocery distribution, deliveries to homebound clients, emergency food for homeless)

CONNECTING PEOPLE TO BENEFITS AND SERVICES:
Benefits Specialist staff
Hosting government and partner agencies to enroll clients in benefits
Outreach to at-risk populations
Bi-lingual staffing

BUILDING SKILLS TO INCREASE RESILIENCY
Financial education, One-on-one Credit coaching
Workshops on tenant rights, Being a good tenant
3-month budgeting for financial aid clients
Community workshops/Information fairs
Job readiness / Training for homeless individuals
Customized case management

HELPING MAINTAIN HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Nutritious food, vegetables and fruits distributions
Monthly nutrition / Health info
Onsite health screening & education
Healthy food preparation and cooking classes
Emergency financial support for medical bills and prescriptions

ADVOCATING FOR POLICIES TO IMPROVE LIVES
Policy papers on Affordable housing, Minimum wage, Renters' rights
Support for City, County/State/Federal programs/Legislation affecting most vulnerable

Our close ties to our community, strong fiscal management, well-trained professional staff, and 3,000+ volunteers are all essential in our work. SCS depends on volunteers from corporations, faith-based organizations, community groups, and dedicated individuals. Our financial resources draw from a variety of funding sources including corporations/foundations, individuals, government, and United Way. In addition to cash donations, nearly 20% of our revenue comes from in-kind (non-cash) donations. As one of the 7 largest "transformer" partners of Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, we distribute over 2 million pounds of nutritious food and fresh produce each year.

In the past five years, SCS has invested in intensive case management programs to address the growing needs for the most vulnerable people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, helping families and seniors move from crisis to stability.

We combine compassion with effectiveness and efficiency, alway striving to improve.

While our core mission has not changed in over 50 years, the programs and assistance we provide have adapted to recent trends, new strategic partnerships, and requests from clients through annual satisfaction surveys. We have made great strides in bringing additional assistance to our clients, whether it's supplemental food through our monthly food programs, or through strategic partnerships with other agencies, such as Downtown Streets Team, a program specially designed to help homeless people find permanent housing. We also partner with state and local agencies when possible to provide relief for utility bills for low-income residents, and reduced-priced bus passes so that our clients can get to work. We continue to advocate for affordable housing, health care benefits, and renters' rights so that clients who work as cooks, gardeners, and daycare providers can afford to live in the community where they work. In addition, we push for more regulation of predatory payday loan businesses, which prey on desperate individuals trying to manage their bills while keeping a roof over their heads. We know that the need for our services will never disappear, but we are constantly striving to improve the lives of those we serve.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The target population for all SCS programs is households earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income, which HUD calls Low Income. In Santa Clara County, Low Income is currently $112,150 for a four-person household. However, only 2% of SCS clients earn even that much. Approximately 81% are Extremely Low Income (30% of AMI) and another 17% are Very Low Income (50% of AMI). They are service workers, seniors, unemployed people, and others with minimum-wage or fixed incomes who are struggling every day to stay afloat in Silicon Valley.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Stakeholder & Peer organization feedback / best practice sharing,

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Based on feedback from clients regarding our hours of food distribution, we extended the food pick-up hours from 8AM - 5PM to 8AM - 7PM during November and December 2020. We will continue to evaluate opportunities to enhance food distribution hours and other options as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and allows more volunteers onsite to enable systemic changes.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners, Peer agencies,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Food is an essential for all households, however, it is difficult to provide the many different food preferences to satisfy our extremely racially and culturally diverse client community. Ethnically, they are 64% Hispanic/Latino, 12% White, 11% Asian American, 5% African American, and 8% mixed or other. Thirty-five percent are children, 16% are seniors, and the remaining 49% are adults aged 18–64. Through our research with clients, we have found ways to balance mass distribution of nutritious food to 1,000 families each month with special client choices for specific proteins and carbohydrates. For example, clients can request meat, poultry, fish or vegetarian options to augment their monthly allocation of healthy shelf-stable food with fresh dairy, grains and other carbohydrates.

  • 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 look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), 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, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, Clients require anonymity so providing specific feedback is not possible,

Financials

SUNNYVALE COMMUNITY SERVICES
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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

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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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

SUNNYVALE COMMUNITY SERVICES

Board of directors
as of 7/7/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Camille Barnes-Mosley

Northrop Grumman Corporation - Mission Systems

Term: 2019 - 2020


Board co-chair

Mr. Jeremy Nishihara

Sunnyvale School District

Term: 2019 - 2020

Mary Bradley

City of Sunnyvale (Retired)

Tracie Murray

Cedar Crest Nursing & Rehab Center

Grace Benlice

El Camino Hospital

Jim Choi

Sunnyvale Dept of Public Safety

Travis Duncan

Sares-Regis Group

Michael Gallagher

Sunnyvale School District

Jaqui Guzman

City of Sunnyvale

Roberta Kiphuth

Detati Digital Marketing

Duane Loos

Applied Materials (Retired)

Margaret Mannion

NetApp, Inc.

Barbara McClennan

Community Volunteer

Christian Pellecchia

Slatter Construction

Courtney Shenberg

Apple, Inc.

Murali Srinavasan

Taos

Amanda Weitzel

ServiceNow, Inc.

Don Wilson

Intuitive Surgical

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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/18/2021

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
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/18/2021

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 disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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 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 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 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.