ACTION IN COMMUNITY THROUGH SERVICE OF PRINCE WILLIAM

Rating: 4.97 stars   66 reviews

Issues: Mental Health, Education, Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: PO Box 74 Dumfries VA 22026 USA

Mission: ACTS is a community organization whose mission is to alleviate hunger, homelessness and domestic violence and to help people achieve self-sufficiency in Prince William County area, VA.
Target demographics: our neighbors in need
Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 80,000 individuals in need
Geographic areas served: Prince William County, VA
Programs: 1. ACTS Turning Points - the only domestic violence prevention and intervention program serving Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park (this program operates two DV Safe Houses). 2. ACTS SAVAS--the only sexual assault crisis center serving Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. 3. ACTS Client Support Services--provides emergency financial assistance for utilities and medicine, as well as food from the emergency food pantry. 4. ACTS Helpline - Prince William County's only 24/7/365 telephone crisis hotline, which is certified for suicide intervention by the American Association of Suicidology. 5. ACTS Homeless Shelters (provides 86 beds--through two homeless shelters and two safe houses). Rapid Re-Housing program finds affordable, permanent housing for households--last year, we found permanent housing for 47 households, our goal was 20. 6. ACTS Thrift Store--our clients receive vouchers; profits go toward funding the ACTS program areas.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I donated food over the years to ACTS, and our business closes its doors one day in November volunteers each year for Operation Turkey. Until I joined the board I didn't fully understand the tremendous scope of services and support ACTS provides- not just to Eastern Prince William but the entire Prince William County community. Often known for the food pantry, ACTS does so much more. ACTS provides services for battered women and men, advocacy for those victimized by sexual assault and Helpline for those contemplating suicide, or seniors that enjoy a friendly telephone call each day. ACTS reaches out in a powerful way to those in crisis. ACTS is more than just a hand out - ACTS provides support and case management to help individuals break negative patterns and cycles and empower people to move towards self-sufficiency. I believe that is one of the factors that sets ACTS apart.

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

Continue to expand the workforce training opportunities, so that clients will have expanded opportunities to receive training and enter the workforce - encouraging self-sufficiency and stability in thier lives.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

ACTS continues to grow in programmatic reach and staff professionalism. As a Board member, I have never been more proud of our staff's ability to analize the needs of the community and to search for ways to meet those needs with compassion and programmatic approaches that make a real difference. 2011 was a very challenging year with lots more people coming for food...we even had to close the emergency food pantry for a short period while we appealed to the broader community for assistance in restocking. It was a wonderful thing to see how those who had extra shared with those who had nothing. In many ways that experience encapsulates 42 years of what ACTS has meant to the Greater Prince William area. We are now streatching our horizons as we work in collaboration with our community college and hospital to bring expanded job opportunities to those who are trying to break the poverty cycle. Just another example of the green edge of creativity being alive and well at ACTS.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been affiliated with ACTS in one capacity or another for thirty years. My family moved to Virginia courtesy of service in the U.S. Navy in 1981 and almost immediately became members of ACTS and volunteers as a function of our church's connection to the organization. I currently serve on the ACTS Board of Directors and am engaged with the Fund Raising and Long-Term Development Committees.

For forty-two years ACTS has served the needs of those in our community whose lives are in crisis. The ACTS charter calls for us to serve the residents of Greater Prince William County, Virginia, which includes the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. That narrowly focused service area allows us to provide very concentrated and carefully monitored services with a high degree of attention to getting the job done correctly and with close public scrutiny regarding attention to quality control. But that narrow focus on a population totalling just over 450,000 and an area of roughly 400 square miles also means that our fund raising territory is quite restricted. While we have occasionally been awarded funding support for our services from national-level sources, the overwhelming majority of our operating funds come from our Prince WIlliam neighbors. Throughout the current recession, our funding has remained stable even beyond our fondest hopes. But the needs for services continue to climb, and there are times when when have to say the hard words, "I'm sorry, we can't help." We do our very best not to say those words, but we are stretched as thin as we have ever been. If ACTS is chosen as a recipient of the $5,000 award, I can assure you that not a nickle of that money will be wasted. If we are nothing else, we are great stewards of the resources we have been blessed to receive.

I am truly thankful that we found ACTS early-on in our military service in the Washington area. It has provided such a rich and rewarding opportunity to give back to the community.

Paul Moessner

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

I have been a part of this organization's service provision to those in need of food assistance, escape from domestic violence and search for affordable child care and housing, and I know from first hand experience that what we do makes a life-saving difference in more than 30,000 lives each year.

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

...work to build a future funding base that was solid and dependable regardless of the prevailing economy. And, in fact, that is what I am working on through the development and marketing of our Futures Fund and the work of our Long-term Development Committee.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

It is an honor to be able to be a member of the Board for ACTs. Through my church, I have worked with the homeless and those that are living on the fringe for over 15 years. Long before joining the Board, I watched as this group of dedicated staff and volunteers were able to make a difference in the lives of members of our community. In tough economic times like we have experienced the last couple of years, you need organizations that effectively use the resources that it receives. ACTS works diligentily to try to get the most out of each donation and/or gift. Again it is a joy to be associated with such an organization.

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

I see the numbers of those that are being helped.

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

Expand its operation

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved in ACTS for over 35 years and have served on the Board for most of this time. Over this time the organization has added many programs to serve the people in Prince William County, Virginia, that need help and assistance. ACTS has done this in a very cost effective way, has a very dedicated staff and has many volunteers and supporters. Prince William County is a better place to live because of ACTS.

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

working with others to provide shelter, emergency assistance and financial support to those in need in Prince William County

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

try to increase the ACTS membership. Even though ACTS has many supporters, it could do more good with increased support.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

ACTS has been meeting our community's most urgent needs for over four decades. The staff members are truly committed to the mission and go beyond expectations. The volunteer involvement is outstanding with hundreds of individuals sharfing their talents and resources.

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

numerous ways throughout the years.

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

not change a thing.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with ACTS for a number of years and am always impressed by ACTS' ability to efficiently use the resouces available from donations and volunteer time to deliver services to the most needy in Prince William County. A donation of your monay and/or time at ACTS will be put to good use.

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

seeing and hearing from the clients we serve.

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

find ways to get the Prince William community more aware of what ACTS does.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have served on the ACTS board for almost nine years and I never cease to be excited to tell people about ACTS and its mission to alleviate human suffering in Prince William County. The staff and volunteers are always kind, compassionate, and enthused as they seek to serve our neighbors who find themselves in need of food, shelter, clothing, emergency financial assistance, or somone to talk to when they are feeling down. Last year I took monthly meals to the homeless shelter and I was always impressed by how clean the shelter was and how the residents and staff acted like family, the children seemed happy and safe. They had a beautiful room to play in and even computers to help with their homework. I am very thankful that ACTS is a part of our community.

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

Providing a clean environment and healthy food to residents of the homeless shelter.

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

Pay the staff more and hire the volunteers.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have watched and particpated in ACTS for nearly three decades. As a former Prince William County official, I learned what an important role ACTS plays in the continuum of services provided to the less fortunate members of our community. Without the range of services available through ACTS, many economically disadvantaged families would go chronically unserved with serious results for both those families and our community. The County government, faced with its own fiscal challenges, simply could not afford to provide directly those services offered by ACTS nor could the County match the efficiency ACTS achieves through its extensive use of volunteers and donations.

Now as a Board member, I see even more clearly how ACTS stretches its income to extend services to those in need. Demand outstrips capacity, yet ACTS continues to reach so many. The Board is diligent in examining programs and services to look for opportunities to shift available funding to more critical service areas, but all of the remaining services provided by the agency are critical to its core mission and the clients served.

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

As the individual ultimately responsible for operating a broad continuum of public sector services in our County, I saw the role ACTS played in providing food to families, emergency and transitional housing to those without a place to live, support to victims of family violence and counseling to those considering suicide.

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

ACTS would greatly benefit from an secure, predictable source of annual funding. Like many service organizations, the focus of ACTS' work is necessarily on getting services to needy clients. Fundraising takes time away from its service mission, yet its essential to enabling the mission. A dedicated source of revenue would allow effort to focus even more on assisting those using our services.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have served on the ACTS Board for several years now and find that ACTS provides a variety of valuable services to the community. Those who work with ACTS are dedicated to helping those in need. Many in the community have utilized one or more of ACTS services or have referred someone they know to ACTS. The community supports ACTS - students have collected can goods and coats for ACTS and businesses have donated goods and services to ACTS. Because of the continued support of the community, ACTS is able to continue to help those in need.

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

I have heard the testimonies of ACTS clients

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

Find ways to expand volunteer opportunities

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I became personally acquainted with ACTS through my church when I helped to organize our first walk in support of the homeless about 4 years ago. Currently, I serve on the Board and count it a privilege to work with a group of people who are committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve. We live in a nation where the issues of hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, and suicide should never go unaswered. ACTS has answered the call to help serve those in need and has done a tremendous job with the resources available. Unfortunately, with the economic challenges that many still face in our community and nation, the need seems greater than the resources. I have encountered so many people who have been a part of this organization for many, many years. This serves as a testimony to not only the work of the organization, but also to the good stewarship of time and resources that this organization practices to ensure that services get to those who most need them.

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

I have personally experienced the results of this organization by hearing from inidividuals who share their stories of how ACTS helped them when they needed it most.

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

If I had to make changes to this organization, they would be changes to expand the organization's visibility and marketing so that more people are aware of the great work that is done and the overwhelming need for financial support that exists.

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Review from Guidestar