Transitional Housing of Pittsburgh

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Emergency Shelters Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Transitional Housing is in an excellent market position to be able to attract good talent and funds due to their sustainable competitive edge. This edge is Transitional Housing's ability to provide women-only housing that lasts longer and is more complete than traditional "transition housing."

No one else is able to offer the benefits of a single gender, reasonably long term, housing with skills training. Transitional Housing will be active in their marketing campaign to increase awareness of the facility to the target clients, as well as visibility within the community to aid fundraising efforts, and acquire referrals from other community service agencies.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Transitional Housing has three distinct competitive edges that will be leveraged to help make it a successful service provider with sufficient financial resources:

  • Same-gender services: This is quite valuable because homeless women are far more vulnerable than homeless men. The same-gender environment allows women to deal with self-esteem issues which are very typical in abusive and chemical dependent situations. Same-gender settings also allows a sisterhood to develop, allowing the women to bond and develop meaningful, supportive relationships together. Lastly, it minimizes the risk of sexual relations between residents.
  • Length of stay: Transitional Housing has the ability to offer clients the option of staying up to two years at the facility. The ability to stay a longer time significantly increase the chance of rehabilitation/skill development/self-sufficiency.
  • Empowerment Program: This eight-step program, when fully engaged by the residents (which generally occurs because of the program being on-site and the duration of the stay of the clients) is quite successful in building/empowering self-sufficient, confident women.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Transitional Housing's marketing strategy will be two pronged. One goal is to raise awareness about the services to the target customers. The second goal is to increase awareness of Transitional Housing within the community for fundraising efforts.

A main thrust of the effort of increasing visibility within the community of users will be through the development of relationships with other social service providers such as domestic abuse shelters, alcohol treatment centers, prisons, and half-way houses (the interim step after prison and before being totally free). These are the "front line workers" who are in the best position to make referrals to people who are truly in need of the services. By developing a relationship with these organizations, a constant flow of clients can be accomplished. These relationships can be developed through multiple means including frequent open houses for staff of the organizations to allow them to get a "feel" for things as well as maintaining relationships with the individuals that work there as well.

Transitional Housing will also campaign to develop visibility within the community for both client recruitment as well as corporate fundraising. Activities such as participation on radio shows, sponsorship of one day events/seminars, and other public events that are designed to give a presence to Transitional Housing within the community as a leader and an effective social service organization. Fundraising efforts are made more efficient when people know about Transitional Housing and the positive work they are doing.

5.3 Fundraising Strategy

Transitional Housing will rely on many different sources of funds, in part to increase the overall budget, in part to decrease the reliance on any one source. Some of the funds are available immediately, others such as the grants require six to eight month lead/applications periods.

  • Silent Auction (and other organizational activities): An annual silent auction will be held to generate funds as well as to generate visibility within the community. The auction will solicit donations of services and goods and then auction them off to auction participants. This will raise money for the organization as well as increase the visibility of Transitional Housing since the auction participants are upper income socialites. There will be other organizational activities.
  • United Way: This national not-for-profit organization is a powerful nation-wide fundraiser that collects money and then disperses funds to local groups.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Development (local government): Funds are available from this government agency.
  • Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services of Mahoney County (local government): This county organization has funds available to organizations that assist with alcohol and drug prevention services.
  • Foundation grants (public and private money): This is a rich source of available monies.
  • Corporate and individual donations: One program to solicit the corporate donations will be the sponsorship by a corporation of a specific room within the center. With enough corporate sponsorships of different rooms, the renovation/furniture costs for each living quarter can be reduced or eliminated.
  • H.U.D (federal government): This source of funds is dedicated to housing organizations.

5.3.1 Funding Forecast

The funding forecast indicates that it is expected to take six months before there are sufficient funds to to get operations rolling. With the expected opening date of month seven, initial funding will trickle in from month two to four with larger quantities arriving around months five and six.

The initial funds will be spent in preparation for the start-up, however Transitional Housing will need a substantial amount for the down payment of the building. Please note that the fundraising effort is not a static one time or annual event. In order to gain true operating sufficiency, Transitional Housing will need to raise funds throughout the year. Consequently, one of the main tasks of the Executive Director will be fundraising.

Funding Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
United Way $115,000 $125,000 $135,000
Federal Government $70,000 $75,000 $75,000
Local Government $38,500 $15,000 $15,000
Corporations/Individuals $60,000 $65,000 $65,000
Organizational Activities $20,500 $15,000 $17,000
Total Funding $304,000 $295,000 $307,000
Direct Cost of Funding Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Expenses for Organizational Activities $2,460 $1,800 $2,040
Administrative Expenses $41,040 $39,825 $41,445
Subtotal Cost of Funding $43,500 $41,625 $43,485

5.4 Milestones

Transitional Housing has identified several important milestones for the organization. Each one must be achieved in a timely manner in order to stay on schedule. Please review the following table for a breakdown of the pertinent information regarding the milestones.

Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Business plan completion 1/1/2004 2/1/2004 $0 Amy Business development
Board of Trustees established 1/1/2004 2/15/2004 $0 Amy Business Development
First large funds secured 1/1/2004 3/30/2004 $0 Amy Fundraising
Operational sufficiency 1/1/2004 4/30/2005 $0 Amy Operations
Totals $0