Mayerson Brighton Center Proposal
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APPLICATION FOR FUNDING The Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement& Nonprofit Development Northern Kentucky University Nunn Drive Highland Heights, KY 41099 859-572-1448 Date: 2/28/2011 Name of organization: Brighton Center, Inc. Federal ID (501c3) number: 61-0673886 Address: P.O. Box 325 Newport, KY 41072-0325 Name of contact person: Kate Arthur Phone number ofcontact person: 859.491.8303 ext. 2340 Email address of contact person: Karthur@brightoncenter.com Please provide a brief description of your organization (history, mission and population served): Brighton Center, Inc. is a private not-for-profit community based organization with the mission to create opportunities for individuals and families to reach self-sufficiency through family support services, education and leadership throughout the communities of Northern Kentucky. We strive to achieve this mission by creating an environment which rewards excellence and innovation, encourages mutual respect and maximizes resources. From modest beginnings in 1966 in a Newport storefront when we were founded, Brighton Center has grown to provide a uniquely comprehensive range of programs and services including family and work supports; financial and homeownership services; workforce development services including education, employment and training programs; substance abuse recovery services for women; early childhood education; and neighborhood based programs including community organizing and housing development. Brighton Center's offers programs as a continuum of care configured as a Family Resource Center model for service delivery. The model helps low income and at-risk families become economically self-sufficient through a "one stop" approach. The model encourages individuals to assume maximum responsibility for their own lives. Brighton Center's work with low-income communities in Northern Kentucky spans more than 40 years. In FY 2010 , we served 84,585 individuals through 38 programs. Multiple generations of the urban working poor, disabled, retired, and more recently, families impacted by the economic storm, now seek our services because we offer individualized options, and because we respect diverse values and the right of individuals to make their own choices. The Center is the most comprehensive provider of services for families in Northern Kentucky, and the lead agency in the Northern Kentucky Safety Net Alliance of 50 non-profit community resources. Brighton Center serves the 8 counties of Northern Kentucky with physical locations in Boone, Campbell, Kenton, and Grant counties. Please provide a brief description of the program or project for which you are requesting funds: The project is the remodeling of our Clothing Closet that is located in the City of Newport (population ~15,767) for closest proximity to the highest numbers of the working poor who need it most. The remodeling would involve adding shelves, commercial clothes racks and a cash register. Nearly 21% of Newport’s households live below the poverty level, half in extreme poverty; nearly 11.9% have an income of less than $10,000; 42% of Newport’s children live in poverty. The unemployment rate in Newport is hovering at 13%. The remodeled store will increase sales ($68,654 in FY 2010), and the proceeds from the Clothing Closet goes into the Emergency Assistance program to help individuals/families pay the costs of rent and utilities so they may remain in their home. The Clothing Closet is the formal name given to the space used to receive, process and display merchandise that includes, far more than clothing. The current economic storm has destabilized whole families who have never before been confronted with critical financial hardship. These families have converged with the working poor we have historically served, creating a river of unemployed, underemployed, and working poor families reaching out for our help. In the past year, our Family Support/Emergency Assistance program received 110% more families than projected (based on prior year services), and Brighton Center served 84,585 individuals across our programs to meet at least one need. Our data indicate that approximately 72% of the individuals we served are living below 200% of poverty. This translates to significant demand for goods provided by our Clothing Closet (a thrift shop offering free and low cost clothing and household goods since 1967) and the need to transform the store to create capacity to meet the level of emergency need of families by remodeling to make the best use of the space. During the last fiscal year, Emergency Assistance provided Clothing Closet free vouchers to 4,462 individuals each with an average value of $75.00, or an annual total of $334,650. Individuals and families receive vouchers from Emergency Assistance that allow them to purchase items at no cost. One voucher provides for each individual 20 free articles of clothing, 2 pairs of shoes, and a coat. As families connect with us for help with one emergency need (such as food, utility bills, foreclosures, rent assistance or child care subsidies) we discern the multiple needs that must be met to stabilize home, school, and work so that families can move into pathways toward self-sufficiency through our continuum of services. Such services that the Clothing closet helped with in the past year are as follows: Transitional Living Program assisted 44 homeless youth, aged out of the foster care, with transitions to apartments and with resources to ensure their education and/or employment, and life-skill building curriculum. These youth needed clothing, furnishings, and necessities that support physical, emotional, and mental well being. Early Childhood Education programs served over 500 families with safe care for infants and children while parents work or go to school, and in-home services for at-risk children and parents. These parents cannot afford “business casual” and children’s clothing at store prices, but are able to build several outfits for work through the Clothing Closet, as well as clothes for their growing children. Brighton Recovery Center for Women helped 224 women gain and maintain sobriety. As women transition back to the community they need work clothes and basic necessities for a home and for reunification with their children. Workforce Development programs worked with over 6,000 individuals attempting to re- enter the work force. Some needed protective wear like work boots and gloves, or more professional clothes for job interviews or professional positions. Homeward Bound is an emergency shelter for youth served approximately 200 homeless, abused and neglected youth receive clothing, coats and book bags from the Clothing Closet. Youth Leadership Development programming provided 80 at-risk youth with access to Clothing Closet merchandise that included “cool clothes” that give confidence to teens, who feel judged by their peers based on their appearance. It is the cultural norm to be judged by appearance: we see firsthand the difference it makes when people feel better about themselves because of their dress. All of us want to be accepted by our peers and within our social group. Our emotional and mental health is improved when we can dress in clothes that are in good condition, fit well, and are even fashionable. Having the household goods that ensure warmth, health, comfort, and self-sufficiency also gives us a sense of safety, dignity, and a sense of hope. We also know that all consumers shape self-identity in some measure by the aesthetics of the spaces in which they purchase goods. The Clothing Closet is clean and organized but because of the small space it is difficult for shoppers to locate their style and size easily. Household items are not able to be separated for easy view as they are crowded on small shelves and microwaves and television sit on the floor making it hard for customers to see the features. Parents and children facing extraordinary daily hardships would gain an improved feeling of confidence in their shopping experience if the store had better shelving systems to display items. The space we are presently using can be adapted by adding commercial shelvingand clothes racks that would allow for heavier household items to be displayed safely and for clothes to be easily sorted and viewed on racks to make the best use of the space we have. The remodeled space will provide an environment that preserves the dignity of those purchasing goods with vouchers and those who need goods at “emergency pricing” as strategy for managing reduced household budgets. The space will empower mothers with modest budgets to meet the needs of their families; necessities for school and work; household furnishings; and sports equipment, games, and other healthy family-centered goods. The project will transform the social, emotional, and mental health of individuals and families who patronize the Clothing Closet because it will offer goods from a setting that builds self-esteem and confidence. In addition, we have need of a cash register. Our present register does not total items and it does not do a daily total for sales so this needs to be done manually. This is time consuming as well as making it much easier to make mistakes. What is (are) the expected outcome(s) of this program or project? 1) Utilize shop space with capacity to display the quantity and variety of goods needed to meet increased emergency need in our community. 2) Improve consumer appeal that will draw families with low incomes to our continuum of services. 3) Provide the benefit of “emergency pricing” to families with modest incomes as a budget strategy. 4) Improve positive self-identities of those who shop with vouchers through the aesthetically pleasing store and for those who choose the shop to meet budget constraints. 5) Improve the functionality and service of the Clothing Closet that allow comfortable selection of professional attire. 6) To increase sales for long-term sustainability from $68,000 to $74,000. 7) The cash register would tally individual sales as well as have an accurate daily sales total. The cash register would also decrease staff time by at least 8 hours per week in manual tallies. In order to be eligible for a Mayerson grant this semester, 51% of the clientele served by your organization or program for which this grant will be used must be low to moderate income individuals. Does your organization or program meet this criteria:NO _X__ YES Please explain how your organization or program would spend $1,000, if you receive an award, to benefit this specific target population (Please provide an itemized budget, if possible): Cash Register Model Sharp XE-A225 $199.00 Shelving and Hardware: Storability 31” wide wire shelves 16 units ($25.97) each $415.52 Brackets 4 units ($9.54) each $ 38.16 Clothing Racks Gemini Heavy Duty H-rack Two sided ($168.95) each $337.90 63x30wx67H Heavy Duty Garment Single Rail ($128.00) each $128.00 TOTAL $1,118.58 What is the total budget for the organization for the current year? $7,956,931 What is the expected timeline for this project? It is expected that upon receipt of the awarded funds, the materials would be ordered and purchased within 30 days. Volunteers will be recruited to build and install the shelving units with an expected completion time of 90 days from when the funds are received. Please attach the following documents: agency brochure and/or newsletter (if available), and a copy of your most recent 990 form or annual financial statement. Thank you.