Upward Transitions Inc
1134 W. Main St.
Oklahoma City OK 73106
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Organization Does Business As (DBA) Name(s)
Organization DBA
Travelers Aid and Homeless Assistance Center
Travelers Aid Society
Mission Statement

Mission Statement:  Elevating those who are in need, stranded or homeless to positions of self-sufficiency. 

Upward Transitions was founded in 1925 and has a long history of serving those who are homeless or on the brink of homelessness.
Upward Transitions serves those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by providing case management and stabilizing resources to help meet their basic social needs. Our ultimate goal is to assist individuals and families during financial devastation, so they remain – or return to being – productive contributors to their community.
Contact Information
Contact Name Ray Bitsche
Contact email info@upwardtransitions.org
Address 1134 W. Main St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Phone (405) 232-5507
Fax 405-232-6561
County Oklahoma County
How to Give
Donate with Credit Card http://www.upwardtransitions.org
Donate to Endowment http://occf.org/ut/
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer
Donations can be made online or by mailing a check.  Please call 405-232-5507 if you are considering an in-kind donation.  You can visit our website at www.upwardtransitions.org to learn more about our events and how you can support Upward Transitions.  You can become a sponsor/or buy tickets to our annual fundraiser, American Tourist, attend one of our Celebrity Wait Nights or donate to our annual campaign.  
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $821,205.00
Projected Expenses $821,205.00
History and Background
Former Names
Travelers Aid and Homeless Assistance Center Inc.2000
Travelers Aid Society1925
Year Founded 1925
IRS Ruling Year 1965
State Registration Expiration Mar 2017

Mission Statement:  Elevating those who are in need, stranded or homeless to positions of self-sufficiency. 

Upward Transitions was founded in 1925 and has a long history of serving those who are homeless or on the brink of homelessness.
Upward Transitions serves those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by providing case management and stabilizing resources to help meet their basic social needs. Our ultimate goal is to assist individuals and families during financial devastation, so they remain – or return to being – productive contributors to their community.

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. 


FY15-16 Accomplishments

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


FY16-17 Goals

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.

During hot weather, our clients need sunscreen, insect repellant, water, and hats.
Our clients count on gas vouchers and local bus passes to look for work and travel to and from work until they receive their first paycheck.
Volunteers are a crucial part of our organization.  Regular volunteer opportunities are available in our Travelers Aid Program at Will Rogers World Airport as well as at our Main Street office.
CEO/Executive Director Statement

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.

Ray E. Bitsche, Jr.


Board Chair Statement

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

Upward Transitions

Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Central Oklahoma
We serve Oklahoma City and its surrounding suburbs that include but are not limited to: The Village, Bethany, Warr Acres, Edmond, Del City, Midwest City, Yukon
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Housing, Shelter/Housing Support
Tertiary Organizational Category Human Services/Transportation Assistance

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.

Individuals who are homeless and working to regain their independence can turn to Upward Transitions for help. Our services provide the following forms of assistance:
• Legal document retrieval assistance
• State ID purchase assistance
• Utility and rent assistance
• Emergency food pantry access
• Travel assistance 
• Bus tokens and gas vouchers
• Non-narcotic prescription assistance
Population Served Homeless Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. Assist individuals get back on their feet, reunite famiies, prevent eviction and potential homelessness

Upward Transitions operates the Travelers Aid Volunteer Program at Will Rogers World Airport to assist travelers in need.

Through this program, our trained volunteers offer the following:

• Information on airport services and the Oklahoma City metro area
• Assistance to stranded travelers and military personnel
• Resource referrals to individuals with social service issues
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. Provide information about airport and OKC metropolitan area to airline travelers as well as visitors to the airport.
Comments on Programs
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Jeremy Sanders
Start Date July 2017
Email sandersjl@upwardtransitions.org

Senior Staff
Periann PulliamChief Operations Officer
Terri WomackDirector of Community Outreach
Tamara WoodExecutive Assistant
Number of Full-time Staff 8
Number of Part-time Staff 1
Number of Contract Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 225
Staff Retention Rate 66
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Caucasian 6
Native American/American Indian 1
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 6
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant Yes
Communication Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Under Development
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted July 2009
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes

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.

United Way of Central Oklahoma member agency2016
COVA - Central Oklahoma Administrators2016
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber2016
Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, Standards of Excellence Program Graduate2016
Hometown HeroOklahoma City Visitors and Convention Bureau2013
Certified Travel Ambassador of the YearOklahoma City Visitors and Convention Bureau2014
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Life Insurance
Special Event Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Comments on Staff & Management
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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.


Board Chair
Name John Symcox
Company Affiliation First Fidelity Financial Group
Term July 2017 to June 2018
Email jsymcox@ffb.com
Board of Directors
List Current as of July 01, 2016
Board of Directors List
Wayne Barbour Barbour Energy CorporationVoting
Wade Brawley Land Information ServicesNonVoting
Steve Bryant Exok Inc.Voting
Beth Burke Heartline 211Voting
Megan Cannon The Boeing CompanyVoting
Steven Curry BOKVoting
Elizabeth Dalton Tyrrell McAffee & TaftNonVoting
Tim Dowd Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson, PCVoting
Steve Grigsby Community VolunteerVoting
Cathy Gritts OG&EVoting
Matt Harp BancFirstVoting
Shelly Harry Shelly D. Harry, CPA, PLLCVoting
DesJean Jones OIC of Oklahoma CountyVoting
Jo Kenaga Community VolunteerVoting
Bob Lane BKD, LLC CPA's & AdvisorsVoting
Jenny Lee OMRFVoting
Giselle Leon Citadel BroadcastingVoting
Debbie Naifeh Engel Berkshire HathawayVoting
Sharon Rippetoe Apex SystemsVoting
Jeremy Sanders St. Luke's Methodist ChurchVoting
John Symcox First Fidelity BankVoting
Jay Thomas El Toro Resources, LLCVoting
Jake Winkler RMS US LLPVoting
Nazette Zuhdi Cleaver Christensen Law Group, PLLCNonVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Caucasian 19
Hispanic/Latino 1
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 10
Board Term Lengths 3 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 100 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 100 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Comments on Board & Governance
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year July 01, 2016-June 30, 2017
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $821,205
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $821,205
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Revenue$931,551$1,120,618$808,496
Total Expenses$1,022,079$1,070,646$840,869
Revenue Less Expenses($90,528)$49,972($32,373)
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$406,615$469,564$257,475
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$514$1,751$255
Unrealized Gain/Loss($620)$147,153$9,328
Membership Dues------
Special Events$79,228$63,109$85,119
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$814,830$930,136$731,781
Administration Expense$197,013$119,434$92,725
Fundraising Expense$10,236$21,076$16,363
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.911.050.96
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%87%87%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%2%2%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,665,371$1,761,429$1,730,400
Current Assets$394,966$386,070$304,586
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$7,604$13,134$32,077
Total Net Assets$1,657,767$1,748,295$1,698,323
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities51.9429.399.50
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovt - Unspecified $406,615Govt - Unspecified $469,564Indirect Public Support $362,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndirect Public Support $367,455Indirect Public Support $351,199Govt - Unspecified $257,475
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSpecial Events $79,228Realized & Unrealized Gains/(Losses) $147,153Contributions $89,751
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next Five Years? Yes
Comments on Financials
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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.

Foundation Staff Comments
Current year financial summary is per the organization's IRS Form 990. All other prior year's financial information are from audited financials. Therefore, you may see some discrepancies in the breakout of revenue, expenses, totals assets and/or net assets going from the audited financials to the Form 990s.
Note: "Realized & Unrealized Gains/Losses" income includes gain on sale of property in 2015 and 2014 of $144,905, and $9,328, respectively.

Contributions may include foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.

The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.

Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.

Address 1134 W. Main St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Primary Phone 405 232-5507
Give with Credit Card http://www.upwardtransitions.org
Give to Endowment http://occf.org/ut/
CEO/Executive Director Jeremy Sanders
Board Chair John Symcox
Board Chair Company Affiliation First Fidelity Financial Group


Related Information

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