Mission Statement: Elevating those who are in need, stranded or homeless to positions of self-sufficiency.
For over 90 years, Upward
Transitions has touched the lives of Oklahomans, elevating those who are in need, stranded or homeless to positions of self-sufficiency. Upward Transitions was founded in 1925 as
Travelers Aid and was one of the first agencies to become a member of the
United Way of Central Oklahoma. We are one of the oldest non-profits
in Oklahoma City. We receive support
from a diverse set of funding sources including the United Way, private
foundations, federal, county and city grants.
Completed Leadership Transition Plan
Updated of By Laws and Completed Governance Policies
Transitioned from contract accounting services to in-house accounting
Secured creative and marketing services valued at $50,000 from Staplegun Design including a web page redesign, agency brochure, social media messaging and agency video
Largest gross revenue to day for annual fundraising event, American Tourits
Increase funds received from individuals, businesses and corporations
Increase net proceeds from American Tourist
Increase number of single parent households with young children served
End year with the surplus of funds
Finalize Implementation of Staplegun Design services
Finalize Implementation of Performance Quality Improvement Plan
Cash donations allow us to spend fund where they are most needed at any given time and are always appreciated.
During cold weather, our clients need coats, blankets, socks, gloves, hats and scarves.
There are many people in our community who were not born into a family capable of providing support and opportunity. For any number of reasons, many others face temporary challenges or a lifetime of hardship and heartache that erode their foundations of self-sufficiency. Yes, some of these situations follow poor choices, but that doesn’t mean they deserve less of a chance for others to offer a way up and out. I am grateful to be a part of an organization like Upward Transitions that, for the past 91 years, has assisted stranded travelers, those who are homeless and those on the verge of homelessness.
Those helped include veterans, individuals and families receiving case management, transportation assistance, rent and utility assistance, relocation assistance due to domestic violence, and replacement or retrieval of legal documents like birth certificates and driver’s licenses. These services made it possible for referred clients to complete the programs of referral agencies, gain employment, and obtain and/or preserve their place called home.
On behalf of the Upward Transitions Board of Directors, I’d like to personally welcome you to Upward Transitions’ Give Smart site. The Board is deeply committed to fulfilling our mission of elevating those in need, stranded, or homeless to a position of self-sufficiency. We know we will never get there as a stand-alone emergency relief organization. Only through collaboration with other agencies and organizations will we fulfill our mission. Here’s why.
Yes, we make it possible to preserve or obtain housing; preserve or restore utilities; re-establish one’s identity though birth certificates or marriage licenses to acquire government recognized forms of identification needed to apply for public assistance, rent housing, obtain employment and obtain healthcare. But these services alone only move those in need, stranded or homeless beyond their present crisis. They do not necessarily elevate such persons to a position of self-sufficiency. We recognize this can only be achieved through formal partnerships with agencies and organizations that provide longer term rehabilitative and transformative services that treat addictions; provide job training and employment opportunities which help persons earn at least a housing wage and positions them to earn a living wage; and, above all, help families reduce and/or eliminate toxic stress in their places called home; and raise healthy children who start school ready to learn.
Emergency Relief + Rehabilitation = Win Win Outcomes for our clients and our entire community.
We welcome your interest in Upward Transitions and if you have any questions please let us know.
With many thanks,
Jay A. Thomas,
President, Board of Directors
Our services provide assistance to individuals and families who face threats to financial stability. In many cases, Upward Transitions can provide a short-term financial bridge in the form of emergency assistance and access to community resources to maintain stability.
Eligible families veterans may work with case managers on a long-term basis to increase and develop skills that can provide a sustainable income. Case managers work closely with these families to create a plan with goals that address specific needs and create the means to avoid future homelessness.
Upward Transitions operates the Travelers Aid Volunteer Program at Will Rogers World Airport to assist travelers in
Through this program, our trained volunteers offer the following:
Ray E. Bitsche, Jr. joined the Upward Transitions team in August 2015. He has administered programs serving children of
disadvantage since 1987. He has earned
trust and built productive working relationships with public sector, private
nonprofit service providers and the philanthropic community. While doing so, he
has been singularly motivated by one thing—help as many children of
disadvantage as he can to have the same opportunities to succeed as his own
Ray earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Sam Houston State University and his master’s in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma.
Upward Transitions partners with several local nonprofits, churches and public agencies while helping those who are homeless obtain housing or preserve housing for those on the verge of becoming so. Not one of us has the resources to provide requested assistance to all those seeking help. For example, Upward Transitions is unable to assist 3 out of 4 clients who seek our assistance. As a result, we all make and receive referrals to and from one another and will combine our respective resources as needed to help clients obtain or preserve housing.
We are an active member of the Coalition to End Poverty and Chair the monthly REACH Case Management Meeting attended by case managers from various agencies across the community.
With collaborate with a large number of area non-profits including but not limited to: Goodwill, United Way of Central Oklahoma, Legal Aid, City Rescue Mission, Jesus House, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Heartline 211, Homeless Alliance, Sunbeam Family Services, YWCA, and Healing Hands. We also partner with city and county governments as well as area corporations, volunteers and donors.
The casework supervisor has been with Upward Transitions for almost 19 years and is highly regarded in the OKC metro area. In addition to running day to day community outreach, she also convenes a well attended monthly inter-agency case management meeting. Our newly promoted Chief of Operations has been with the agency 7 years. She knows the organization inside and out and just led us through a transition from Quicken to QuickBooks Premiere. She runs the back office, has proven herself highly reliable in coordinating special event fundraisers and in recruiting and recognizing staff and volunteers. As the new CEO, I contribute almost 30 years of proven nonprofit management, program development, governance, and fundraising experience plus a wealth of working social capital.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
The agency has a diversified stream of revenue sources that have proven renewable and sustainable. They include United Way of Central Oklahoma, City and County grant funding, board member contributions, individual and business/corporate contributions, faith community funding, private foundations and special event fundraisers. Our current cash and cash equivalents are sufficient to fund the agency’s Budget Work Plan independent of agency operating funds for approximately seven months. The agency is also debt free and owns the property from which we conduct business.
Board members commit to transparency when they annually complete and sign their “Conflict of Interest questionnaire” and their Board Service Agreement. Staff does so by written affirmation of their receipt, and understanding of the Employee Handbook which includes our Standards of Conduct and Code of Ethics. They also know we have a Whistle Blower policy and Client and Staff Grievance policies. In addition, all understand our IRS 990 is a matter of public record. Minutes of meetings are also recorded and filed according to our record retention policies.
United Way of Central Oklahoma creates lasting changes in people's lives right here in our community. No longer just a fundraising organization, today United Way is on the front lines of some of our community's most pressing problems through the work of 60 agencies.
Click on "view organizations" to view the United Way of Central Oklahoma agencies with current GiveSmartOKC profiles.
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1000 N. Broadway Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73102