Transitional Housing of Pittsburgh

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Emergency Shelters Business Plan

Executive Summary

Transitional Housing of Pittsburgh is a start-up not for profit social service agency serving the greater Pittsburgh area. The organization was founded by Amy Rand who has both the practical experience and the education to lead the organization. Amy is currently working on assembling a strong Board of Trustees which will be invaluable for the organization.

Transitional Housing of Pittsburgh is an organization that provides transitional housing and life skill training for women. It offers assistance to women, frequently homeless, as they move from dependent, often abusive relationships into independent, self-sufficient lifestyles. Additionally, it assists clients in child reunification. This is particularly important as 80% of the clients have children but no custody.

This is the city's only women-only facility and the only one with long-term transitional housing. All other shelters only offer 30 days or less of housing whereas Transitional Housing offers up to two years. On staff is a chemical dependency counselor, AIDS counselor, and a family reunification counselor to assist clients.

The facility provides clients within an eight-step program that teaches them necessary life skills. This collaborative approach to empowerment is the keystone to developing self-sufficiency in the clients. The steps include personal development, vocational training, substance abuse counseling, interpersonal skills building, community involvement, leisure activities, and independent living skills.

The Market
Transitional Housing has identified two distinct market segments of customers based on age; those who are under 30 and those who are 30 and over. The distinction is important because of the high percentage of clients with children, and those in the younger market segment having far younger children. The under 30 age group is growing annually at 9%, and the 30 and over age group growing at 8%. The two groups respectively have 165,454 and 158,745 potential clients. The overwhelming majority of clients come from lower socio-economic population groups. These segments can be difficult to communicate with, yet their use of Transitional Housing's services would give them some profound benefits.

Amy Rand is the driving force behind the organization and fills the Executive Director role. Amy earned a B.S. degree in Sociology from Case Western Reserve University and a Master's in Non-for-Profit Management from the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, she has several years of social service project management. While working as the program manager of Pennsylvania's largest domestic abuse relief service provider, Amy developed a proactive empowerment program which has become the foundation for Transitional Housing's collaborative approach to empowerment. During and since her tenure as program manager, Amy has developed a comprehensive network of personal and professional contacts with key community leaders. This will be instrumental in raising the profile of Transitional Housing within the community as well as having a significant impact on fundraising activities.

1.1 Mission

Transitional Housing's mission is to provide women of Pittsburgh a safe transitional housing alternative, teach a multitude of skills to empower the women to self-sufficiency, and facilitate the possible reunification of clients with their children.

1.2 Keys to Success

  • Build a strong, active Board of Trustees.
  • Ensure that the offered services satisfy market needs.
  • Design and implement strict financial controls and accountability.

1.3 Objectives

  • Secure sufficient funding, both start up and operational.
  • Create a women's-only transitional housing facility that provides housing and a variety of empowering skills.
  • Develop a strong Board of Trustees that can offer guidance, help with fundraising efforts, and oversee the smooth operation of the organization.