PLATINUM2024

Life Skills Training and Educational Programs, Inc.

aka LifeSTEPS   |   Sacramento, CA   |  www.lifestepsusa.org
GuideStar Charity Check

Life Skills Training and Educational Programs, Inc.

EIN: 33-0720982


Mission

The mission of LifeSTEPS is to provide effective educational and supportive services to maximize the strengths of individuals and build resilient communities.

Ruling year info

1996

Executive Director

Beth Southorn M.A

Board President

Craig Gillett

Main address

3247 Ramos Circle

Sacramento, CA 95827 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

33-0720982

Subject area info

Human services

Population served info

Children and youth

Adults

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Housing Expense Reduction Support, Rent Assistance (L82)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The connection between a person's physical and mental well-being and their housing is profound. Poverty severely constrains individuals' choices, and this connection is why poverty is associated with a wide array of health issues. Acknowledging the pivotal significance of affordable and supportive housing and the integral role of social workers is a crucial step towards fostering sustainable and inclusive communities. Social workers, armed with their unique combination of skills, compassion, and unwavering dedication, are invaluable assets in addressing housing disparities.

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?

LifeSTEPS After School Programs

Life STEPS provides free After School and summer reading education to more than 4,000 children living in 119 affordable housing communities throughout California. This initiative creates a secure and nurturing environment for children ages 6-12 within each of our housing properties during the crucial afterschool and summer hours when parents are at work. The program delivers 8 - 10 hours of weekly educational activities between 3:00 and 6:00 pm. Based on the nationally recognized Consult 4 Kids program, our curriculum encompasses math and reading tutoring, engaging art projects, distribution of free books and backpacks, essential school supplies, opportunities for physical activities, and supplementary meals.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Case management provides individual, professional assistance for real life problems. Our social workers are at the property throughout the month and also maintain a schedule for appointments or drop-in assistance. Case management services include: assistance in obtaining medical equipment, health care options, completion of forms for MediCal, food stamps, Social Security, assistance for mentally ill residents in managing day-to-day needs, collaborating with family to determine the appropriate level of care for seniors, door-to-door resident visits and assessments, grief counseling, investigating possible domestic violence, obtaining in-home assistance for elderly residents recovering from illnesses, resume building and job seeking, providing family intervention for out of control youth, providing food bank commodities and other emergency food assistance, teaching residents how to apply for discounted utilities, translating documents and providing other bi-lingual support.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

LifeSTEPS provides case management to families in crisis, but without a reliable safety net, some families on the brink of homelessness will experience loss of housing. Our agency has secured emergency assistance funding from private donors, foundations and corporations which is being used to stabilize and prevent loss of housing for residents. Funds are distributed to residents allowing them to maintain housing while looking for a job, recovering from an illness and/ or cutting expenses, with clear mandates that residents consistently work with the LifeSTEPS Director of Social Services to help resolve the issues that got them into the financial hardship to begin with, thereby addressing the root of the problem. Recipients receive instruction on how to create and live within a practical household budget, how to manage the resources they have and then how to go about moving forward by creating a savings account or seeking more lucrative employment.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Depending on the needs and interests of the members of each community, LifeSTEPS provides a wide variety of on-site educational opportunities. Classes are taught by LifeSTEPS employees, supervised volunteers, and partner agencies invited to the properties by LifeSTEPS.  
LifeSTEPS has established a proprietary curriculum for three-month classes in core areas. Other classes are taught within one- to three-session workshops.
Examples of educational classes are: Computer Skills, Disaster Preparedness, English as a Second Language (ESL),  Exercise and Dance for All Ages and Abilities, Healthy Living: Nutrition and Managing Chronic Illnesses, How to Advocate For Your Children, How to be a Community Leader, How to Control Your Finances, Job Search Workshops, Job Skills 101: Getting and Keeping a Job, Kids Can Be Safe, Nurturing Your Children, Red Cross First Aid, & Successful Aging.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults

Active seniors have much to offer within their communities. With encouragement, seniors are often eager to volunteer in supporting other residents. Senior services include “friendly visiting” by LifeSTEPS Director of Social Services, a means for staff to provide a sympathetic ear for a resident who is troubled, lonely, or suffering from serious health problems. Our staff makes every effort to involve adult children and other family members in providing emotional support for senior residents.
LifeSTEPS seeks resident input in developing tailored activities. With many Social and Community activities and Educational Classes appropriate for seniors scheduled throughout the month, we are able to meet the varied interests of the residents. 
Activities are especially important in senior communities, reducing isolation and giving residents the means to retain a sense of pride and independence while building a strong, mutually supportive community.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Seniors

Where we work

Awards

Non-Profit Sector California Housing Hall of Fame 2012

California Housing Consortium

Secretary's Award for Healthy Homes (for Housing Plus Services: RN Coaching program) 2020

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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 children served in after-school and summer reading program in the past year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

LifeSTEPS After School Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

8,031 youth between the age of 5-12, participated in LifeSTEPS After School and summer reading program for an average of 8 hours per week.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of individuals served by LifeSTEPS programs and services.

Number of families assisted with rent or mortgage to avoid eviction

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

LifeSTEPS Emergency Assistance Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We experienced the highest demand of emergency rental assistance needed during the height of COVID-19 in 2020 & 2021.

Number of personal development plans in place

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Case Management

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

309 multi-family, senior or special needs clients living in affordable housing received personal development plans totaling over 4,000 hours in case management.

Number of cases monitored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Case Management

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

34,978 residents received case management through educational or health & wellness classes, emergency client assistance or legal services.

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 vision at LifeSTEPS is to empower every individual we touch with the skills, resources, and support necessary to maintain stable housing and break free from the cycle of poverty. This vision guides our objectives across the lifespan, focusing on three critical areas: first, helping adults and families attain greater stability and maintain their housing; second, breaking future cycles of poverty through youth education; and third, enabling seniors to achieve successful aging while remaining in the comfort of their own homes.

Social workers play a pivotal role in translating this vision into reality. Through their efforts, which encompass advocating for policy changes, empowering communities, and offering essential support services, they actively contribute to the development of resilient communities that are not only thriving but also equipped to break the cycle of poverty.

Currently our services are available in 35 counties across California, serving more than 400 affordable and supportive housing communities. Our strategies in service of each goal are listed below:

Helping adults and families achieve greater stability and remain housed: Strong case management is at the heart of our services. Our Directors of Social Services (DSSs) visit each household approximately once a month and seek to uncover unmet needs in each family. The DSSs also host regular events and classes, such as financial literacy classes, job training, ESL, parenting, health and wellness, healthy cooking, and more. Additionally, residents know they can reach out to their DSS at any time, for any reason, and DSSs help them solve problems that may arise and connect them with resources. We also have a program where a household in crisis can apply for financial assistance, which serves the goal of keeping our residents securely housed. Educational classes help to ensure that families can stay on budget and meet their goals, health fairs help everyone stay well, and community development helps to build stronger networks and a positive sense of community among the residents.

Helping to break future cycles of poverty through youth education: While helping to make sure children's basic needs are met (which sets them up for success in learning), we then proactively set out to close the knowledge gap faced by low-income children through after school and summer reading programs. We supply after-school recipients with backpacks and school supplies, and at some sites, we are able to provide meals and snacks for the children, thereby ensuring they are ready to learn. Finally, through generous contributions from two of our largest developers, we are able to provide scholarships for college for students living at their properties.

Helping seniors achieve successful, supported aging in place: Approximately half of our sites are dedicated to older adults, and we have learned from extensive surveys of this population that our older residents have unique needs. Food access is a top concern among seniors, and we are focusing in 2024 on developing a deeper network of community partnerships to address this problem. Additionally, we provide a dedicated curriculum of classes for older adults on topics such as balance and falls, Medicare, nutrition, budgeting, and more. Finally, we have been piloting a Nurse Case Management program in the Sacramento area, which connects older adult residents with an on-site case manager who is also an RN to help them navigate health systems, reduce readmission, and connect to further resources. In 2020, the RN program won the Secretary's Award for Healthy Homes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Founded in 1996, we at LifeSTEPS have a 27+ year track record of success in keeping residents housed, preventing homelessness, and helping to break the cycle of poverty. At the helm of LifeSTEPS is Beth Southorn, Executive Director. Beth has been working in the social services field since 1991, and as ED, she has propelled LifeSTEPS to its current status as one of the premier social service providers in affordable housing.

With the recent growth from the addition of CAL-AIM, LifeSTEPS has over 300 employees to serve 109,000 residents in over 40,000 households throughout California. Each of our 8 regions for community and resident services, stretches from Northern California to LA Valley is supervised by a highly experienced Regional Director of Social Services, who oversees a team of Directors of Social Services (DSSs). Our quickly expanding health and supportive housing services has doubled in size over the last year, with 62 staff positions actively serving in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Sonoma. We take pride in the quality of our staff - each DSS holds a four-year degree in a relevant field, such as social work, psychology, or gerontology, and many hold advanced degrees. Our Corporate office is in Sacramento where our Human Resources, Accounting, Program Development & Quality Control and Fund Development teams provide a lifeline of support to our field staff.

It is a testament to our incredible staff that we were inducted into the California Housing Hall of Fame in 2012 by the California Housing Consortium, and that we are trusted by the Housing Authorities of Santa Clara and of Alameda to provide services at their properties.



2022 Achievements:
- 94% of those receiving safety net services remained in their home for 12 months or longer.
- 92% of people receiving our financial education say it was "life changing."
- 77% of children in our after school programs improved by one letter grade in a core subject.
- 95% of children in our summer reading programs showed no loss in reading skills over the summer & 56% improved by one grade level.

However, the best way to highlight our success is in the stories of our residents. Here are just a few of the lives we've changed:

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE: Art and Yolanda live at the Toscana Apartments with their toddler. In early 2021, Art was laid off, and the family feared losing their housing from not being able to pay rent. They were relieved to learn their situation qualified for rental assistance. And by reviewing their budget with LifeSTEPS, they learned steps to take, like canceling internet and cable, at least for now. Since receiving assistance, Art has been rehired as a full time employee. By working with LifeSTEPS, they avoided homelessness and are better equipped to manage future financial challenges.

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM: Patti and Luis live with their three children in the HACSC Rivertown Apartments. English is the family's second language, and the girls used to struggle to understand concepts in school. The language barrier made it difficult for the parents to provide the extra help the girls needed. Fortunately, they have access to the after school program at Rivertown, staffed by a bilingual program coordinator, who is helping the girls improve their English and their schoolwork. Patti has also started taking an on-site ESL class facilitated by LifeSTEPS, which is helping her be able to better support her children with their schoolwork.

SENIOR SERVICES: Senior resident Victoria had been living an isolated life, had few friends, and was experiencing health problems (a cracked hip). When an older adult begins to isolate, a typical result is depression brought about by loneliness and a lack of connection. A primary goal of LifeSTEPS is to help older adults age in place, so DSS Gloria reached out and built trust with Victoria. With that encouragement, Victoria found the courage to step outside her comfort zone. She joined the senior club and immediately began to make friends as she participated in bingo games and attended health classes. “Victoria's entire demeanor changed," says Gloria. “It's like she blossomed. There was life in her eyes." While she began experiencing the benefits of community life, Gloria was able to help her meet other critical needs. She was able to help her arrange for In-Home Health Services due to her cracked hip; was able to help her receive a no-cost cell phone through the LifeLine service offered by AT&T; and helped her apply for Section 8 assistance and Meals on Wheels. “My life is so much better now," Victoria said. "It's because Gloria cared about me."

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 make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, 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 look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

28.68

Average of 23.46 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

6.9

Average of 5.5 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

13%

Average of 13% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Life Skills Training and Educational Programs, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Life Skills Training and Educational Programs, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Life Skills Training and Educational Programs, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Life Skills Training and Educational Programs, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $1,721,794 $1,682,283 $494,411 $3,807,643 $749,092
As % of expenses 20.3% 18.6% 5.0% 36.4% 6.0%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $1,656,029 $1,606,224 $424,816 $3,737,505 $677,894
As % of expenses 19.3% 17.6% 4.2% 35.5% 5.4%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $9,699,560 $10,352,142 $10,950,182 $13,808,807 $14,399,565
Total revenue, % change over prior year 12.9% 6.7% 5.8% 26.1% 4.3%
Program services revenue 82.1% 82.8% 83.2% 82.4% 96.2%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 1.2% 1.0% 0.6% 1.0% 0.5%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 11.6% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 15.7% 16.1% 16.1% 5.0% 3.0%
Other revenue 0.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $8,495,115 $9,036,386 $9,953,636 $10,453,297 $12,582,078
Total expenses, % change over prior year 8.9% 6.4% 10.2% 5.0% 20.4%
Personnel 80.6% 81.0% 82.1% 82.5% 84.4%
Professional fees 1.2% 1.9% 2.3% 3.8% 3.4%
Occupancy 1.1% 1.3% 1.8% 1.6% 1.2%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 4.4% 4.0% 5.7% 3.5% 2.4%
All other expenses 12.8% 11.9% 8.2% 8.5% 8.6%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $8,560,880 $9,112,445 $10,023,231 $10,523,435 $12,653,276
One month of savings $707,926 $753,032 $829,470 $871,108 $1,048,507
Debt principal payment $0 $6,800 $0 $1,592,782 $6,698
Fixed asset additions $622,228 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $9,891,034 $9,872,277 $10,852,701 $12,987,325 $13,708,481

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 4.8 5.1 7.6 7.1 6.9
Months of cash and investments 8.0 9.3 12.1 14.0 12.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 8.7 10.4 10.0 13.9 12.3
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $3,413,080 $3,818,858 $6,315,388 $6,215,475 $7,270,687
Investments $2,276,835 $3,204,394 $3,748,512 $6,004,776 $5,435,307
Receivables $756,409 $1,034,547 $930,707 $958,334 $1,329,096
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $1,516,376 $1,521,552 $1,521,552 $1,527,452 $1,527,452
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 15.7% 20.6% 25.2% 29.7% 34.3%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 4.7% 3.6% 16.2% 3.1% 3.2%
Unrestricted net assets $7,423,569 $9,029,793 $9,454,609 $13,192,114 $13,870,008
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $784,297 $0 $886,714
Total net assets $7,423,569 $9,029,793 $10,238,906 $13,998,756 $14,756,722

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No Yes No

Operations

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

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Beth Southorn M.A

Beth Southorn is the Executive Director of LifeSTEPS. She has been working in the Social Service field since 1991. She has had experience with the mental health population, the aging, the homeless, the incarcerated, individuals in drug and alcohol recovery, domestic violence, and welfare recipients. Her experience in diversity, leadership, and program development has allowed her to form national models of success with vocational rehabilitation, and affordable housing programs. Beth has received her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Notre Dame de Namur, and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University. Currently, Beth has been developing a successful model of resident empowerment for various affordable housing communities throughout Northern California.

Board President

Craig Gillett

Craig Gillett is the Board President of LifeSTEPS. He is an attorney, educator and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist living in Los Angeles. He has been involved with non-profit agencies since 1992, with a focus on homelessness, affordable housing for seniors and families, and mental health issues. At Antioch University Los Angeles, Craig was a core faculty member and the Director of Clinical Training in the Master's Degree Program in Clinical Psychology from 1997 through 2001. He has maintained a small private psychotherapy practice in Los Angeles for over eighteen years. It was Craig's belief that supportive services which include a strong case management and mental health component are crucial to the success of affordable housing that empowered him to co-found LifeSTEPS.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Life Skills Training and Educational Programs, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
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Compensation data
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Life Skills Training and Educational Programs, Inc.

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
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Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

Life Skills Training and Educational Programs, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Craig Gillett

Attorney, Professor. M.F.T., Former Director of Clinical Training Antioch University

Kenneth S. Robertson

Riverside Charitable Corporation

Craig Gillett

Attorney, Professor. M.F.T., Former Director of Clinical Training Antioch University

Barbara Valiente

Controller, Occidental College

Lily Y. Reboul

University of California Irvine, Antioch University

Gregory J. Popovich

President / Owner, Castle Rock Winery

Farrell J. Hirsch

President/CEO GFF, Inc.

Jonathan Gabriel

GabrielSalomons, LLP

Lisa Gutierrez

US Bancorp Community Development Corporation

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? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • 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 11/7/2023

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
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/08/2024

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

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.