PLATINUM2024

Breakthrough

Our mission begins and ends with people

Chicago, IL   |  www.breakthrough.org

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Mission

Breakthrough partners with people to build connections, develop skills, and open doors of opportunity.

Ruling year info

1992

Executive Director

Yolanda Fields

Main address

PO Box 47200

Chicago, IL 60647 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-3810926

NTEE code info

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Breakthrough is intentionally located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, a hard-working west side community with 180 acres of park land, active block clubs, generations-old churches, and longstanding residents committed to maintaining presence in the community. The community has also faced historical disinvestment over the last 50 years. This significant disinvestment of resources has led to increased poverty. In East Garfield Park, 76.7% of residents do not have a college degree, and the majority of households (53%) earn less than $25,000 per year. Over 45% of residents live below the poverty level and over 19% of residents are unemployed (CMAP 2022). Life expectancy in East Garfield Park is 66, which is 14 years less than the Loop (Chicago Health Atlas). Violence is also an on-going barrier to health in the community. Breakthrough is located in Chicago’s 11th Police District; in 2020 this district experienced more shootings and homicides than any other district in the city.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Education & Youth Development

The Breakthrough Youth Network works with youth and their families to overcome the forces of poverty and transform East Garfield Park into a place where success becomes the norm and families prosper. Programming focuses on not only a student’s academic performance, but also other key factors of success such as parent involvement, leadership opportunities, promoting healthy lifestyles, and violence prevention. The BYN includes four key program areas: (1) Breakthrough Beginners (early childhood education for ages 2-5), (2) the Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program (afterschool and summer enrichment), (3) the London Johnson Arts and Technology Academy (interactive and engaging STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math] opportunities), (4) the Breakthrough Sports and Fitness Academy (60+ sports offerings), and (5) Breakthrough Beyond for ages 14-24 who are in high school and post-secondary programs.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Breakthrough’s Behavioral Health program helps individuals improve self-management skills and provides wellness services for all ages. We provide on-site access to medical and mental health care, trauma-informed care, and resources for developing healthy behaviors.

The Fresh Market is a client-choice food pantry that provides groceries and various supplies to families in East Garfield Park. Residents also receive access to legal aid, food stamps, housing and employment information, financial management, GED certification and family workshops.

Population(s) Served

Breakthrough’s Daytime Support Centers connect adults to a variety of resources including food, safe space, showers, laundry, clean clothing, access to computers, and more. Individuals are connected to medical and mental health resources, employment training, and housing assistance with the goal of reducing crisis and homelessness while building stability.

Breakthrough’s Transitional Housing Program works alongside men and women experiencing homelessness to secure permanent or more stable housing and increase income within a 120-day goal through strong case management and connections to resources.

Breakthrough’s Permanent Supportive Housing program provides stable housing for individuals and families who are the hardest to house. Participants receive case management support to identify, set, and reach goals related to their stability, well-being, and growth. As part of this program, Breakthrough manages 43 single apartments across Chicago and 11 units of housing for families.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

Through people, partnerships, and an integrated approach to addressing the impacts of systemic economic injustices, Breakthrough’s Community Economic Development program provides education, work experience, and supportive services so that individuals increase skills, gain and retain employment, and access to resources and opportunities that promote individual economic stability, wealth creation, and a community of strong contributors and leaders.

Breakthrough provides services across 5 key domains that meet residents where they are at on their personal financial journey: Employment Services, Financial Coaching, Income Support, Homeownership Education, and Small Business Development.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Self-employed people
Working poor

Breakthrough provides a long-term, comprehensive approach to reducing violence in Chicago for adolescents and adults ages 13+. Through prevention, intervention, and restoration, Breakthrough’s Violence Prevention team works year-round to increase hope in the community by creating opportunities for residents most at risk of violence to pursue a safe, stable, and engaged East Garfield Park.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Adolescents
Widows and widowers

Where we work

Accreditations

Early Childhood Gold Circle of Quality, IL 2023

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2018)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students who exhibit kindergarten readiness

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Education & Youth Development

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Breakthrough Beginners preschool program

Number of low-income families housed in affordable, well-maintained units as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Related Program

Housing

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Family Housing program

Number of participants who gain employment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Economic Opportunity

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Community Economic Development program

Number of people within the organization's service area accessing food aid

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Health & Wellness

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Fresh Market food pantry

Number of homeless participants engaged in mental health services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Health & Wellness

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Behavioral Health program

Number of referrals to resources offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Violence Prevention

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Violence Prevention program

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

Breakthrough partners with people to build connections, develop skills, and open doors of opportunity. Breakthrough envisions a safe, stable, engaged Garfield Park where success is the norm and everyone thrives. Through a geographic focus on Garfield Park, Breakthrough aims to develop community partnerships to create deep and holistic change in the neighborhood through innovative service offerings in housing, economic development, violence reduction, and neighborhood health services.

Breakthrough serves over 15,000 local residents (over two-thirds of the East Garfield Park community) through an integration of core service areas focused on Education and Youth Development, Economic Opportunity, Housing, Health & Wellness, and Violence Prevention. Programs include transitional and permanent supportive housing, behavioral health supports, career readiness training, street outreach and case management, a food pantry, and youth programs from cradle to career; walking with students from preschool, into after school and sports programs, and onto high school and college preparation.

Breakthrough is a community-based nonprofit operating multiple programs across five major focus areas: Housing, Health & Wellness, Community Economic Development, Education & Youth Development, and Violence Prevention. Breakthrough operates out of five facilities and serves over 15,000 people annually.

HOUSING
Homeless Intervention services include three core programs: Daytime Support Centers which are open Monday – Friday, 9 .am. to 3 p.m., two Transitional Housing shelters for 30 men and 30 women, and 43 Permanent Supportive Housing units across the city. The program uses a trauma-informed model and offers access to wraparound services such as medical and behavioral health care, food access, employment programming, and basic emergency services.

HEALTH & WELLNESS
Breakthrough provides behavioral health and on-site therapy services for participants, healthy food access through Breakthrough’s food pantry, access to a state-of-the-art fitness center, and on-site medical services through a partnership with Lawndale Christian Health Center.

COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (CED)
Breakthrough’s CED programs foster financial wellness by providing education, work experience, and supportive services so that individuals can become economically stable and strong community contributors. The CED provides services across 5 key domains: Employment training, Financial Coaching to increase financial literacy, Income Support to expand access to benefits, Housing Education so individuals are ready for homeownership, and Small Business coaching to help individuals launch new businesses in the community.

EDUCATION & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The BYN offers five comprehensive youth programs that operate year-round: (1) Breakthrough Beginners: high-quality affordable early childhood education, (2) Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program (NBSAP): after-school and summer year-round enrichment programming, (3) London Johnson Arts & Technology Academy (LJATA): STEAM-based programming, (4) Sports & Fitness Academy: character-building sports leagues year-round, (5) Breakthrough Beyond: economically-focused post-secondary program. Youth participants and their families have access to on-site behavioral health services including individual and group therapy.

VIOLENCE PREVENTION (VP)
The VP team provides services across 4 key areas: (1) Street Outreach services that respond to violent incidents in the community 24 hours a day, (2) Case Management services, providing wraparound and referral support to individuals impacted by violence, (3) Victim Services, offering year-round support to families who recently experienced shootings or homicides, and (4) Light in the Night large-scale community events to reclaim public spaces for safety and community cohesion.

Breakthrough’s new 2027 Strategic Plan establishes goals and objectives in four major
categories: (1) growth and integration, (2) advocacy, (3) organizational excellence, and (4)
geographic expansion. Breakthrough will grow partnerships externally while improving
collaboration internally and taking care of its workforce. In partnership with the community,
Breakthrough believes that pursuing these goals will help to create a safe, stable, engaged
Garfield Park where success is the norm and everyone thrives.

Breakthrough uses a detailed evaluation framework based on the Theory of Change model. Each program area has thoughtful Theories of Change with associated goals and measurable objectives, working towards the organization’s mission and strategic goals. Each month, outcomes are reported to Senior Leadership staff used to measure progress, recognize achievements, and determine any mid-course corrections.

Most of Breakthrough’s measurable objectives are related to participant engagement, overcoming external barriers, gaining knowledge or access to services, and receiving basic needs such as housing and food. In addition to tracking outcome numbers, evaluation is also a qualitative, relationship-based process. Many staff live within blocks of Breakthrough and are very much a part of the neighborhood. Because of this close connection to the community, staff receive constant feedback about the perception of Breakthrough programs by community members and program constituents.

All current data and outcomes can be found at breakthrough.org/data

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Breakthrough
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Breakthrough

Board of directors
as of 02/12/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Diane Rodriguez-Rand

The Greenwood Project, Director of Partnerships

Term: 2024 -

Yolanda Fields

Executive Director - Breakthrough

Deb Steiner

RRD, Chief Administrative Officer

Jenny Haas

Tampico, Chief Executive Officer

Terry Truax

Jenner & Block, Partner

Afua Owusu

Weigel Broadcasting Company, Executive Producer

Alejandra Esqueda Belmonte

Allstate, Procurement Director

Tim Anliker

BMO Harris Bank, Director and Team Lead, Corporate Banking

Rusty Bland

KeHE Cares Foundation, EVP Culture, President

Benjamin Wolf

Kraft Heinz Company, Sales Finance Team

Ralph Layden

Retired Entrepreneur

Chauncey Rice

Target, Director of Government Affairs

Allison Richman

A2 Real Estate Group, Principal & Co-Founder

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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 ? No
  • Ethics and 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/9/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/12/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.