Coalition for the Homeless

“She took the time to get to know us….”

The Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County was established in 1982 to develop, advocate and coordinate community strategies to prevent and end homelessness in the sprawling Texas metropolitan area. The Coalition does not provide direct services to clients, but rather serves as the backbone organization to the many service providers, government agencies and other community partners that do in America’s 4th-largest city. The need for this work was greatly magnified in 2017 by the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which dumped 51 inches of rain that flooded hundreds of thousands of families’ homes. Coalition partners worked tirelessly to keep those experiencing homelessness safe and dry and today continue to work to address the needs of over 27,000 unaccompanied youth, veterans and families with children who access homeless services each year.

Lynn Lohr, Chief Operating Officer, learned about Your Part-Time Controller when she attended a YPTC Financial Series program about new FASB rules at the United Way of Greater Houston. She immediately became an instant fan. “I was very impressed. I had a chance to chat with Houston Office Manager Tanya Pal. She sounded like she was really on top of things. Everything she said resonated exactly with what we needed to stabilize this organization,” she says. “She was thorough, asked great questions about our short-term and long-term needs, and identified issues and what we needed to step up our reporting. She took the time to get to know us.”

YPTC Associate Ashley Garcia was assigned to work with the Coalition, whose financial reporting systems are quite complex. The Coalition relies heavily on extensive grant funding from multiple city, county and state government entities plus United Way, so grants management is a critical responsibility.

“Ashley has been such a gift to us,” says Lohr. “She cleaned up our general ledger so that we have accurate reporting for our board and gives us auditable data for our audit. We had previously gotten a low score on our United Way organizational review and been denied funding based on our financials. Thanks to Ashley’s expertise and reporting excellence the United Way, after receiving our financials, granted us another review and after that they gave us funding.”

In addition to reconstructing the balance sheet and profit-and-loss statements to more accurately reflect the organization’s condition, Ashley also goes to finance committee and board meetings and is preparing materials for the audit. She accompanied Coalition staff members to attend a seminar in New Orleans on grants management. “She has really upped our reporting and that keeps her very busy. We feel very blessed and fortunate to have her on our team,” adds Lohr.

“Thank you and YPTC for giving us Ashley and having access to all your staff at YPTC. I tell everyone I come in contact with about your organization.”