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Choices in Action

 62 Via Pamplona
 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
[P] (562) 6311104
[F] --
https://www.gofundme.com/e484dq-housing-for-homeless-veterans
vhpcia.com
[email protected]
La Fawn Brito
FOUNDED: --
INCORPORATED: 2018
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 51-0595223 00000

Summary



Mission StatementMORE »

Choices in action (CIA) is dedicated to providing life-sustaining services for Veterans and their families. Specifically, CIA was adopted to present Veterans with permanent housing in financially thriving communities.

CIA is a strong supporter of mental health recovery. With Progressive and proactive use of various alternative approaches, coupled with traditional treatments to mental health care; CIA seeks to endorse several actions aiming at achieving victory over mental illness.

Through advocacy, further education and research, CIA has accepted the responsibility to ensure that all people with mental illness are accorded respect, dignity and the opportunity to achieve their full potential free from stigma and prejudice.

Mission Statement

Choices in action (CIA) is dedicated to providing life-sustaining services for Veterans and their families. Specifically, CIA was adopted to present Veterans with permanent housing in financially thriving communities.

CIA is a strong supporter of mental health recovery. With Progressive and proactive use of various alternative approaches, coupled with traditional treatments to mental health care; CIA seeks to endorse several actions aiming at achieving victory over mental illness.

Through advocacy, further education and research, CIA has accepted the responsibility to ensure that all people with mental illness are accorded respect, dignity and the opportunity to achieve their full potential free from stigma and prejudice.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2020
Projected Expenses $422,000.00
Projected Revenue $0.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Veterans Permananet Housing Program
  • Employment Readiness

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview


Mission Statement

Choices in action (CIA) is dedicated to providing life-sustaining services for Veterans and their families. Specifically, CIA was adopted to present Veterans with permanent housing in financially thriving communities.

CIA is a strong supporter of mental health recovery. With Progressive and proactive use of various alternative approaches, coupled with traditional treatments to mental health care; CIA seeks to endorse several actions aiming at achieving victory over mental illness.

Through advocacy, further education and research, CIA has accepted the responsibility to ensure that all people with mental illness are accorded respect, dignity and the opportunity to achieve their full potential free from stigma and prejudice.


Background Statement

Established in April 2018, Choices In Action (CIA) is an independent Veteran-owned 501(c)3 Mobile Organization developed to provide specialized services to address the unique needs of homeless Veterans. Our main component is the Permanent Housing Placement and Case Management Program. Located in Orange County California, CIA will respond and lend support to homelessness among the Men & Woman who made life sacrifices and served our Country. Our housing program is extended to Veterans with children and/or a significant other. The projected program budget is rounded to $420,000 for one fiscal year. 
 
Our Philosophy and Program Model are simple - "Help Your Fellow Man Achieve the Basic Life Necessities" - Food, Shelter, Clothing and Tools needed to build and sustain Self-efficacy with Self-sufficiency.  
 
Working from a Social Services Practitioner's position, the best way to reach Veterans who are homeless is to provide initial assistance in their immediate location. Therefore, Choices In Action was specifically developed to be a Mobile Organization led by a team of highly experienced Human Services Professionals.  
 
For our Veterans, we will serve as an apartment locator and rent negotiator with placement who will deliver a monthly rent subsidy of 70% .  All program participants are to have some type of income as the Veteran occupant is responsible for paying the remaining monthly 30% to include utilities and other personal incidentals. 
 
Our Program Relocation Action Plan offers the Veteran the ability to be permanently housed within 24 to 48 hours. While waiting for their apartment, Veterans will receive motel accommodations to change unkempt appearances as they will need to present well when meeting apartment managers. 
 
Additionally, Case Management will include strict individualized assistance with Employment Readiness (gift of an Interview Clothing Ensemble & around trip chauffeured transportation) and linkages to appropriate external psycho-social services that will enhance the life of each program participant.  To assist Veterans with taking pride in their home and new lifestyle, we will offer a Welcome Home Package (basic furnishings and various items necessary for daily living).  
  
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Impact Statement

 
 Unfortunately, there are apartment management companies that practice "silent discrimination." Who is going to rent to a person who presents homeless - with worn and tattered clothing, no rental history, no forwarding address, currently unemployed or limited employment history, poor credit with the inability to secure a co-signer, possible previous eviction, no reliable transportation, no references, and no security deposit ?
 
Choices In Action will serve as multipurpose organization - apartment locator, rent negotiator and housing placement 
We are unlike other organizations such that we were purposely structured to be a Mobile Organization. The best way to locate and readily assist Veterans who are homeless is to engage in their environment.
 
With the use of technology, we will be able to match the Veteran with their desired community. Veterans will be presented with an apartment profile and will follow a process that has been streamlined to receive permanent housing within 24 to 48 hours. 
For the current year, Choices In Action desires to accomplish the following goals:
- Secure Program Funding for the rest of 2019 - June, 30 2021 
- Hire Staff 
- Start Program Objectives - Permanently house 8 Veterans a month 
- Secure a venue for a fundraiser in November 2019 

Needs Statement

Yearly Program Expenses 
Total 112,320
 
Operating expenses
 
 
TOTAL $27,295
 
Employee Salaries
Ex PD
PD
Case manager 
Driver
Grant writer 
Medical insurance Employees
Total $281,800
 
Itemized Budget upon Request  
 
 
 
 

CEO Statement

Choices In Action was not established as a "get rich quick scheme." To date, there hasn't been one organization developed to eradicate homelessness because of the complexity of the problem. Choices In Action will not add to the challenges Veterans face when seeking assistance from the VA System.  I have taken my personal negative experiences with negotiating through the VA system and developed a mindset of what not to do when providing Social  Services to Veterans. Because I am a Social Worker, I fair better than Veterans without my professional knowledge.
 
Making choices have good and bad consequences. If I had someone to motivate me, guide me and educate me about life, higher educational and professional development; I can only image how much further I could have gone in my profession. I was born into an impoverished family and when I joined the Air Force, it was then that I was able to "hit the reset button of life." 
 
Because I achieved a Masters Degree in Social Work people assume Social Work was my calling. While in the Air Force, I chose to complete a BA in Social Services never with the thought of becoming a Social Worker.  However, I have chosen  to remain in Social Work because of the many opportunities to help others. 
 
Choices In Action will grow in strength to become an exceptional Veterans Services Provider. When I penned the program design, I did so with the notion of remaining a small organization (employing no more than 15 people).  Choices In Action will maximize resources by reaching beyond the stated goals. By remaining a small organization we will reduce administrative overhead, deliver quick results, have greater success when providing individualized Case Management services, better quality control for accountability and having the freedom to be flexible with restructuring program processes while keeping the needs of the Veterans in the forefront.  
 
The existence of Choices In Action is not rooted by a scientific method, years of research or statistical formulas.
 
The evidence to make Choices In Action a success is simple - What I do for myself -- I do for others.
 - I searched for an apartment that matched my financial ability
- Years ago, I moved into my apartment without furnishings 
- I Sought help from the Veterans Homeless Prevention Program  
- I applied for VA  Benefits 
- I purchased two skirts suits that I keep just for job interviews 
- I sought assistance from Workforce Veteran Employment Representative 
 
As a Social Services Practitioner, I  treat others how I want to be treated - " I'm in need AND My needs are Important"  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Board Chair Statement

 The following statement is from the President of Choices In Action
 
I cannot say enough about La Fawn. She is not only a Veteran, she is a Veteran with a purpose and a keen understanding of homeless Veterans.  Many people do not know, but La Fawn was facing homelessness herself.  During the Recession of 2008, she was laid off from work, fell into rent arrears and had to leave her apartment with her teenage daughter in tow. Although, she vacated the apartment before she was formally evicted, she had an eviction on her credit report (now removed). With being a Masters-level Social Worker, she had the wherewithal to persevere and gained the assistance of the Homeless Veterans Housing Voucher Program. Within the fist 6 months of losing her job, she achieved employment and 6 months thereafter she relinquished the voucher. Since that time, she had been gainfully employed and is expected to graduate with a doctorate degree in Dec 2020. 
 
Because of that experience, Choices In Action was born. We realize there are many Veteran Service Organizations, but who would better understand the plight of a homeless Veterans other than a Veteran who was facing homelessness herself? 
 
I believe in the philosophy by which Choices In Action was born. I believe that La Fawn and our team can make a difference. I believe in our program design. We just need donors and other community officials of influence to believe in us. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Mailing check to bank account US Bank, In-kind, phone

Geographic Area Served

North Orange County

The geographic areas to be served 
 
Anaheim - 92801, 92805
Santa Ana - 92703, 92701, 92704
Garden Grove - 92844
Stanton - 90680

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Homeless Services/Centers
  2. Housing, Shelter - Housing Expenses Reduction Support
  3. Mental Health & Crisis Intervention - Mental Health & Crisis Intervention NEC

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Programs


Veterans Permananet Housing Program

Choices In Action will serve as an apartment locator, rent negotiator and placement services organization.
House 4 Veterans a month for the first year.
Case Management Services provided:
1. stay to get Veterans prepare to meet apartment managers
2. Rent deposit $600 Max each Veteran
3. Welcome Home Kit (bed, kitchen table w/ chair and kitchenware)
4. Employment readiness - wardrobe and hair services resume writing mock interviews and employment placement
5. Credit counseling and repair services 
8. Assistance with attainment of VA other Government Benefits  
Program participation is for 1 year 
Program Components, Staff Salaries and business expenses 
 
 
Budget  422,000
Category  Housing, General/Other Housing Expense Assistance
Population Served Military/Veterans Families Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success 
Improvements that will result from the Housing Program within the first 6 months 
Veterans will become connected with VA Health Care which will minimize risk factors 
(a) number of Veterans getting treated for mental illness and/or substance abuse will increase 
(b) number of Veterans applying for VA Disability Benefits will increase 
(c) number of Veterans entering VA Vocational Rehabilitation will increase  
(d) Veteran's overall health and well-being will increase 
 
Program Long-Term Success 
We understand that not all Veterans will complete the One Year Program . Therefore, from the 96 Veterans housed in two years, 10% will exit the program within the first 8 months. 
 
According to HUD, as of January 2018, there were 129,972 homeless Veterans. The ultimate change is to partner with other Veteran Services Organizations to continue decreasing the homeless population. Additionally, we desire to assist communities  and Veterans with recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental illness. We will educate the public about the needs of Veterans (especially those who have been exposed to combat). 
 
Out goal is to remain a small organization so that the maximum funding can be allocated to program components. 
Program Success Monitored By 
Each Veteran Participant will have a file created that will contain Individualized Care Plans with short-term (6 months) and long term (1 year) goals 
 
At the conclusion of each goal term, Case Managers will generate a report detailing 
(a) which goals were achieved
(b) which goals were not achieved (note the barriers)
(c) what actions were taken to eliminate the barriers 
(d) the referrals made or referrals needed 
 
 
Within the first 60 days, Veterans will be asked to complete a survey addressing the housing placement process stating from the initial approach 
Expense Reports will detail where money was spent
(a) over budget
(b) under budget
(c) unexpected expenses
 
 
Examples of Program Success 
 To show that the program is doing well 
 
(a) We aim to house Veterans 48 - 72 hours from the initial start of the program 
(b) Noting the total number of days it took for a Veteran to be housed and the number of Veterans we had to refer to other Veterans Housing Placement Program 
(c) Receiving continuous funding 
(d) Have each Veteran complete a survey to evaluate self-efficacy
(e) Ask for Veterans to provide a testimonial to be submitted to the website 
(g) Gain recognition from Community and State Leadership 
 

Employment Readiness

 CEO and Program Director will seek employers to grant interviews to program participants to include Veterans with disabilities 
Case Manager will  
(a) provided 1:1 Individualized guidance with finding employment and completing online employment applications 
(b) coordinate Mock Interviews
(c) assist with writing professional resumes
(d) Provide all employment seekers with a laptop  
(e) Van driver - provided round-trip transportation to interviews  
 
Each Veterans occupant will receive $210 for interview clothing and hair services . Choices In Action will provide vouchers at a clothing store.  Each voucher recipient will be asked to reserve the clothing for interviews only. The Case Manager will assist with achievement of the clothing items. 
 
Hair Services are too be given at a designated hair salon or barber shop 
Budget  31,200
Category  Housing, General/Other Housing Expense Assistance
Population Served Military/Veterans Families Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success 
 Improvements that will result from the program
Program participants will receive 
- real-time job leads that will lead to interviews 
- one set of interview clothes and the other adults in the home will be referred to Working Wardrobes 
- no less than two interviews within 6 months of program participation 
- placement in VA Vocational Rehabilitation  
 
 
Program Long-Term Success 
Changes that will result from the program
Within two years  
- Program participants will build self-esteem 
- 60% of program participants will achieve employment within the first 8 months of programming 
- 65% of program participants will achieve employment before the exit date of one year   
- 50% of program participants will maintain employment past the first year of hire 
Program Success Monitored By 
Distribute surveys to program participants inquiring if they received the proper guidance 
Distribute surveys to program participants after each interview 
Keep a tally of the number of interviews given to program participants 
Keep a tally of the number of Employers approached and the industry of the job position  
Keep a tally of the number of employment positions
(a) offered by employers
(b) not offered by employers  
(b) accepted by program participants
(c) declined by program participants 
 
Examples of Program Success 
Evidence the program is doing well 
- Employers calling to report their open positions 
- Program participants who received employment positions that pay more than $2.00 over than minimum wage 
- Program participants who achieved employment positions on their own 
- Program participants who self-identify with learning something new 
 Devise a report of the above to evaluate the over-all program 

Management


CEO/Executive Director La Fawn Lorraine Brito
CEO Term Start Apr 2018
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience
 Joined the Air Force in 1987 and was Honorably Discharged in 1998
Achieved a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Social Sciences 
Achieved a Masters Degree in Social Work in 2003
Originally established Choices In Action in 2011 - focused on Homeless Men with dual diagnosis (Mental Health and Substance Abuse)  - required more non-profit experience 
Social Services Practitioner 17 years with 7 years in Management  
Doctorate Degree Business Management / Organizational Leadership - In progress - expected completion 2020

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: --
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: --
Male: --
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses

--

CEO Comments

--

Foundation Comments

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Governance


Board Chair La Fawn Brito
Board Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Chair Term Apr 2018 -
Board Co-Chair Joan Macharia
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term Apr 2018 -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
La Fawn Brito Chief Executive Officer Voting
Torriel Harris Secretary (Fund Raising Event Planner) Voting
Joan Macharia President Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 2%
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy --
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 1%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 1%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

Current Challenges
- Funding
- Non-profit Support 
 
From my experience with foundations, often they desire to fund an organization with three plus years of experience. When I was younger and applied for credit - I was told, I could not get a line of credit because I did not have any credit. However, I did not have credit because I could not get a line of credit. All it took was for one creditor to lend me a line of credit then other creditors followed suit. 
 
As a small organization, I am responsible for performing a get deal of the tasks involved with programming.
I have limited and brief experience with grant writing, therefore to have a successful start we need a skillful grant writer with proven results. Every non-profit organization had a first time to prove the desired impact.
 
 
 

Foundation Comments

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Standing Committees

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2019 to June 30, 2020
Projected Revenue $0.00
Projected Expenses $422,000.00
Form 990s

2018 990 filing

2017 990 filing

2016 990 filing

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Revenue $0 $0 $0
Total Expenses $0 $0 $0

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Program Expense -- -- --
Administration Expense -- -- --
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses nan nan nan
Program Expense/Total Expenses nan% nan% nan%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue nan% nan% nan%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Assets $0 $0 $0
Current Assets $0 $0 $0
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets $0 $0 $0

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities nan nan nan

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets nan% nan% nan%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments

Challenges 
1. Funding 
A) Getting donors 
B) Retaining donors  
2.  Gaining recognition - Earning the public trust 
 
We plan to :
 1. Bee diligent with gaining financial resources via OC Central, Guidestar, Grants.Gov and other funding opportunities from state and government levels 
2. Continue attending Veterans Business Network Meetings  
3. Reach out to other Veteran Service Organizations for resources 
 
 

Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the audited financial statements and Form 990s and consultation with the organization. 

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.