Choices in Action

No one should be homeless to include Veterans

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA   |  choicesinaction.org

Mission

Choices In Action (CIA) is dedicated to providing life-sustaining services for Veterans and their families. Specifically, CIA was adopted to present Veterans with permanent housing in financially thriving communities. CIA is a strong supporter of mental health recovery. With aggressive and proactive use of various housing placement approaches coupled with traditional comprehensive case management services; CIA seeks to endorse several actions aimed at achieving victory over mental illness. Through broadminded advocacy, CIA has accepted the responsibility to ensure that all people with mental illness are given respect, dignity, and the opportunity to achieve their full potential free from stigma and prejudice.

Ruling year info

2018

Principal Officer

La Fawn Brito

Main address

30511 Avenida de las Flores #1001

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

51-0595223

NTEE code info

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

Housing Expense Reduction Support, Rent Assistance (L82)

Other Mental Health, Crisis Intervention N.E.C. (F99)

IRS filing requirement

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

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The rate of homelessness will never reach zero because of Racial inequality, Economic inequality, Scholastic inequality, and society's insufficient acceptance of mental illness. Our Veterans inherit unique psychological and physical traumas from fighting America's wars. For that reason, there is a need to introduce radical changes to an antiquated system among governmental, societal, and communal entities regarding the diagnosed and undiagnosed emotional scars that Veterans carry. Military employment does not always translate or transfer into the civilian workforce. In the civilian sector, every employee is not guaranteed lifetime medical care or retirement benefits. The employment practices of the military are no different -- all veterans are not entitled to medical care, disability compensation, and retirement.

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?

Veterans Permanent Housing

Choices In Action is a mobile organization that will serve as an apartment locator and rent negotiator for Veterans who are homeless. Monthly, Choices In Actions seeks to place 8 homeless Veterans in permanent housing and with each operating year increase the number of Veterans to be housed.

Choices In Action will search for one and two-bedroom apartments in financially thriving communities within the cities of Orange County California, negotiate the monthly rental fee 10% - 15% below market value, and provide each Veteran program participant with a one-time gift of $600 to be used for the apartment security deposit. Additionally, Choices In Action will have a contractual partnership with rental management to accept $600 as payment in full for a security deposit.

Upon move-in, Choices In Action will supply the Veteran occupant with new household furnishings to include cleaning supplies and present a nutritious food basket to cover meals for 7-days. This housing program is tied to comprehensive case management services to assist the other needs of Veterans.
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The Choices In Action Veteran Housing Program has the following components:
1. Locate and secure rental apartments
2. Fund motel stays for transition
3. Provide Security Deposit gift for rental apartments
4. Distribute no-cost initial Household Furnishings and supplies
5. Present one-time Nutrition Basket
6. Allocate Case Management Services for 1 year

Population(s) Served
Social and economic status

For those Veterans who can and want to work. Viable employment is more than a means to an end. Employment offers independence, social interactions, and the ability to be creative which all contribute to one’s purpose in life.

The CEO and Program Director will seek out employers who will be committed to helping people meet or exceed their personal expectations. Choices In Action anticipates that 4 Veterans per month will seek employment.

In addition to a laptop computer, all employment seekers will receive the following individualized and personalized assistance from Choices In Action’s Case Managers:

A) One-to-one guidance with locating employment with accommodations
B) Writing professional resumes
C) Completing applications
D) Coaching for interviews (mock interviews)
E) A gift voucher of $200 for the purchase of 1st and 2nd interview clothing
F) Male or Female Hair services gift valued at $100

CEO = 10% of salary dedicated to this component
Program Director = 5% of salary dedicated to this component
Case Manager = 15 % of salary dedicated to this companent

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Low-income people
Working poor

Case Management includes a host of psychological supports
Choices In Action staff will consistently assess and evaluate the needs of the Veterans (before, during, and after housing placement). Not all Veterans receive disability compensation, therefore if a Veteran desires to file a claim, the staff of Choices In Action will lend their expertise by providing education and claim filing assistance.

Additionally, a lack of credit or poor credit may have been the cause of housing displacement. Living in California and not having reliable transportation can impede employment. Therefore, at no cost to program participants, Choices In Action will provide Credit Repair Services which will help Veterans take control of their finances. Depending on the circumstances, some Veterans will become financially sound to the extend of owning their own home with the assistance of VA Home Loans.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Veterans
Homeless people
Veterans

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Charting impact

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

Choices In Action's Goals
1: To decrease the number of homeless Veterans in Orange County California
2: To remove the financial barriers associated with homelessness
3. To foster the ability for program participants to use their skills for employment

Choices In Action's Strategies:

1. To house 8 Veterans a month in permanent rental apartments 10% to 15% below market value
2. To provide program participants with transitional accommodations while waiting for apartment rental tasks to be completed
3. To provide program participants with a security deposit of $600 and to give a gift of new household furnishings
4. To increase self-esteem, financial self-sufficiency and to build human capital

Choices In Action was not established as a "get rich quick scheme". To date, there has not been one organization that has been able to eradicate homelessness. Choices In Action will not add to the challenges Veterans face when seeking assistance from the Veterans Administration system. The founder of Choice In Action has taken her personal negative experiences with negotiating through the VA system and developed a mindset of what not to do when providing case management to Veterans. Additionally, the best way to reach Veterans who are homeless is to meet them at their physical location. Therefore, Choices In Action was formed as a mobile organization. Each day, the staff of Choices In Action will comb the streets in search of Veterans who are in need of holistic psychosocial solutions.

The founder I have been a Social Worker for 18 years, therefore she is well-suited to carry out the proposed tasks involved with operating Choices In Action. In 2021, Choices In Action will gain traction, growth, and strength. When the founder penned the program design, she did so with the notion of remaining a small organization (employing no more than 10 individuals). As a small organization, we will reduce administrative overhead, deliver quick results, have greater success when providing individualized case management services, and will maintain strict accountability. The existence of Choices In Action is not rooted in a scientific method, years of research, or statistical formulas. The evidence to make Choices In Action a success is simple ...as individuals, what we do for ourselves -- we will do for others.

Unfortunately, Choices In Action has not made strides in obtaining funding. However, for the current year, Choices In Action will be aggressive with the attainment of grant funding.

Financials

Choices in Action
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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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Choices in Action

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

La Fawn Brito


Board co-chair

Joan Macharia

Choices In Action

Term: 2018 -

La Fawn Brito

Chief Executive Officer

Joan Macharia

President

Torriel Harris

Secretary (Fund Raising Event Planner)

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 ? Yes
  • 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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/9/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data