Thanks to a $250,000 line of credit obtained with the help of the SBDC, a Los Angeles nonprofit will be making a difference in the lives of special needs children for decades to come.
Alyce Morris Winston launched the Jeffrey Foundation in 1972 when she couldn’t find childcare for her son, Jeffrey, who had muscular dystrophy and mental disability. What began as an informal support group for parents in similar circumstances grew into a nonprofit organization providing educational services, childcare and counseling to children and families throughout Los Angeles County. Special needs children ranging from infancy to young adult rely on the foundation for educational, creative and recreational activities that foster their academic, social and behavioral
development. Clients suffer from conditions such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and autism; 95 percent come from low-income and poverty level families.
The 2008 recession hit Southern California hard, and The Jeffrey Foundation suffered as a result. The government agencies that funded the foundation’s services slashed their budgets and cut payment rates for each hour of services the children received. As a result, the foundation’s income fell short of its expenses. “This went on for four or five years. It just wore away at us,” says Winston. The foundation couldn’t find other funding to make up the
In 2012, The Jeffrey Foundation pursued a merger with another nonprofit organization, but the deal fell through at the last minute, leaving the foundation burdened with substantial expenses from the merger attempt. As a result, Winston turned to the business experts at the Small Business Development Center hosted by Pacific Coast Regional Corporation (PCR).
SBDC Business Advisors helped The Jeffrey Foundation apply for and obtain a line of credit
Since Winston began working with the SBDC in 2012, The Jeffrey Foundation’s clientele has increased by forty percent. The Jeffrey Foundation recently launched a new infant development program that Winston hopes to expand by partnering with other local agencies. The Foundation’s board of directors is also discussing updating computers, revamping their website, and other growth opportunities. Winston says the confidence the SBDC had in The Jeffrey Foundation transferred to its staff. “Knowing that we were doing good work and [the SBDC] really wanted to help us . . . helped build confidence and morale,” she says. “Now I can move forward and request other money [from donors] because we have a good, solid foundation.”