Human Services

Person to Person, Inc.

  • Darien, CT
  • www.p2pHelps.org

Mission Statement

Person-to-Person is a community-supported agency that provides emergency assistance for basic needs, and support for individuals and families as they move towards stability.

Main Programs

  1. Emergency Assistance
  2. Campership
  3. Scholarship
Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

Lower Fairfield County, Connecticut:
Person-to-Person serves lower Fairfield County, including Stamford, Norwalk and the surrounding towns of Darien, Westport, Wilton, Weston and New Canaan.

ruling year

1995

Executive Director

Self-reported

Ms. Ceci Maher

Keywords

Self-reported

social service, emergency assistance, financial assistance, scholarship, campership

Notes from the Nonprofit

Get involved with Person-to-Person and help us to reach those in need in Lower Fairfield County. We rely on the support of more than 3,000 volunteers each year, and on donations of goods including food and clothing, which were valued at more than $7 million in 2013. If you would like to volunteer or to donate, please visit us at http://p2phelps.org/ Or give online at http://p2phelps.org/donate/.

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Also Known As

P2P

EIN

06-1422248

Physical Address

76 South Main Street

Norwalk, 06854

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Personal Social Services (P50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Each year, donors and volunteers make it possible for Person-to-Person to meet the immediate needs of families in crisis and provide a pathway out of poverty towards long-term stability. In 2015, Person-to-Person provided Emergency Assistance to 25,894 men, women and children in lower Fairfield County CT. Our two Food Pantries provided enough groceries for 759,255 nutritious meals; our Clothing Center provided 50,552 bags of free, new or gently-used clothing to low-income families; and 1,263 families received Emergency Financial Assistance from P2P totaling more than $390,210, to assist clients with payments for rent, security deposits and utilities. Also in 2015, the Person-to-Person Campership Program sent 443 Stamford public school children to local summer day camps, and our Scholarship Program provided $386,408 in scholarships to 114 students from low-income households to support their pursuit of higher education.
As stated by the Community Fund of Darien, Person-to-Person meets "a critical need in our community by servicing those citizens most in need. They are fiscally sound with outstanding leadership and management."
Greater financial resources, improved household stability and a sense of community support all cause client households to experience less material and psychological stress, and to feel more in control of their present and future situations. Reduced stress allows some of these households to work toward achieving their aspirations for themselves and their children - to stabilize their financial situation and gain self-sufficiency.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Emergency Assistance

The Emergency Assistance Program offers a safety net for more than 25,000 low-income people living in poverty in lower Fairfield County by providing food, clothing, and emergency financial assistance to keep families in their homes with utilities on.  Caseworkers provide budget counseling to help clients live within their means and work towards financial stability.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

None

Budget

10,874,233

Program 2

Campership

The Campership Program makes it possible for more than 550 Stamford children from low-income families to attend area day camps, keeping school-aged children safe and engaged during the summer months, and allowing parents to continue working or looking for work to support their families, without the added burden of stress and worry about their children’s safety.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

None

Budget

$280,000.00

Program 3

Scholarship

The Scholarship Program helps local high school graduates from low-income families to bridge the gap between the cost of higher education and the amount available to them.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

None

Budget

$300,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    For 48 years, Person-to-Person has served lower Fairfield County CT as a strong but quiet agency with a large impact on the lives of clients and volunteers; we are respected by all those who know and work with us. We are in a period of growth, having learned significant lessons regarding service provision as client numbers swelled during and after the recession. Now operating two locations in Darien and Norwalk, Person-to-Person seeks to grow our impact in lower Fairfield County, and broaden our reach to more of those who need our help. We are confident in our ability to provide services to more people without losing our hallmark of personal service in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. Ultimately, the desired result of Person-to-Person services is that every client and their family will be able to stay in their homes, with the utilities on and food on the table. Through the Campership and Scholarship Programs, we invest in the power of education to break the cycle of poverty, helping to close the achievement gap and move the client population out of poverty towards real careers and greater financial stability.
    In many meaningful ways, Person-to-Person has a significant, long-lasting impact not only on its clients and volunteers, but on generations to come. Food insecurity is known to have detrimental effects on children's school performance. Volunteering is known to benefit both volunteers and communities. Children of volunteers have a greater likelihood of volunteering themselves when they mature. Eviction is known to limit future shelter options and is associated with depression. Moving itself has a disruptive effect on children. The literature suggests that students who participate in P2P's Scholarship "Mentoring 4 Success" program will be less likely to drop out and more likely to succeed in college. In short, the available literature suggests that Person-to-Person is operating with a strong, verified Theory of Change.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    1. Growth Strategy
    Now operating facilities in both Darien and Norwalk, Person-to-Person works to maintain a high level of service to the communities served by the agency and responsive to the immediate needs of clients. We are utilizing technological improvements to improve efficiency of service delivery, and to facilitate improved tracking and reporting across agency programs.
    Our 20strategic goals include opening a third Food Pantry and Casework site in the South/East side of Stamford, within two years.
    More than half of Person-to-Person's clients are Stamford residents, but our services are reaching less than half of those struggling financially in the city. This third site will facilitate P2P's efforts to address issues of poverty in the City of Stamford, for the first time within walking distance for many in the community.
    The Stamford expansion is a major component of P2P's Strategic Plan. Currently, 60% of P2P's clients are Stamford residents, traveling to obtain services in Darien, yet the agency is only reaching 45% of the 30,000 people struggling to keep up financially in the city. Proximity to underserved neighborhoods will facilitate additional support to the community. About 16,000 people live with food-insecurity in Stamford, but less than 25% of that population has received food assistance from P2P; for many clients finding transportation to Darien is difficult. A more accessible site and a physical presence in the city will increase this population's access to P2P's services. It is worth noting that 50% of Stamford Public School children participate in the National School Lunch program and 1 in 6 Fairfield County children do not know where their next meal is coming from. The presence of a Stamford location would alleviate the food-insecurity for many children and their families.

    2. Network Strategy
    Person-to-Person believes strongly that collaborations strengthen communities and reduce gaps and overlaps in service provision. We partner with more than 90 local organizations and service providers. P2P's Executive Director Ceci Maher sits on the Advisory Boards of multiple local agencies, and participates on the Accountability Committee of Norwalk ACTS, actively working towards a more seamless service provision in the greater Norwalk area. She is also an early participant with Stamford STRIVE, and her role in collaboratives such as these reflects the agency's commitment to working together with other groups to meet individual needs and to strengthen the community as a whole. Person-to-Person is working to strengthen existing partnerships and develop new partnerships with other agencies, funders, and organizations which can support volunteer recruitment efforts as well as efforts to attract support. Based on the impact of P2P's work in Norwalk, the Stamford site will offer a Food Pantry, Emergency Assistance, and Casework support, with the addition of on-site wrap-around support provided by partner agencies.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Person-to-Person is a unique, volunteer-driven agency with the flexibility to respond directly to client needs. We have consistently operated our three key programs since inception 48 years ago. We successfully adapt services to meet immediate client needs and work to alleviate the most persistent challenges in our community. Key strengths include our ability to respond directly to client needs; extensive partnerships in the communities we serve; and our volunteer base of more than 3,300 individuals, which enables us to do the work that we do while keeping administrative costs low so that more than 90% of all donations go directly to benefit clients.
    Over the past five decades, Person-to-Person has focused on advancing the agency's vision of communities of financially-stable, hunger-free homes, with educational opportunities for all. This year P2P will touch the lives of more than 25,000 individuals – including 10,000 children – in lower Fairfield County CT. Currently, we operate two sites, in Norwalk and Darien, serving the communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, Westport, and Weston. P2P is now in the next phase of our strategic plan, working to open a third site in Stamford CT to increase services for Stamford-area clients.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Person-to-Person has implemented a new Salesforce database in recent years for client and program tracking, improving our ability to monitor, evaluate and report on each area of service. During the current period of agency growth, Person-to-Person has set benchmarks for increases in agency support and increases in Emergency Financial Assistance provision at the new Stamford location over the next five years, and will continue, with the support of partners, to set and track progress against agency goals as they relate to all three sites.
    In 2014, P2P contracted external evaluators from Social Science Consultants (SSC) to perform a survey of the agency's impact. In their report, “Building a Stronger Community: An Evaluation of the Processes and Impact of Person-to-Person", they affirmed that “Person-to-Person's services stabilize households, preventing situational crises from having a domino effect on the lives of household members." According to the report, “Greater financial resources, improved household stability, and a sense of community support all cause client households to experience less material and psychological stress, and to feel more in control of their present and future situations."
    In addition, a review of internal data shows that, of the 1,945 households receiving either food or financial assistance from the agency in 2011:
    • 852 were no longer receiving assistance by 2012;
    • 1,132 were no longer receiving assistance by 2013;
    • 1,370 were no longer receiving assistance by 2014;
    Simply put, P2P's comprehensive package of support is addressing situational crises effectively, reducing food- and financial-insecurity for the households served.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Primary objectives for 2015 have been met, including strengthening the agency's governance and board structure, stabilizing P2P's sites in Darien and Norwalk, and launching the planning and execution of the expansion of services to a third site in Stamford CT. These activities address Person-to-Person's overall goal of strengthening service provision agency-wide in direct response to client needs.
    P2P provides rapid response to client emergencies and access to complementary services through partner agencies. To address situational crises P2P operates 2 Food Pantries, a Clothing Center, and provides Emergency Financial Assistance, primarily for housing and utilities. P2P's team of Caseworkers assist clients with a variety of needs including budget counseling, referrals to partner agencies for additional services, and for services P2P does not offer, advocacy for benefits, and general support as they take steps towards greater stability. Underscored by ample research on the effectiveness of education to lift individuals out of poverty, P2P offers Camperships to support elementary school children during the summer and Scholarships to college students. P2P's pilot program Mentoring 4 Success provides students with financial support as well as the support of an adult mentor who has committed to guide the student for all four years of their college education.
    Demand for services at both agency locations continues to remain high, reflecting the high cost of basic necessities in this area.
    Most notably programmatically, during 2015 P2P partnered with the Connecticut Food Bank's mobile food pantry to distribute groceries to low-income families on Stamford's Eastside. There are close to 16,000 people living with food-insecurity in Stamford and currently only about a third of this population receives food from the agency. In recognition of the unmet need in this community, in late summer 2015, P2P reached out to DOMUS to secure an appropriate site and worked with the Food Bank staff to send its mobile unit. P2P staff and volunteers work in concert with the Food Bank at monthly distributions and to promote the service. The mobile food pantry is already reaching several hundred families each month and will help to inform the agency as P2P continues to grow its service provision.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

Lower Fairfield County, Connecticut:
Person-to-Person serves lower Fairfield County, including Stamford, Norwalk and the surrounding towns of Darien, Westport, Wilton, Weston and New Canaan.

Social Media

Funding Needs

Funding is needed for General Operating, the Emergency Assistance Program, Campership Program and Scholarship Program.  Donations for the Emergency Assistance Program will assist us in providing emergency assistance to low-income individuals and families to help with basic necessities so they can remain in their homes with utilities turned on and have groceries to make meals.  Our Campership program enables low-income parents living in Stamford to keep working during the summer while their children are engaged in positive activities.  100% of all donations to this program go directly to fund Camperships. Funding to the Scholarship Program is needed.  Each year more students are looking to Person-to-Person for scholarships.  The scholarships help students bridge the gap between what is needed for tuition and books and what the students have earned and obtain through grants and other scholarships.  100% of all donations to the Scholarship Program go directly to fund scholarships.

Videos

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External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Person-To-Person Inc
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Person to Person, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Executive Director

Ms. Ceci Maher

BIO

Under Ceci's leadership, Person-to-Person has experienced a significant increase in budget, positioning the agency for growth in delivery of services and programs to a larger geographic area in Fairfield County. She instituted standards and practices to professionalize the agency, technology to collect data to provide outcomes, while at the same time increasing marketplace awareness of the P2P mission and corresponding achievements among key constituencies. A Stamford native, Ceci is a Licensed Master Social Worker with experience in leadership, long-range planning, program development, evaluation, fundraising and marketing. Her first career was in fashion marketing in NYC and involved product development in Asia and Europe. Post graduate school, Ceci was a clinical social worker at Four Winds Hospital working with children and youth, and served as Executive Director of Horizons National Student Enrichment Program for five years. A graduate of University of Massachusetts and Columbia University School of Social Work, Ceci has been the P2P Executive Director for 11 years. Ceci is a member of the Advisory Boards for Norwalk ACTS, Volunteer Square, and Community Plates, and a college coach/mentor for a student in the Wilton A Better Chance (ABC) program. She has completed the Women's Campaign School at Yale University and professional training at the Stanford Social Innovation Nonprofit Management Institute and the Harvard Business School Executive Education program.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"Person-to-Person is Lower Fairfield County's rapid-response emergency assistance agency, annually providing more than $12 million in food, clothing, financial assistance and interconnected services through the efforts of more than 3,300 volunteers, community support and a small, dedicated staff. At the heart of our mission since agency inception 48 years ago, the Emergency Assistance Program offers a safety net for low-income residents of lower Fairfield County by providing food, clothing and emergency financial assistance. We further invest in the power of education to break the cycle of poverty through the Campership Program, which provides a summer camp opportunity for hundreds of Stamford children from low-income families each year, and the Scholarship Program, providing needs-based support for the cost of higher education to local high school graduates from low-income families."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Avery Whidden

J.P. Morgan

Term: June 2016 - June 2019

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?