Human Services

Meet Each Need with Dignity

  • Pacoima, CA
  • www.mendpoverty.org

Mission Statement

With dignity and respect, powered by volunteers, MEND's mission is to break the bonds of poverty by providing basic human needs and a pathway to self-reliance.

Main Programs

  1. MEND Emergency Foodbank
  2. MEND Medical and Eye Care Clinic
  3. MEND Dental Clinic
  4. MEND Clothing Center
  5. MEND Education and Training Center
  6. Youth Services
  7. Home Visiting and Referral Services
  8. Job Training
  9. Homeless Services
  10. Home Garden Training
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

MEND serves individuals at or below the federal poverty guidelines in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

ruling year

1976

Interim CEO

Self-reported

Jenny Gutierrez

Keywords

Self-reported

food, non-profit, donate, planned giving, hunger, clothing, medical dental vision care, education and training, poverty, aid, food bank, volunteer

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Also Known As

MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity

EIN

23-7306337

Physical Address

10641 N. San Fernando Rd.

Pacoima, 91331 2626

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Ambulatory Health Center, Community Clinic (E32)

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

In 2012 MEND raised $11,626,960 in cash and in kind donations. 94.7% of
that was spent on program services to help those in need, 0.2% was spent on the
Capital Campaign, 2.1% on administration and other expenses, and 3% of that
was spent on fundraising. More than 4,400 individuals volunteered 167,982
hours during 2012. MEND was named California's 2012 Non Profit of Year by the Governor's Office.
The following departments had the following number of service encounters:
Emergency Food Department-249,859 total encounters, Clothing Center- 163,380 encounters,
Christmas Program- 5,965 encounters, Medical Clinic- 6,218 encounters, Home
Visiting Program- 1,447 encounters, Dental Clinic- 4,553 encounters, Homeless
Shower Program- 1,295 encounters.
Notably, the Education and Training Center had 567 students, the Computer
Lab had 291 students, and the Sewing Program had 67 students. The Job Skills
Training Program had 251 total participants.

For 2013, MEND hopes to further their goals:
Goal 1: Provide opportunities for each volunteer seeking to help those
living in poverty
Goal 2: Strengthen or initiate services that demonstrate the ability to
move clients out of poverty more quickly and/or improve their quality of life
Goal 3: Establish MEND as the most identified agency on addressing
poverty issues throughout the San Fernando Valley
Goal 4: Develop and implement a financial plan that supports program
growth and sustainability
Goal 5: Initiate a facilities and technology update and maintenance plan

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

MEND Emergency Foodbank

MEND's Emergency Foodbank is the largest of its kind in Los Angeles that provides direct distribution to needy clients, and one of the largest in California. In addition to our onsite distribution, the Foodbank at MEND serves 36 other organizations offsite through its outreach programs towards its mission of alleviating the effects of hunger throughout the greater community. Our Foodbank regularly receives an "A" rating by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for adherence to food handling standards.
Emergency Food boxes are distributed three days each week and alternate Saturday mornings at the MEND Center, as well as four times per month from satellite operations. Each applicant is personally interviewed to assess needs, verify information and evaluate any special dietary requirements. The boxes provide a generous, nutritionally balanced three-day supply of emergency food, designed to help the families make ends meet, but not create a dependency on MEND.

MEND volunteers collect food from area supermarkets, churches, schools, businesses and other organizations. A significant amount of the food is distributed to more than 62 smaller pantries and charities in the area that also care for low-income people. Volunteers are always needed to sort food and pack boxes, drive trucks to pick up donated food, and other jobs that help to alleviate the hunger of the families we serve.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Homeless

Budget

$6,510,499.00

Program 2

MEND Medical and Eye Care Clinic

MEND operates a Medical, a Vision and a Dental Clinic, founded and developed by volunteer healthcare professionals. The clinics assist poor, uninsured, and medically under-served families who, otherwise, would not have access to these services.
The Medical Clinic provides basic ambulatory, hypertension, diabetic, vision, women's, acupuncture and chiropractic care to adults and children. Both Medical and Dental Clinics also provide education to the patients. When more specialized services are needed, the patients are given referrals to appropriate facilities nearby.

The Vision Clinic is a collaboration between MEND, the Lions Club and the San Fernando Valley Optometric Society. Vision screenings and eye glasses are provided at no charge to patients. When appropriate, referrals are made for cataract surgery at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, and this procedure for MEND clients is underwritten by the Auer Family Foundation.

Numerous doctors, optometrists, dentists, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists donate several hours of their time and skills each month. The clinics are in the process of increasing access to care and need doctors, dentists, dental assistants, optometrists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and more to expand the clinic hours of operation.

Program Success:

The goal of the project is to identify, educate, and screen low income, uninsured Hispanics. During the summer of 2010, MEND in collaboration with Project ALTO, offered a Diabetes education class. The class had high participation and a group of 27 MEND patients graduated from the class.

 

Established with a Kaiser Panorama City health education nurse who continues as the volunteer instructor for the program . The program has now become an on-going MEND program that rotates 10-15 high risk diabetic patients through the classes each quarter. With this dedication, we were able to create the first ever Health Education Committee that incorporates material already proven in Kaiser health education including: and exercise session, supervised grocery shopping trips with a complimentary grocery gift card, and a healthy food box as an incentive for patients to identify and tackle their disease. One overall success has been that all of the particpants in this pilot program have lowered their cholesterol level.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

None

Budget

$1,027,303.00

Program 3

MEND Dental Clinic

MEND operates a Medical, a Vision and a Dental Clinic, founded and developed by volunteer healthcare professionals. The clinics assist poor, uninsured, and medically under-served families who, otherwise, would not have access to these services.

Primary dental services provided include cleanings, fillings, extractions, sealants and some endodontic procedures. Oral Surgery is also provided on site, and periodontal visits are available as needed. Fluoride treatments for children are provided twice yearly. A strong Oral Hygiene Education program is also in place to ensure patient awareness of oral hygiene. Patients are provided with free toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, appropriate educational literature, and any necessary medications. In collaboration with the San Fernando Valley Dental Society, MEND Dental Clinic also provides free dental screenings and fluoride treatment to over 500 children during the annual Give Kids a Smile event in February.

Numerous doctors, optometrists, dentists, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists donate several hours of their time and skills each month. The clinics are in the process of increasing access to care and need doctors, dentists, dental assistants, optometrists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and more to expand the clinic hours of operation.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

None

Budget

$954,945.00

Program 4

MEND Clothing Center

The Clothing Center distributes clothing four days a week at the MEND Center and the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. Each recipient is given an allotment of clothes items for each member of the immediate family. The Clothing Center also helps by offering blankets during the winter months, house wares and small appliances all year long, holiday gifts at Christmas and toiletries for the homeless. Clients are placed on a waiting list for items not readily available.
Volunteers are always needed to sort clothing, distribute clothing, pick up donated clothing and other tasks that help MEND to operate its Clothing Center.

The Clothing Center also hosts a Bi-Annual Baby Shower. The event includes guest speakers from local social service agencies, educational workshops, luncheon and baby shower games. Additionally clients receive a new car seat and a goody bag filled with newborn essentials such as diapers and blankets.

"Project Glamour" is another event hosted by the Clothing Center. The Clothing Distribution Center is closed to create a "Boutique". Racks of prom dresses, shoes, purses and accessories are displayed. Both parents and young female clients are invited to the event. The parents participate in a parenting workshop while the youngsters participate in a personal development workshops. Once the girls have put together their complete outfit they are treated with getting their hair professionally styled.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

None

Budget

$2,170,715.00

Program 5

MEND Education and Training Center

The Education & Training Center at MEND includes English as Second Language Classes and a Computer Lab.

ESL classes run in three fifteen-week sessions a year. Four ESL class levels are offered. At the end of each session included in the culminating activities are awards and certificates for attendance, leadership, and achievement. Spanish classes are also offered. Students in this class want to achieve the following goals: learn the basics of Spanish grammar; maintain a basic conversation in Spanish; and be able to spell, write, and pronounce correctly basic Spanish vocabulary. The Basic Spanish Literacy course, offered from Tuesday to Thursday, is an effective remedial program for adults who are illiterate in their native language. English literacy class is available for adults who can come and learn to read and write the language before they take ESL. Sewing class teaches students to operate a sewing machine, work with a pattern, cut, sew and complete projects from pin cushion to apron, chemise, skirt, blouse, pajama and party dress. To showcase their finished materials, a fashion show is held once a year. There is a Saturday handicraft class to teach students how to make projects that they can potentially sell on their own such as flowers, bags/baskets, origami and paper tole. Other classes are Guitar, Citizenship, GED and summer Arts and Crafts for kids.

The Computer Lab provides two levels of computer classes for adults in four 12 week sessions. All students practice keyboarding and basic Microsoft Word and Excel functions, internet access and e-mail. Level 2 covers more advanced functions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They learn to make business cards, create flyers, greeting cards and business letter formats. Some are assisted in developing a resume and doing on-line job searches. Students receive a Certificate upon completion of the courses. Due to an extensive waiting list, students are only allowed to repeat a course once.

The After-School program and Tutoring Center include homework help and one-to-one tutoring for students at risk for academic failure. Saturday Academy focuses primarily on Math, Reading, Science and Computer skills. Enrichment activities include recreational activities, service in the Community Garden and educational field trips. The families participate in Back to School and Christmas events sponsored by churches where they receive a complete outfit, school supplies and toys from their Santa lists. All students are assessed and individual plans are made for each. Progress is reflected in approved grades on their report cards.

Computer teachers, children's tutors and Lab assistant are all volunteers. 

.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

None

Budget

$272,164.00

Program 6

Youth Services

MEND Youth Services include a homework club, one-to-one tutoring, a Saturday Academy, and enrichment programs. The Saturday Academy focuses primarily on math, reading, science, and computer skills. Enrichment activities include recreational activities, service in MEND’s community garden, and educational field trips.

Families participate in back-to-school and Christmas events sponsored by churches in which students receive a complete outfit, school supplies, and toys from their Santa lists. All students are assessed and given individual learning plans. Progress is reflected in improved grades on their report cards.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

Program 7

Home Visiting and Referral Services

Since MEND was founded in 1971, home visitation has been a cornerstone of its operations. In this program, trained MEND volunteers meet with families, assess their household situation, and refer them to appropriate MEND programs or community agencies. The emphasis of these visits is to personalize MEND’s services and to provide additional help to families with critical needs.

Information and referral services are provided at the MEND office on weekdays. Office workers help clients complete application forms or other paperwork, make phone calls, or write letters; refer them as needed to other organizations; or just lend a listening ear.

Volunteers are always needed to conduct home visits and provide support from the MEND office by making referrals for clients and serving as advocates

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

Program 8

Job Training

MEND offers a variety of training opportunities to provide the skills low-income clients need to improve their wage-earning potential and get better jobs. Training days and times vary depending on the program chosen. Current training programs include food service, dental assistant training, warehouse/inventory control, and sewing classes

Category

Employment

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

Program 9

Homeless Services

MEND offers a shower program to its homeless clients and those who otherwise do not have access to a washroom. In 2013, the program had 1411 total encounters. Information about the shower program is distributed to various homeless service agencies. Once a client registers with MEND, he or she can use the shower facilities every Tuesday.

In addition, all day Tuesday, MEND’s homeless clients have access to toiletries, hot meals, a box of nutritious food meant to last 3 to 4 days, clean clothing, and MEND’s wide array of referral services.

To help, please donate clean towels, men’s casual clothing, and toiletry items to the MEND Clothing Center. Click here for a full list of items we need.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Homeless

None

Budget

Program 10

Home Garden Training

MEND launched it’s Home Garden program in its latest effort to relieve the effects of poverty and empower disadvantaged families with greater food security. In partnership with Tree People and thanks to a generous grant from Wells Fargo, families have participated in gardening classes, had home gardens installed and planted, and will continue to receive support to sustain them.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

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?
    Strategic Initiative 1: Each of MEND program services are enhanced by expanding and strengthening their job training programs.
    MEND Goal 1.1: 1000 clients are prepared by MEND to be employment ready.
    MEND Goal 1.2: MEND Clients become "Interview Ready"
    MEND Goal 1.3: MEND Clients become "Employment Ready"

    Strategic Initiative 2: Each MEND program services demonstrate that we "break the bonds of poverty" by diminishing the barriers that prevent clients from achieving self reliance.
    MEND Goal 2.1: MEND demonstrates effectiveness in "breaking the bonds of poverty".
    MEND Goal 2.2:MEND core services enhance their ability to meet their to meet clients' basic needs to provide opportunities and self-reliance.
    MEND Goal 2.3:MEND health service programs enhance their ability to meet clients' health needs to improve client quality of life.
    MEND Goal 2.4: MEND educations programs enhance their ability to meet clients' educational needs.

    Strategic Initiative 3: Volunteer centered operations continuously increase and track the number of lay, skilled and professional volunteers to enhance all of MEND's services.
    MEND Goal 3.1: MEND has sufficient pool of qualified volunteers to meet the clients' needs.
    MEND Goal 3.2: MEND has a high quality orientation program.
    MEND Goal 3.3 MEND has implemented systems to track businesses, schools and community groups that volunteer.
    MEND Goal 3.4: MEND has implemented a technology plan to improve volunteer recruitment, tracking and retention.

    Strategic Initiative 4: Board Development-MEND has a fully developed board which provides access to financial and other needed resources.
    MEND Goal 4.1: MEND has a fully developed board which provides access to financial and other needed resources.

    Strategic Initiative 5: Fiscal Dependability - MEND has a sound financial plan that supports program growth and sustainability.
    MEND Goal 5.1: MEND has a sound financial plan that supports program growth and sustainability.
    Strategic Initiative 6: Marketing and Communications - MEND continues to become a household name.
    MEND Goal 6.1: MEND becomes a household name through communication efforts.
    MEND GOAL 6.2: MEND becomes a household name through marketing efforts.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Strategies for Strategic Initiative 1:
    Strengthen the OJT Program. Provide training in job acquisition skills.

    Strategies for Strategic Initiative 2:
    Implement and employ Efforts to Outcomes Client Database. Develop new evaluation criteria. Increase nutritional knowledge and awareness. Provide case management to new households. Increase MEND's inventory clothing items. Implement health education classes to reduce BMI of obese patients. Convert all dental patient charts and radiographs to electronic dental records. Increase recruitment of volunteer teachers. Establish an Advisory Committee to implement a "Teacher Academy" for adult ESL instructors. Strengthen the Computer Lab Program. Strengthen Youth Services Program.

    Strategies for Strategic Initiative 3:
    Increase volunteer recruitment. Establish appropriate skill based criteria for volunteers. Train staff on Raiser's Edge volunteer database. Develop online volunteer page where potential volunteers can register, apply, schedule a tour and sign up for orientation.

    Strategies in support of Strategic Initiative 4:
    Expand MEND's Governing Board membership. Expand and maintain a membership of at least 25 Program Board participants that include subject matter experts in fields related to MEND's services. Involve MEND Board members in growing MEND's income from the annual gala, and introducing potential major gift donors to MEND. Review Governing Board personal contribution requirement annually. Provide board fund raising training annually. Recruit young professionals to help launch a Young Professionals Board. Form a Governing Board Task Force in 2013-2014 to explore options for expanded parking as well as future remodeling or expansion of the Van Nuys building.

    Strategies for Strategic Initiative 5:
    Implement an annual Major Gifts Campaign. Develop a "Planned Giving" program for implementation. Continue to utilize a volunteer committee of grant writers to send grant proposals to businesses and foundations annually. Continue to refine MEND's Direct Mail Program. Engage new, younger donors in supporting MEND using social media. Introduce new donors and involve current stakeholders via special events. Conduct annual raffle in conjunction with Volunteer Recognition dinner. Increase MEND's visibility and generate revenue through cause related marketing. Encourage continued and increased giving through donor cultivation and other activities. Determine greatest needs for additional support of MEND's Development Program and hire an additional staff position. Increase MEND's access to financial and other resources through board development. Designate resources to ensure MEND's facilities are well maintained.
    Strategies for Strategic Initiative 6:
    Implement annually an integrated multi-media and multi-platform plan for expanding MEND's visibility in the community.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The primary key to MEND's success is it's over 5,000 volunteers who perform 99% of the collective work of our organization. We also have collaborations with over 370 other groups that not only assist us to provide our services to our clients but also offer referrals to other agencies that provide services not available at MEND. Finally, we have a number of foundations, businesses and individuals who support MEND financially, many of whom have been contributors for a number of years.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Monthly program reports are prepared for MEND's different programs showing monthly and year-to-date statistics on persons served and volunteer hours. MEND also has a formalized strategic planning process. A long-term plan is developed at a Board and Staff retreat and is updated periodically. The President/CEO reports to the combined annual meeting of our Governing and Program Boards in the spring of each year on the progress MEND is making towards the goals.

    Using the MEND Strategic Plan as a guide, each department staff projects goals and timelines for the year ahead and each department head then reports to his/her supervisor during monthly meetings as to goal activity and accomplishments. Every department is required to conduct evaluation activities during the course of a year on program components that are customized to the nature of the program.

    Through the implementation of the “Efforts to Outcomes" client software, we have been able to track clients and their use of MEND's services to better understand their needs and help them on their path towards self-reliance. Program manages have enhanced the use of the database, allowing them to compile accurate monthly reports and identify clients and families who are eligible to participate in various programs.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Since its humble beginnings in 1971, MEND has become one of the most comprehensive and empowering poverty relief agencies in Los Angeles County, serving in 2015 an average of over 37,800 individuals each month with a full range of services designed to meet basic needs and move recipients on to self-reliance. We are proud of our holistic approach to relieving the effects of poverty, as evidenced by the broad array of services provided, and the opportunity to access these services through many client entry points.

    We continue to strive to meet the many needs of our clients and will expand our existing services and provide new, innovative services as the need arises.
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

MEND serves individuals at or below the federal poverty guidelines in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

Social Media

Funding Needs

A foundation underwrote the expense of an analysis and consultation from the Nonprofit Finance Fund regarding MEND's financial health. NFF recommended that MEND pursue more unrestricted funds in the form of grants and gifts from individuals. While MEND welcomes grants that are designated for specific programs (i.e. medical, food, education, etc), the dramatic increase in client applications for certain programs means that our administrative staff needs the flexibility to allocate financial resources to the areas of greatest need

Videos

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Financials

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

MEND-MEET EACH NEED WITH DIGNITY
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

Meet Each Need with Dignity

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Interim CEO

Jenny Gutierrez

BIO

Jenny Gutierrez, MEND Interim CEO and Chief Operating Officer, focuses on excellence in her leadership of MEND's programs, human resources, financial management and facilities management. She has completed several regional leadership training programs, and her particular passions revolve around team building, creative problem solving and coaching for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. Ms. Gutierrez received her B.S. in Health Science and a Masters in Public Health from California State University, Northridge, and has used this background in her community board service. Her work with MEND began on a volunteer basis in 1996; she was later hired by our agency and served in several staff positions prior to being promoted to COO in 2008.

She currently oversees a volunteer work force of more than 5000 individuals annually who give the equivalent in hours to more than 106 full-time employees, and a paid staff of 33. MEND's annual cash budget is approximately $3 million, with an additional $9 million coming through in-kind donations of food, clothing, and medicines.

STATEMENT FROM THE Interim CEO

"MEND is volunteer-powered at every level, from service delivery to fundraising to public relations, and our 5000+ volunteers are supported by a small staff of 32 employees. This keeps our overhead costs low at around 6% and allows MEND to focus our cash and in-kind revenues on the people who need it the most. Because MEND does not rely on government contracts to operate our services, we welcome donations from individuals, businesses and foundations."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Jocelyn Guihama

UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

Term: July 2016 -

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?