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Letter From the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

We have arrived at the beginning of a new chapter for Project Place. After celebrating 50 years of unwavering commitment to a community in need, we began to ask ourselves what we can do to serve more individuals and impart more skills. How can we best support clients; courageous individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty, confronting countless obstacles, yet still motivated to change their lives? In the following pages, we have detailed our strategies to accomplish that. We are pleased to share with you, our supporters, our friends, Project Place’s plans to take the next step in ending homelessness.

With board and staff representation, a year of exploration, and a bit of soul searching, the Strategic Planning Committee has reaffirmed our mission, values, and next steps. We have determined several areas of growth we will be focusing on during the next 5 years. As always, we remain committed to preparing more individuals to be successful by attaining gainful employment and stable housing.

As we unfurl our plans, we once again ask for your belief in our mission and all of the critical work Project Place performs to transform lives. We will need your support to fulfill our plans over the next five years. In return, as we expand our services to help more individuals in need, you can expect the same commitment to quality programming. It is our graduates who remind us every day why the work of Project Place matters – lives are improved, hope is restored and all of us, united in purpose, celebrate the power of community at its best. Thank you for your continued support!

Strategic Goals

Goal #1: Create new structure for initial and ongoing client stabilization.

Summary

  • In recent times, we have recognized an increased need to help individuals reach stability; to provide them with the proper resources to address both short- and long-term barriers. This is a factor that continues throughout programming, but is especially important prior to enrollment. To address this need, we believe adding a dedicated stage for stabilization will allow more clients to participate. These are individuals who are motivated, but whose circumstances prevent them from commitment.

Strategies

  1. Onboard stabilization-specific staff, including an instructor and case manager.
  2. Utilize a comprehensive assessment to determine barriers, what steps need to be taken to address each, and whether it can be done on-site or externally.
  3. Create a curriculum for on-site stabilization support.
  4. Build and practice soft skills.
  5. Remove logistical barriers.
  6. Begin the process of addressing health-related issues.

Indicators of Success

  1. Stabilization staff has developed curriculum and structure for stabilization efforts.
  2. More prospective clients become able to enroll in our workforce programming due to increased resources addressing barriers to employment.
  3. Increased retention of clients who were previously in danger of dropping out of programming.
  4. Stabilization leads to further retention of change, long-term, for clients who go through the program.

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Goal #2: Enhance industry training and impart more credentials.

Summary

  • In accordance with the changes to IIP, we also wish to more fully integrate the enterprises with our industry training. The enterprises are critical for addressing several specific barriers to employment and are the most effective way to increase the amount of clients obtaining employment. Expanding partnership and contract opportunities for the enterprises will segue into us being able to employ more clients overall.

Strategies

  1. Build upon existing employer relationships and discover new opportunities for partnership, emphasizing fast growing industries like Logistics.
  2. Ease the transition process from IIP to the enterprises, to facilitate greater numbers of clients becoming transitionally employed.
  3. Develop a new model for employment in the social enterprises to maximize employment slots.
  4. Expand current logistics and food service enterprises to go deeper in terms of skills learned by employees.

Indicators of Success

  1. More clients entered the enterprises overall, an increased capacity of 50% over 5 years.
  2. An increased threshold for equipment and employment slots to support the higher number of clients seeking to transition.
  3. Higher employment placement rates for those transitioning to permanent positions.
  4. New employer partnerships who will keep us informed of openings, help us to revise the structure according to modern information, and give us hiring preference, if applicable.
  5. Those who complete employment in the enterprises are put on a viable path towards economic independence and a livable wage. This will be measured through our regular retention metrics, at regular intervals for at least 2 years beyond job placement.

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Goal #3: Further integrate and increase capacity in our social enterprises.

Summary

  • The Industry Internship Program (IIP) will be ramped up in two areas. First, we are deepening the existing industry tracks. Logistics, Food Service, and Public Maintenance/Landscaping have continued to be important industries for their willingness to hire clients with CORIs and job advancement opportunities. We wish to further prepare clients with industry skills to be successful in these industries, beyond our existing training. Second, we are restructuring our cross-industry “universal” training in client service, technology, and business fundamentals. This will cover core job skills that are applicable to any future employment.

Strategies

  1. Restructure curriculum to mirror new priorities: universal classes vs industry-specific tracks.
  2. Work with alumni and employers to determine the most helpful skills and to see what may be lacking.
  3. Revamp industry training for logistics, food service, and public maintenance/sanitation to prepare clients for the enterprises.
  4. Add more varieties of credentials to better equip clients for employment success.

Indicators of Success

  1. Implemented universal training, which focuses on broader information such as Customer Service, business fundamentals, and technology skills.
  2. Revised programming to stay up to date with trends of job market.
  3. Training in IIP streamlined transition process to social enterprise employment through a mix of classroom-based learning and fieldwork.
  4. Clients who received nationally-recognized credentials increased by 100%.
  5. Initial placement wage increased due to the new, higher qualifications of employees going through IIP.

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Goal #4: Replicate our evidence-based Reentry model in new communities.

Summary

  • Our reentry model, refined over the 15 years since it was first begun, has proven to be incredibly successful at our current partner facility, the Suffolk County House of Correction. We will work with new facilities to deliver a full replication or to provide supplemental services to support already existing reentry programs. Part of this process will be establishing a baseline standard for supplemental programs to ensure a smooth transition from one facility to our programming.

Strategies

  1. Partner with new facilities and locations who are seeking to implement the entirety or parts of our reentry model.
  2. Develop a quality control navigator to ensure a baseline of standards in a supplemental model.
  3. Have staff trained in new models and able to handle new capacity of clients.

Indicators of Success

  1. Implemented our reentry model or established supplemental programming in 3 new communities.
  2. Have clients from other facilities able to easily transition to our supplemental programming.
  3. Increased the total number of people served by our reentry program.
  4. Maintained a similar or lower recidivism rate for those who complete the programming.

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Thank You!

Strategic Planning Committee:

Beth Carter      Cathy Claflin      David Dirks      Polly Hanson      Suzanne Kenney      Alan Lehmann      Allie Orlando      Sebastian Sansone

We are a supportive community that thrives on participation. Thank you to the board, our partners, clients, staff and alumni for their input and constructive feedback. This journey we’re on would not be possible without you.

The strategic plan provides an overarching direction for the board and staff. It provides the tenets for us so we can continue focusing on meeting each client at their own level. It’s not set in stone. Each year an evaluation takes place to not only measure the progress we’ve made, but to assess the relevance of our goals towards the homeless population.

The strategic plan is also a starting point for discussions surrounding programs and outcomes. By determining which goals have been met and which are still lagging behind, we gain insight into what needs to be refined, what needs to be expanded on, and what may need to be reworked entirely. In the end, the trajectory of the strategic plan is meant to maximize positive outcomes for the coming years. Come back to this page to view our progress!

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