Community and History
In the Bronx, you can see incredible diversity: not just in culture and language but also in story, circumstance and need. The Bronx is also a community which has suffered from cycles of poverty for a number of generations. This puts our neighbors at greater risk for a host of issues, including food and housing insecurity, disadvantages in accessing employment and education, and poor medical and mental health outcomes. Not surprisingly, the Bronx has the highest percentage of people infected with COVID-19. And in the first seven weeks of the economic downturn, nearly 147,000 Bronx residents filed unemployment claims – nearly 25% of the labor force in the Bronx.
In 1982, a group of people started a soup kitchen in the Bronx. Over the years it has grown into an esteemed Bronx institution where each client is seen as a valued member of a loving community, deserving not only healthy food but also the support needed to move from crisis to stability and ultimately self-sufficiency.
According to POTS’ Theory of Change, individuals will make the greatest and most-sustained progress toward stability and self-sufficiency if they are provided access to the resources, programs, and services needed to make progress in five related stability-creating areas:
Theory of Change
Supporting educational aspirations for clients and their children increases their ability to achieve and maintain stability and self-sufficiency.
Providing access to health care and preventative services stabilizes health concerns and improves clients’ quality of life.
Ensuring uninterrupted access to hygiene, grooming, and communication tools is essential to providing a stable and functioning life for our clients.
Maintaining safe and stable housing provides clients’ ad their families’ safety, peace of mind, and pathways to move forward.
Increasing financial assets including income, public benefits, food, clothing, and other material goods ensures that clients have the resources to support their stability.
POTS measures its own success by how well we help each client reach increased stability in all of these areas. Our Stability Index establishes standards for individual progress in each area. We measure both individual achievement and community achievement in determining how well we’ve done each year in achieving our mission and how we can do even better.
Part of the Solution programs are thoughtfully designed to create enduring stability for all the members of our community. We call it the one-stop shop: We have three programmatic pillars:
Approximately one-third of Bronx residents are currently living below the poverty line and this year alone, POTS will help close to 40,000 people, including 12,000 children, with a multitude of needs.
POTS’ services address the varying issues and complexities that accompany poverty by helping clients find stability across areas such as financial wellbeing, health, education, housing and day-to-day needs. By providing comprehensive and personalized support to our clients, we are able to address their unique circumstances and help navigate a pathway forward.
In 2020, POTS maintained its commitment to addressing the emergent needs of the community and providing consistent services to clients in need throughout the pandemic by responding to an array of client needs that were exacerbated by COVID-19.