SOUTH BAY COMMUNITY SERVICES

Rating: 3.04 stars   25 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Mental Health, Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 1124 Bay Blvd Ste D Chula Vista CA 91911 USA

Mission: Our mission is to provide children, youth and families in San Diego’s South Bay with services which reinforce the family’s role in our community and assist individuals to aspire realistically to lives of self-fulfillment. SBCS is committed to providing respectful services based on community strengths, needs and goals.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Need to take care of their employees. Not the directors the actual people that do ALL the hard work that are told there are freezes on raises yet directors get raises (One director even boasted about getting a raise when employees were informed months earlier of the freeze). Employees are expendable, very sad. No room for career growth. The people in the trenches are great and are dedicated to the clients, management is another story.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I would never recommend anyone to work there. I was hired part time and was doing full time work in my department (of course volunteer) while supervisors were trying to find someone with a Masters Degree to do the same thing that I was doing. Their reason for not hiring me, "I haven’t been with the company long enough to apply for the position" BUT I WAS DOING THAT JOB! It was also an extremely hostile environment, I never felt comfortable and my bosses would go to me and openly admit that she was gossiping about me to staff. All because I asked someone what would happen if my company phone breaks?

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Worked with Youth

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Why spend the money on such a ridiculous policy. Hire who’s already doing the job. I should've sued because I had proof that I was volunteering my time: hence not getting paid for hours that I worked. A word of advice: if any company who says they're providing services to better their clients in return treats their employee like trash, best bet is to stay away.

Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Thanks to the Reader article mentioned in a prior post , the world finally sees a glimpse of the real Kathie Lembo - it seems everyone who has worked there or people in the non profit community know about her - she is ruthless; she is also effective, but again she is ruthless, and it's all about her looking like a hero at whatever the cost, or who ever may be trampled along the way. The agency board and the people in the political arena where she rubs elbows are the only ones who dont seem to know about Lembo's true colors. The Reader article speaks for itself and lays out a lot of well documented information regarding the issue of falsification. You have employees going under oath saying that they engaged in this activity ! You have her own investigation documents quoted ! It will be nice when soeone on her board has the courage to take her on . It appears they have done nothing in the face of this article whereby Lembo looks less than honest . Courage to them.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Reader article - also know former and current employees

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have an active Board that demands absolute integrity

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The San Diego Reader article from February 17 was quite an expose of this organization. Anyone interested in this organization should read this article. It is shocking from so many perspectives.

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2011/feb/16/citylights2-south-bay-community-services

It discusses what looks like a pattern of falsification and what looks like a cover up and retaliation against the whistle-blowers. It appears the courts found evidence enough to proceed with a trial and that otherwise significant settlements were paid. It appears that Ms. Lembo was not even aware of the court documents that existed, namely what appears to be her own internal investigation which seemed to confirm that falsification occurred despite what she says.

This scandal occurred in the same year as the issue regarding Ms. Lembo awarding her own Board Member with a major contract and then failing to report it as required by IRS law.

The salaries of the administrative staff here and what appears, via another commentator, to be incestuous hiring practices ( Board Members and relatives of key staff), are of concern as well.

Certain non-profits seem to loose their way and this seemes to be one of them.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watchdog journalism covering this organization

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

major reform; terminate those involved in falsification and cover up

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I got more inside scoop-
WATCHOUT FOR HIGH COMPENSATION PACKAGES AND QUESTIONABLE HRING FROM THIS ORGANIZATION; HERE IS LIST OF $100,000 CLUB - THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH THE AGENCY WHOSE COMPENSATION PACKAGES ARE JUST BELOW OR WELL ABOVE $100,000 - Pretty good money for a "non-profit"

David Bejarano - former Board member whose private security firm had $97000 contract with agecny while he was a Boardmember

Kathryn Lembo - per IRS forms here - aproaching $180K-$200K

Dina Chavez- $100K plus - and insiders say her husband also works for the agency fulltime - can you say "nepotism" ?

Pam Wright $100K plus -

Elizabeth Iniguez $100plus
Valerie Brew
Patricia Chavez former City Council member and PR staffmember has $140K contract per this website
Don Hunter - hired straight from being Boardmember
Mauricio Torre
Ismena Valdez - HR director who insiders say has a sister working for the Agency- that dont seem right
Shirley Horton - got hired straight from being Boardmember

so this whole scenario concerns me as taxpayer - not just high compensation - but the idea that Boardmembers can get contracts or jobs fro the agency - i think what they call a revolving door - is thier incentive to NOT rock the boat so that they can line up a contract or job ??
the Boardmembers mentioned in earlier comments think nothing is wrong with agency - Sue Belmonte & Maria Guasp -

random scoop - the fact that the agecny is trying to load this site with good reviews came from someone in the top dircle;
Cesar Chavez Day really is a personal sore spot for Lembo apparently
the people who files lawsuits were know as good hardworking and honest people, never in trouble
the people who work there say the pay is high, so it is hard to leave so the put up with a lot of what several call 'toxicity" they wish Boardmembers would do something, but have given up hope having seen the system in play- they love the work they do though

that may all be gossip, the pay stuff and hiring stuff isnt - or even the fact that they dont recognize cesar Chavez Day in a town like CHula VIsta. Read the documebnts yourself and the Reader article about Bejarano.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

people are helped by the staff

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

honesty- no games- no hiring relatives or Board members

Rating: 1 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

WARNING: AFTER NEWS OF THE $97000 BOARDMEMBER CONTRACT AND THE LAWSUITS WERE POSTED HERE;THIS AGENCY LAUNCHED A CONCERTED EFFORT TO HAVE "FRIENDS" AND SUPPORTERS POST NICE COMMENTS - SO TAKE ALL THOSE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT- IT APPEARS GOOD WORK GETS DONE BY PEOPLE DIRECTLY DEALING WITH CLIENTS BUT THE BOARD DOES NOT MONITOR THE HIGH DOLLAR MANAGEMENT TEAM WHO IN TURN GIVE THE BOARD CONTRCTS OR JOBS -

ON NOTHER NOTE - IT IS WEIRD THAT HERE IN CHULA THEY DON'T RECOGNIZE CESAR CHVEZ DAY ?????? WHAT'S UP WITH THAT???

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

HEARING THE REAL SCOOP FROM INSIDERS- NOT HAPPY PEOPLE , BUT THEY LIKE THIER WORK, BUT NOT THE ENVIRONMENT

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

CUT MANAGEMENT SALARIES; NOT HIRE BOARD MEMBERS OR GIVE THEM CONTRACTS ; DON'T HIRE RELATIVES OF TOP MANAGEMENT, IT JUST LOOKS BAD; GET BACK TO BEING A CHARITY INSTEAD OF BEING ABOUT TOP MANAGMENT SALARIES; POST THE SALARIES OF THE TOP TEN HIGHEST PAID EMPLOYEES; ACKNOWLEDGE CESAR CHAVEZ DAY FOR GOD SAKES !!

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  


I have always known that there are many agencies out there who provide assistance to those in need. However, when I came across South Bay Community Services I was impressed with the variety of services they offer for families and kids. I had the opportunity to be a volunteer at their agency and I must say, it was a great experience. I was able to meet several of the staff members and experienced how they are caring individuals who want their clients to succeed. In my experience South Bay Community Services is always willing to offer a helping hand to those who are in need and in order to better serve the community they always strive to provide their employees with the right tools and knowledge.
Gaby

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't think I would make any changes.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The shocking thing here is that probably this isn’t the first something like this has occurred in this organization. They just got caught this time. After all……..Who is really watching here??? How many others have benefited from such “deals”? Also, I was shock to hear some the high salaries the management team receives, shocking!!!!! For a non-profit organization that is committed to helping the community it seems like they are more interested in helping themselves first! Shame on you!!!
To be fair…..I do believe that there are some good people that work here but it seems like the poor quality of leadership is bringing this organization down.

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no comment

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

no commet

Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

wow! i was looking on this site because I was interested in why this Chula Vista agency steadfastly refuses to recognize Cesar Chavez Day when all the communities around do as well as other large non profits- i was surprised at all the other info although i had read the San Diego Reader article about the Agency's scandal of giving board members high dollar contracts. I love this CHulaMoxie person , he or she has MOXIE !! I like the way they called out the board members defending the agency- I will do the same !!! MARIA GUASP OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF RESEARCH AND SUE BELMONTE OF THE SAN DIEGO DAILY TRANSCRIPT -DID YOU GIVE YOUR FELLOW BOARD MEMBER A CONTRACT ? YOU DONT THINK THAT PRACTICE NEEDS TO BE CHANGED ????
Back to Cesar Chavez - i emails form this Agency on this - and i was appalled - They were refusing an employee request to recognize the day and lets just say the Agecny sounded pretty dumb - it seems the director LEMBO hates on Cesar - I guess she likes Mexicans, when she is in charge of them or doling programs to them - Maybe she is LA PATRONA - SO MARIA GUASP OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF RESEARCH AND SUE BELMONTE OF THE SAN DIEGO DAILY TRANSCRIPT do you support the agency not recognizing Cesar Chavez when the whole area does ?? I dont know if you are Hispanic or not, bit if you are, WATCHA LE POCHOS !! from what i hear the coconuts dont fall far from the Lembo tree !! Get with the Program please- Viva La Causa!!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

they refuse to recognize Cesar Chavez Day

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Recognize Cesar Chavez Day

Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have over 18 years in working with at-risk in education (teacher, coordinattor and Assistant Principal). In my opinion, this is one of the top social service organization in country and led is by a group of people that are true visionaries in the field. They are smart, dedicated, have high integrity and very hard working. They deliver on their promises and produce outstanding results. They care about people and care about getting results. I highly recommend them without reservation.

My direct involvement with SBCS goes back a few year to 2006. At the time I was working as the After School Program Coordinator and a short time later as the Assistant Principal at Granger Jr. High School. Back then, Granger was a typical low performing inner city school: low test scores, apathetic/unmotivated students, unsafe campus (gangs, drugs, bullying, fights) and high absenteeism (lowest student attendance rate in the district). Many teachers were unhappy with the school and some had lost hope in our students.

From 2003-2006 we designed and continued to develop and implement the framework of a new type of academic program that was based on making homework and tutoring mandatory. Our test scores increased all three years so we knew we were on to something good but also understood we had a long way to.

Despite the progress, we were dissatisfied with the level of service we were receiving from our community partner (well known non profit in the area). After many meetings over two years trying to hash out the issues we had with them, we finally concluded that this agency was just not motivated and too set in their ways to improve their level of service. Our goal was to turn our school around and had lost patience working with an organization that was used to getting district contracts due to their political connections instead of the quality of service.

We looked round for an agency to partner with a good reputation in our area. We interviewed several but came away most impresses after meeting with Mauricio Torre and Xavier Martinez from SBCS. They listened to our frustrations and seemed to really understand our needs. We were cautiously optimistic as we entered into a trial MOU agreement to have them coordinate our after school program. From the very beginning both of these gentlemen produced on all their promises and went beyond the call of duty to make the partnership succeed.

Under this partnership with SBCS, Granger's academic scores soared (API score increased from 604 to 698). GJH was transformed from a dysfunctional/low performing school to one of the top schools in the state (2010 recognized the highly coveted Schools To Watch designation). A couple of years later SBCS was hired to implement the same program at National City Middle School (NCM). Test scores improved immdeiatley.

Many other schools in the district took notice and have since entered into contracts with SBCS to provide similar academic intervention programs for them. I now work at a high school in the district and one of the first things I did was to consult with SBCS to hire staff and implement a similar academic support and intervention program.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As noted above, the test scores at Granger (and later at National City Middle) soared as a result of our partnership with SBCS.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand this program and offer their academic support services to all the school districts in the county.

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