Beth Southorn: Social Impact of LifeSTEPS Programs is Far-Reaching

According to internal analytics, LifeSTEPS provided transformative services to 20,281 individuals during 2013, and provided continual access to services to over 70,000 residents. “LifeSTEPS’ mission is to strengthen individuals and families, and to create resilient communities,” says Beth Southorn, LifeSTEPS executive director. “What this tells me is that we are on mission.”

During 2013 LifeSTEPS provided services at 240 affordable communities in California. “Each month we serve ten percent of the population, and then that ten percent changes on a month-to-month basis as crises occur. ” While nearly 30% of the residents received direct enhanced social service assistance in 2013, the entire community receives tangible benefit. “Research is clear that communities where supportive social services are available experience more safety, security and stability.”

Southorn further explained that residents of modest means continually face challenges. “It’s like they are walking a tightrope without a safety net. Thankfully, because LifeSTEPS is available to residents on a continual basis, there is the potential to catch them before they fall because they know us and that we are on-site and ready to help when they need us the most.”

Over the past five years LifeSTEPS has experienced an annual growth of 15% in the number of affordable properties it serves. Because of this growth the agency is in a continual process of reviewing programs , ensuring resident needs are met, while introducing new initiatives that increase resident’s opportunities for success.

For example, in 2013 LifeSTEPS partnered with the Sacramento Public Library to increase participation of children in summer reading programs, while also increasing awareness of and access to the library’s resources that are available to adults. The program was so successful (66% completion rate versus 36% statewide average) that Southorn gave the go-ahead to expand the program statewide in 2014.

“We served over 11,000 children in 2013. Our goal is to not only increase the number of children we serve, but that they are all reading at grade-level.” Southorn said. “The social impact of this program alone can have a significant effect in breaking the cycle of poverty for many generations.”

To learn more about the full impact of LifeSTEPS’ programs during 2013, access LifeSTEPS Annual Report 2013.

For more information about LifeSTEPS services, contact Jim Phelps.

3 responses to "Beth Southorn: Social Impact of LifeSTEPS Programs is Far-Reaching"

  1. Crystal says:

    Powerful! Exceptional! Change agents!
    I’m still reading the report, and loving what I’ve read so far! Thanks for the update and information!
    What an organization…what IMPACT! It’s great to see it all laid out… another meaningful year of service!
    Wow! I love the mission, value and impact of LifeSTEPS!!!

  2. It’s like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this like you wrote the book on it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

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