The STOP Organization - Hampton Roads Is First Ever Certified Evidence-Based Organization (CEBO)

"...In all work on humans, providers must aspire for proven methods and approaches - anything less must not be condoned." - Sobem Nwoko, Founder

Online PR News – 15-April-2014 – Atlanta, GA – Today the Society for Evidence-Based Organizations and Professionals, EBP Society and Joyfields Institute jointly announced that The Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project of Hampton Roads better known as The STOP Organization -Hampton Roads (“STOP”), VA became the first agency worldwide to meet global standards to earn provisional certification as a Certified Evidence-Based Organization (CEBO). To earn this distinction, The STOP Organization underwent months of in-depth self-evaluation of work they do serving their clients and the degree to which they are evidence-based. CEBO's are recognized for abilities and accomplishments they demonstrate in the area of evidence-based approaches. Certification examines five areas:

Knowledge and use of evidence-based policies, programs, and practices
Demonstration of effective leadership
Organizational culture and assessment
Strategic planning, performance measurement, and program evaluation
Building capacity and sustainability

In a statement, Sobem Nwoko, President, Joyfields Institute and Founder of the EBP Society said, ‘... we congratulate The STOP Organization on this milestone. The organization is demonstrating to stakeholders its commitment to providing best-in-class services customers expect and should receive. People seek services at particular agencies believing they will get expert help for their dilemma. That is exactly what they should get - nothing less. The evidence tells us STOP one such agency. It is challenging for an individual, let alone an organization this size to subject itself to external scrutiny and also implement changes recommended. We applaud the STOP team for this accomplishment!”

...In all work on humans, providers must aspire for proven methods and approaches - anything less must not be condoned." - Sobem Nwoko, Founder

Commenting on the certification, George F. Reed, Chairman of the STOP Board of Directors stated the last three years have been marked by many successes for the Agency. STOP was re-designated as a certified HUD Housing Counseling Agency and currently has six (6) certified housing counselors. Since adopting Results Oriented Management Accountability (ROMA), STOP now has two certified ROMA Peer-to-Peer Trainers who have become well respected in the Community Action Community network. STOP has diversified its staff ethnically and linguistically with employees in key positions who speak Spanish, German and Russian. STOP’s 2013 Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Monitoring Report for our Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) reflected “No Findings” with commendable actions which noted that “the readiness from the agency was exemplary; all paperwork was easily accessible and methodical, providing for a very straightforward assessment.” STOP’s 2014 Weatherization Program Monitoring Report reflected that the Agency needed two new policies which were drafted, reviewed and ultimately approved by the STOP Board on March 12, 2014. Additionally, this same report indicated that “the staff at STOP had all of the requested monitoring documents ready and well-organized upon DHCD’s arrival.”

Chairman Reed added that STOP successfully sponsored its First Annual Harvey N. Johnson, Jr., Golf Tournament to raise money as part of its Annual Fund Drive. STOP has received Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation’s Firm Residential Building Energy Analyst License. This license allows STOP to inspect, investigate and survey to evaluate and measure energy consumption and efficiency in combination with making recommendations to promote energy conservation among low and moderate income citizens. The STOP Board has increased its membership with knowledgeable and technically capable volunteers who provide better oversight over all areas of operation. Chairman Reed concluded that the current Board is poised to work with the Staff to form a strategic framework in terms of the Organization’s mission, purpose, values and long-range directions. This provisional certification as a CERTIFIED EVIDENCE-BASED ORGANIZATION will enhance our capability to better serve our customers!

Regina P. Lawrence, President and CEO of The STOP Organization said, “when I agreed to take on this assignment, the Board of Directors, STOP Staff and I made a commitment to all our stakeholders: funding sources, donors, supporters, friends and customers that we would continuously strive to increase our capacity to provide the very best in service initiatives for the customers who reside in our service delivery area. This provisional certification is an example of our progress toward that goal.” We are grateful for all the support and continued encouragement received from the entire community. As we continue to move through our journey guided by the unwavering support and selfless guidance of the Board, the Staff and I will continue to work relentlessly to “GROW STOP FORWARD!” CEO Lawrence added that the Agency received four significant grants totaling approximately one half million dollars in the areas of Veteran Services and Housing Counseling. The primary focus of these two service areas is to promote “housing first” through a multitude of supportive services which place our customers in safe, affordable housing to increase their opportunity to achieve housing stability. The current Board and Staff have moved forward to forge new partnerships and collaborative relationships as well as expand resources and opportunities in our efforts to achieve sustainable family and community outcomes.

Mrs. Lawrence also commented that the Board and Staff began a process over three years ago of strengthening the Agency’s infrastructure. This preparation aligned STOP with the recommended nine-part , high performance set of national organizational standards to become effective in 2015. “…I am pleased to report that STOP currently meets or exceeds all nine standards! We will continue to recruit the best while ensuring that current and future staff members demonstrate the highest standard of personal and professional integrity in service delivery. This provisional certification as a CEBO provides all our stakeholders with evidence that STOP provides quality, outcome-driven service which produces transformational opportunities leading to sustainable outcomes; these outcomes lay a solid foundation for quality of life for our present and potential customers.

Mr. Nwoko further stated, “EBP Society certification provides an outstanding opportunity for organizations to enhance their evidence-based approaches, culture and proficiencies. We look forward to supporting The STOP Organization as its provide exceptional service to its customers”.

About EBP Society
EBP Society is the Society for Evidence-based Organizations and Professionals.  The society helps build capacity and enhance the careers of organizations and professionals in the human and social services fields by promoting adoption of evidence-based and strength-centered approaches everywhere, providing efficient access to evidence-based education and resources, and facilitating professional certification in Evidence-Based and Strength-Centered expertise.  
Its membership consists of organizations and professionals dedicated to evidence-based and strength-centered practices, programs and policies.  Learn more at www.ebpsociety.org

About Joyfields Institute for Professional Development
Joyfields Institute is the world's leading company for Evidence-based & Strength-centered programs and supports training, consulting and performance evaluation. The institute serves customers by providing training and subject matter expertise to help customers build capacity for applying evidence-based and strength-centered approaches. Since 2000 the organization has proudly served over 1000 public and private agencies from all 50 US states and 15 countries.  The company maintains a web site at www.joyfields.org.

About The STOP Organization - Hampton Roads, VA
The Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project (STOP) of Hampton Roads, VA was created in 1965 as the designated Community Action Agency to serve the Southeastern Tidewater Virginia area.  STOP’s service delivery area covers 2011 square miles which comprise one-quarter of the low and moderate income population in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.  The jurisdictions served by STOP are the Cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach and the Counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton.

STOP's mission is to leverage human and financial resources to reduce the effects of poverty by assisting low wage and economically disadvantaged residents in Southampton Roads, Virginia to achieve self-sufficiency and improve their quality of life.  STOP’s purpose is to provide strategies and initiatives for low and moderate income individuals and families which will increase access to opportunities that have quantifiable and potentially major impacts on the root causes of economic disadvantage. STOP focuses its efforts on areas impeding the achievement of self-sufficiency among hard-working, low income wage earners. Governed by a dedicated Board of Directors, STOP employs 40 highly skilled staff members who implement 15 programs, with funding from 16 federal, state, local, and private sources, in order to serve a population that encompasses households at or below 125% of the poverty level, as defined by the federal government.  The company website is located at www.stopinc.org

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