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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Beyond Shelter

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

Mission: Beyond Shelter’s mission is:  to develop systemic approaches to combat poverty and homelessness among families with children and to promote family economic security and well-being. Beyond Shelter accomplishes its goals through the following strategies: 1) responsive service delivery; 2) people-centered community development; and 3) the creation of knowledge for social change.
Beyond Shelter’s programs in Los Angeles, California, serve as a “laboratory for social change.” Primary among the agency’s initiatives is the Housing First approach to ending family homelessness, which is based firmly on a belief in the human right to housing.  Beyond Shelter’s “Housing First” Program introduced a dramatic innovation in the field: the “housing first” approach, which is currently being adapted by organizations throughout the United States.  In 1999, the Pew Partnership for Civic Change selected the Housing First Program as one of 19 “Solutions for America.”

Results: Since the inception of the Housing First Program in 1988, more than 5,000 families have been assisted to move out of shelters and into permanent, safe and affordable rental housing in residential neighborhoods.

Target demographics: Beyond Shelter serves very low-income and homeless families with children in Los Angeles County. The agency's Institute for Research, Training and Technical Assistance is the division of the organization that conducts research, publishes manuals and policy papers, and provides training to other organizations and cities throughout the United States in innovative methodologies, including "Housing First," which is now also referred to as "Rapid Re-Housing."

Direct beneficiaries per year: 4,000

Geographic areas served: Los Angeles County, and national for consulting and advocacy

Programs: The "Housing First" Program for homeless families Service-Enriched Housing for families and seniors Neighborhood Revitalization Project in South Los Angeles The Institute for Research, Training and Technical Assistance (offering consulting, training and resources nationwide)

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

33 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beyond Shelter has helped me so much. Just three years ago, I walked into their office with no place to go. The moment I stepped into that office, my life changed forever. Now I have my own place, a good job, and now I can take care of my own family.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am 35 years old and have 3 children. My son is 17 and I have 12 and 8 year old daughters. I had my first child at the age of 17 and had to drop out of high school to care for my son. My mother abandoned us for 10 years due to drug use. I was terrified of my mother's situation, but then I became a drug user and a gang member due to not having a caring mother. I lost my father at 15 years old, and my children's father is in prison. I tried to support my family and make it on my own, but I made a lot of wrong decisions. I got shot 8 times on New Year's Eve in December, 2003 at age 30. Finally I realized that I could not do it on my own. In August, 2008, I entered into a transitional housing program in South Los Angeles with my children, and we were referred to Beyond Shelter's Housing First Program for help getting back into permanent housing. I moved into my permanent housing on November 11, 2010. That was the best thing that happened in my life. My children and I are grateful to Beyond Shelter for the opportunity they have provided for us to have a safe and warm place of our own. I will always be grateful to Beyond Shelter for their help at such a critical time of my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beyond Shelter's program and my case manager are and have been vital in securing me and my son a stable place to live. I am an emancipated foster youth and was emancipated at the age of 18 without the proper support or guidance to help me maintain permanent housing. In February 2007 I became pregnant with my son. I was working at the time but lost my job because of a very difficult pregnancy. In August, 2007, I was accepted into the St. Anne's transitional housing programs for unwed mothers. They referred me to Beyond Shelter. After completing St. Anne's program and moving to other shelter programs, my case manager at Beyond Shelter continued to help me. On December 31, 2010, I moved into permanent housing. I am forever grateful to the Beyond Shelter program for their supportive staff members and all the services that they have provided me with to this very day.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Beyond Shelter is an A+ agency. They treat clients as if they were family. They don't judge and they work hard to help people get back on their feet. Their goal is to help families overcome barriers to housing and provide ongoing support to them while homeless and after they move into housing. They also assist families with social activities for the kids such Summer and Winter Camp, classes for arts and crafts and dance classes. In addition, they connect families with resources to assist families with their needs. This is a great agency and it can alway use more funding to keep providing the great services that they provide.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beyond Shelter was encouraging, motivating, hardworking, and persistent in helping us get back on our feet thank you Beyond Shelter.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was homeless, pregnant, and scared when I came to this program. But God showed me a way to be better for myself. He gave me strenght to go on with my life. Now I have my my own place, my son is in school and my whole life has changed for the better. Thanks be to God for this program I am truly Blessed and grateful.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beyond Shelter came into our lives (my family's) 7 years ago, while we were homeless. It was a really hard time because my mom who already had 9 children was pregnant with her 10th child. The fact that we had no money at all did not help our situation. Beyond Shelter kept finding us potential homes, but we were denied every time because of the number of children homes, but they never gave up on us and found us the home we live til today, in which we have also been helped financially. We are truly grateful.

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a victim of a crime and I had to move. I entered a homeless shelter and the shelter referred me to Beyond Shelter. They have helped me obtain housing and help giving Christmas gifts and advocacy when i needed it.

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to Beyond Shelter seeking help with housing. I was living with relatives when i was a victim of a crime. Now thanks to Beyond Shelter i am working and have a home for my 2 kids. I am so grateful for the help.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

I became homeless when my grandmother's house was overcrowded and I was asked to leave because there was no more room for my son and I. I went to Beyond Shelter for assistance. Beyond Shelter was so much help. They gave me housing, clothing, food, house equipment, and love.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

I became unemployed and could no longer afford my rent, so I had to move. I was then referred to Beyond Shelter whom assisted me with shelter services. In addition they assisted me with low income housing, community resources, food, sheets, toys, etc.

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

I think the program is great, to help young people get a plan and organized. I needed someone to motivate me, and this program does that.

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had a wonderful experience with my case manager Janice Garcia and her peers who worked diligently in assisting me in every way possible to provide me with all of the necessities, as well as my housing.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came in to Beyond Shelter seeking help with housing. I was living with relatives when I was a victim of a crime. Now I am working and have my home with my 2 kids. I am so grateful for their help thank you.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

I lost my apartment when I tried to move to a better place and gave my landlord 30 days notice. When I tried to move to my new place, it was already rented out, and my landlord would not let me stay. Things went from bad to worse and I ended up in a mission with my son and daughter. Then, Beyond Shelter helped me to move out of Skid Row and into a temporary motel. Then, I had a master-leased apartment, and then I got the opportunity to apply for my own apartment at Broadway Village II. Now I have a great job and my kids are going to great schools. I volunteer there too. I feel that

14

Client Served

Rating: 5

My apartment at Broadway Village I is quiet, lovely and nice. I feel like the services have been helpful in supplying all m needs. My two kids love the place, and I feel very comfortable here. I heard about Beyond Shelter two years ago - and I would not change anything about the program. I feel like everything I need is right here. I have an open invitation for help. - Jessica Jordan

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family would like to thank beyond Shelter for all that they have done for us. We now live in an apartment that we can call our own. At Broadway Village II, our children can play outside and attend other activities that have been offered through the Service Coordinator and outside agencies. We have enjoyed the mosaic classes and the ladies night out, which I look forward to. Our apartment is comfortable and spacious. Our family is glad to have a roof over our heads. My husband and I feel like a family now. We watch TV together and have dinner together every night. When we moved in, we had nothing. Beyond Shelter provided a stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher. We also have an air conditioner for hot days and a warm heater for the cold days. When I moved in I fell in love with the beautiful carpet that was in all the rooms. We are centrally located to my children's school and my husband's job. There are bus stops near a shopping center where I can conveniently do my shopping. There are bus stops near our apartment complex, which has made traveling to different places easy for my family and I to get around. I really appreciate that my family and I were allowed to stay at Broadway Village II. We are glad to have a place called home.

15

Client Served

Rating: 5

I like living at Broadway Village II because it gives me the feeling of a healthy environment for my children to play in. It is especially unique because our residents are people of different nationalities and we can share experiences, culture and food. I like the apartment set up because it is spacious and my kids have room to play and enjoy themselves. We are very comfortable. I like the two bathrooms because it accommodates my large family and a dishwasher that I can use if i do not feel like washing dishes. I feel safe here because the building is secured and with an on site manager so I know if there is a problem it would be quickly resolved. Because I have Cerebral Palsy and sometimes in need of special accommodations, the services offered at beyond Shelter has helped me receive the resources that i need to make my stay comfortable. Where I live there are mosaic classes, exercise classes, and a lot of activities to keep the residents active. I am proud to live in my apartment and happy that my children and I now have a place that we can call home. Thank you -Arabia Baylock

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Tamika Coleman. Since i moved to Broadway Village II my children and I live comfortable and secure. I feel very blessed to be able to dwell in a place where I have easy access to my children's schools, bus stops, and to the different stores. I live in a four bedroom apartment, which allows my children and myself to enjoy family time, have dinner together, and watch movies. I really enjoy my dishwasher. I never have had a dishwasher before, so the time i would normally be washing dishes is spent with my children. Beyond Shelter has made my life easier because they support me with offering resources to help me with my children and to my brother who was a mental disability. The Site Service Coordinator has been instrumental in referring me to the right agencies to get the help I needed for my brother. Beyond Shelter has organized activities that the whole family can enjoy and it has helped out little community come together as neighbors. I would like to take this time to thank Beyond Shelter for their caring support that they have given to help my family and I to a better quality of living.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

This is not a band-aid, it's a SOLUTION for hundreds of families living on the streets, in their cars, in shelters, and worse!

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

To the wonderful staff at Beyond Shelter: I would just like to say how attentive and professional your organization is. I was treated so nicely with a lot of consideration. I appreciate your staff a lot. I pray that all of you recieve promotions as you deserve. Garrett who drove me to pick up my son from school was very professional and drove with a lot of caution and we are thankful for that. This is to let your company know you are all appreciated. Dante, Sonny, and I are greatful for your help and other single parents looking for a better life.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have to say what a blessing it has been for me. I was homeless a little over two yrs. I have been in and out of employment because I have not and could not maintain stability for myself due to different circumstances. So I have traveled from shelter to shelter until someone close to me informed me of Beyond Shelter and the resources it could provide if I was willing to accept the help. I kept my head up and remained strong and continued to do the footwork that I needed to do to improve my circumstances, not knowing where I would end up. God and his angels have continued to watch over me because today my child and I are no longer moving from place to place, shelter to shelter. And I know I have a new chance in life, and not to take this chance for granted. I sit here writing this letter at a gorgeous dining room table that I would not have been able to afford, and I sleep on a queen size bed in my bedroom that would have taken me a couple of months to save up for, and I sit in the living room on a sofa and loveseat that I just wouldn't have been able to buy for at least six months. I am truly blessed and I thank everyone involved from the bottom of my heart. I have been shown nothing but kindness and understanding since moving into my Beyond Shelter apartment, and I am extremely grateful. --Sincerely, L.L.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beyond Shelter has truly been a blessing to me and the kids. They have blessed us with a home, and with some new beds, and with the support we need for a better life. We had some hard times before getting our apartment, but now that we have it we are all so happy. I don’t know where we would be without Beyond Shelter’s help.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was in a shelter for 2 years. During that time I went to school to become an elder care provider. I finished that then went to school again to become a CNA. Beyond Shelter has been there for us through good times and bad times. My worker was Fani and she knew how to keep my head up no matter what. Each time I came to Beyond Shelter a small or big miracle happened and that I'm very thankful for.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Amy 12/22/2009

This review is for April O., a mother who received services at Beyond Shelter's Broadway Village I Neighborhood Resource Center in South Los Angeles. I was typing from April's paper form that she filled out and it put it under my own name.

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son and I moved to Los Angeles from Alabama. I had come to Los Angeles to visit a friend. I decided to stay in Los Angeles. I found employment but unfortunately the business I worked for went out of business. My son and I lived in different shelter until we ended up in one of the shelters on skid row. Another family that had been staying at the shelter told me about this great organization. I went to Beyond Shelter and that same day Beyond Shelter placed me in a hotel. My son and I no longer had to stay on skid row. Beyond shelter helped me find my own affordable permanent housing. Once I moved into my own apartment Beyond Shelter made sure I had all the necessities such as furniture, cleaning and cooking supplies. I was also assigned a case manager who would visit me at my home at least once per month to make sure that my son and I were stablizing. My case manager was always there for me anytime I had any questions or concerns. All the staff at Beyond Shelter always made me feel so welcomed and cared for. Every time I think about Beyond Shelter and what they have done for me and my son I get so happy.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I ended up living in my car with my 14 year old son and 3 year old baby. Both of my kids have special needs but my son does great in school. My baby needs care 24 hours a day. She has a disease like cerebral palsy and spina bifida. I have mental health issues myself but I have always worked. But due to my baby's needs, I ended up losing a lot of hours and work and then I lost my job. Because of our problems then we were involved with Childrens Services. I had to go to the Family Court and they told me to do numerus things. We went back many times. My mom was taking care of my baby but my son and me stayed in our car. It was scary and I thought we would be robbed so many times. The Judge told me to go to a certain place that would help us because we are Native Americans. But we are also black and the place would not believe us. I had to leave and change my baby's diaper on the street because they wouldn't accept us. Then we were walking back and saw Beyond Shelter sign on the street. I went in and they helped us all so much. They understood what we were going through and they listened to me. They did not look down on me because of our troubles. I was able to do what the Judge said with the Family Court and now I have another job and we have our own place. We went through race prejudice and things that nobody could ever explain. This was the most caring people ever and I will always be grate full to Beyond Shelter.

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have lived in downtown Los Angeles for nine years (I relocated from New York City). When I first arrived in my new Loft I could not understand why there were so many homeless families on the streets in one of America's largest Cities. I went on a quest to attempt to understand the issues and what organizations were working on the problem. I was directed to Tanya Tull, and Beyond Shelter. Shortly after meeting Tanya, and learning about Beyond Shelter I join the board of Directors. I have worked with non-profit organizations my whole life. Beyond Shelter's work by far is the important work being done to address the homeless family's issue! The organization has provided a much needed support system that is changing Los Angeles, the United States, and is modeling programs that can be used worldwide.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was amazed by the people working there and how helpful they are. It was great and i had a very fun experience.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was amazing and the people helping were great to work with. As i was working the people were very helpful and fun to work with.

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

Beyond Shelter is hands down the most effective non-profit I have ever encountered. Its staff and volunteers' passionate commitment to its mission--ending family homelessness--translates to results. When I decided to get involved in a non-profit that deals with the tragedy of homelessness, I looked at many agencies in Los Angeles. What brought me to volunteer, and later join its Board of Directors, was both its focus on families, and the achievements and commitment of its diverse staff. Not only do they help individuals get out of temporary emergency shelters into permanent residences, they provide critical support in terms of job training and placement, child care, and other assistance so that the vast majority of their clients never have to experience homelessness again. I could not be more proud of any agency. I only wish we could do more, help more people. If Beyond Shelter receives additional funding, they can expand their nationally-recognized program to help even more families in Los Angeles. They also impact individuals around the country, through their trainings conducted by Beyond Shelter's Institute for Research.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a very rough childhood. There were five of us, three girls and two boys, and my mother was a drug addict. After a lot of problems, including when I missed a lot of school to take care of my younger brothers and sisters, we stayed with my grandma for a while and she adopted two of us. But me and my sister anded up going into foster care when she was 15 and I was almost 16. We moved from foster home to foster home and things were often really bad, but eventually I graduated high school and was emancipated at age 18. I came back to LA to live with my cousin, but then I got pregnant with my baby. I had no job and no further education and I had no one to turn to. After the baby was born, my cousin kicked us out and for two months we started going to different places to stay at different relatives and friends, for a night or a few days at a time. I couldn't just think about me, I had to think first about my baby. Eventually I was sleeping on the floor at my boyfriend's mother's house and I thought this was no way for my baby to live. So I went down to a mission in Skid Row, because someone told me they could help you. When I went down there, it was scary. It was horrifying. I couldn't go in and take my baby into this place with all these homeless men hanging around. I fled back to a friend's house, but couldn't stay. So the next day I went back and this time they put us into a hotel shelter for a while. All during this time I was feeling worthless and depressed and I had really bad anxiety. I felt lost, like no one wanted to help. Then, they sent me to Beyond Shelter and I enrolled in their Housing First Program. I met my case worker who said right away that she would help me get a Section 8 and help me to find an apartment. I had never had an apartment of my own, but I always wanted to be independent. If I hadn't found Beyond Shelter, I don't know where I would be right now. I don't even know where my baby would be. Beyond Shelter gave me motivation. They called me, came to see me, always asked what my baby needed. They made me feel that they cared about me and that they would help me make my life better. If someone says they're going to help you but they don't put the effort out, it's another downfall. You say Damn, I'm failing again. But with my case manager being there for me, I seemed to have more get up and go. I moved in on February 7, 2008. It's a beautiful two-bedroom apartment, upstairs in a four-plex. I have a living room and dining room area, with a laundry room as well. I live in a really quiet neighborhood and safe environment for me and my daughter. My life has changed. Now that I have permanent housing, I feel more confident because I don't have to sit up at night and worry about where I'm going to sleep, what is my baby going to eat, does she have enough diapers, and whom can I depend on. I have a roof over me and my daughter's head, clothes on our backs, and food on the table. I've been able to work at different jobs over the past year. In the future, my dreams are to go to college and major in Interior Design and one day to have my own business. I want to send my daughter off to college as well, to pursue her dreams and goals.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I drank and used for approximately eleven years. I made my life and the life of my loved ones a complete hell. I lost everything, my children were taken away, my man left me, I lost my home along with all of our belongings and my family disowned me. As a result of all this I wound up sleeping in the park and doing whatever was necessary to survive. Eventually, I admitted myself to a recovery home for women, where I resided for five and a half months. I moved then to a sober-living facility where I commenced to get my life back. I got a job at a home health care agency. I followed the court orders in every way. I worked the 12-step program and I began to pray. The courts awarded me my children back. I was then referred to Beyond Shelter where I was assigned a caring and magnificent case manager who counseled me, helped me manage my monies and assisted me in housing. Today I have four years and three months clean and sober. I have a permanent full time job working in the entertainment industry, making a sufficient salary. I have a newly-furnished two bedroom apartment, and a good relationship with my family. I'm also engaged to be married. I am very grateful for my life today.

12

Former staff

Rating: 5

I was Beyond Shelter's first program director, working with Tanya to build the program in its first years of operation. I love the concept of moving families into their home as soon as possible - the idea was truly an innovation in its time, when few were focused on the needs of homeless families.