Roca, Inc.

At a Glance

National Office: 
101 Park Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
Phone: 617-889-5210

Molly Baldwin
People Served: 
671
Year Founded: 
1988
Tax ID: 
22-3223641

Focus area(s):

Economic Development
Job/Career Development

Description

Roca is an outcomes-driven organization focused helping our communities' highest risk, disengaged young people move out of violence and poverty, ultimately reducing incarcerations.   Roca's cognitive behavioral intervention model engages court, street, gang, and drug-involved 17-24 year-old young men to change their destructive behaviors, develop critical skills and get jobs.

Impact and Outcomes

Roca served 409 very high risk young men in FY 2012, with a retention rate of 73%.
79% of all FY12 program graduates are on track to retain employment for a minimum of 1 year.
70% of all FY12 program graduates demonstrated educational gains.
90% of all program graduates demonstrated no new arrests.

Mission & Goals

Roca relentlessly drives to get very high risk young people out of violence and to work.  Roca is an outcomes-driven organization and has created an Intervention Model to change the lives of our young people and our communities.  Roca utilizes evidenced-based practices combined with experience in working with this target population to effectively intervene with very high-risk young people.   

Serving young people in the greater Boston and Springfield areas of Massachusetts,  Roca works with individuals that no one else wants to help.  We focus all of our work on achieving long term outcomes for these young people.   Unique in the work that it does, Roca seeks out the most difficult, challenging young people.  Roca’s services are designed to work with young people who are not prepared to participate in traditional programming and all program components address issues of relapse, using failure as a tool to help young people learn.  At the same time, Roca works with systems to change how they work with those young people. 

Program

Roca takes a unique approach to moving very high-risk young people out of violence and poverty. Roca doesn’t wait for these young people to re-engage in society on their own. Left to their own devices, most never will. Instead, they go out and find them on the streets. They tell them the truth, teach them to trust, and help them learn and practice the skills needed to transform their lives and get on the path to achieving economic independence.

Roca has developed and operates an Intervention Model designed to help the most high-risk young people break the destructive cycles of poverty, violence and perpetual incarceration.  The Intervention Model pushes young people to identify, confront and overcome destructive behaviors and learn the skills needed to re-engage and succeed in society, education, and the economy.  Roca’s Intervention Model is based on the combined principles of cognitive re-structuring, skills development, motivational interviewing, and transitional employment.  Roca believes its Intervention Model for very high-risk young people is the only full-time, long-term, behavioral change intervention delivered on the street, for this population, by a non-mandating authority.

Building off of its success to date and pulling from evidence-based practices in behavioral health, criminal justice and workforce development, the Intervention Model includes two years of intensive programming with two additional years of follow up for retention and sustainability.  Based on a framework for change used in medical and mental health fields, the Intervention Model has four core components:

  1. Relentless outreach, on-going and aggressive outreach and follow-up designed to meet young people where they are and build trust;
  2. Transformational relationships, an intensive case management model;
  3. Stage-based programming designed to increase young people ability to move toward economic independence  through life skills, educational and pre-vocational, and employment programming; and,
  4. Work with engaged institutional partners, a partnership model with criminal justice, health, education, and other institutions to increase systemic capacity for intervention with very high risk young people and provision of needed supports.

Impact

Project Outcomes to Date:  Roca’s Intervention Model has shown significant results for very high-risk young people who are out of school and are street, court and gang involved.  In FY 2012, Roca served  409 very high-risk young men through its intervention model.  Each of these young men were aged 17-24 who have been involved with the criminal justice system, have limited education (no high school diploma or GED unless it was attained in prison) and limited work experience.Of those  eligible for services, Roca retained 78% and engaged them in the intervention model throughout the course of the year.   Of those who completed the intensive component of the model in 2012, 90% have had no new arrests; 100% have had no new technical violations; 79% of program graduates were on track to retain employment for a minimum of 6 months; and 70% have demonstrated education gains.

Internal Evaluation and Commitment to Performance Based Management: 

Roca tracks participant outcomes through its Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) software, a customizable data collection system, which allows each organization to track and measure components of their approaches to engagement and youth participation in programming.

ETO captures movement toward the out-of-harm’s-way outcome through tracking the development of the transformational relationship over time and through tracking the stages of change related to specific behavior change outcomes.  Roca utilizes a range of outcomes focused on young people living out of harm’s way and moving towards economic self-sufficiency.  Youth workers select appropriate outcomes to focus on with young people based on their individual issues and barriers to success. 

Behavior change outcomes examine substance abuse, educational engagement, employment engagement, unhealthy relationships, pregnancy prevention, court compliance, street/gang Involvement, etc.  These outcomes are measured by examining program attendance, program retention, school attendance, overall educational gains, academic skill gains, pre-vocational skill achievements, progress in transitional employment programming, job placement, and job retention and advancement.  

Roca is now working with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago on a formal implementation evaluation to demonstrate our model as an evidence-based intervention that consistently moves high risk young men towards positive outcomes.  Additionally, as part of the state’s Social Investment Financing Initiative, the impact of Roca’s intervention model is being rigorously evaluated with respect to long term reductions in recidivism and increased engagement in employment.

Growth Plan

Roca is now seeking to expand the impact of its Intervention model, enabling it to reach a larger number of young people from across the country.  Roca is proposing to scale social impact through an increase in direct services and indirect influences.  Roca will expand its programming to better serve very high risk young men, aged 17-24, who are either 1) aging out of the juvenile justice  or juvenile probation systems with a strong propensity for reincarceration as an adult; 2) connected with the adult justice system; or 3) are high risk members of the community being served who have a strong propensity for incarceration as an adult. 

Specifically, Roca will expand Roca’s impact on high risk young men from 710 young men in FY 13 (535 in intensive and 175 in retention services) to 1,755 young men in FY 17 (1,100 in intensive and 655 in retention services) through the expansion of services out of the Chelsea and Springfield hubs and the replication of the Intervention Model in two new locations, one to begin operations in FY 14 and the second to begin operations in FY 16.

Roca will also develop and Implement an Alternative Community Corrections Pilot and demonstrate the Intervention Model for Very High Risk Young Men as Evidence Based through the completion of model codification and documentation and conducting third party implementation, outcome and impact evaluations.

Finally, Roca will apply the Intervention Model and Adjust Appropriately for Very High Risk Young Mothers in its Chelsea location, increasing services from 200 young mothers in FY 13 (100 young mothers in healthy families and 100 high risk young mothers in intensive services) to 338 young mothers in FY 17 (100 young mothers in healthy families and 200 high risk young mothers in intensive services and 38 young mothers in retention services).

Location of Sites

National Office: 
101 Park Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
Phone: 617-889-5210
List of locationsMap of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
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Locations in the following states:

Massachusetts

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$300,000
Foundation Grants: 
$6,475,795
Government Funding: 
$4,241,815
Contributions from Individuals: 
$500,000
Special Events: 
$750,000
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$2,000,000
Other Revenue: 
$500,000
Other Revenue (Description): 
Interest income, donated goods and services. Note: Roca is current operating a 25th anniversary fundraising campaign and is working to raise funds for future years. Additionally, as part of the Pay For Success contract it is currently negotiating, Roca is seeking to raise a minimum of $3.5 million in start up capital for pay for success operations in MA.
Total Revenue: 
$14,767,610

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$5,064,986
Occupancy: 
$612,092
Travel & Entertainment: 
$96,714
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$109,598
Telephone & Communications: 
$80,431
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$3,137,164
Other Expenses (Description): 

Transitional employment wages for youth, capacity building costs, participant transportation, program and training supplies, and other expenses. 

Total Expenses: 
$9,100,985

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$5,666,625

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2012

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$255,263
Foundation Grants: 
$2,699,972
Government Funding: 
$3,563,495
Contributions from Individuals: 
$179,358
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$731,391
Other Revenue: 
$501,689
Other Revenue (Description): 
Donated goods and services, interest income.
Special Events: 
$289,809
Total Revenue: 
$8,220,977

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$4,673,975
Occupancy: 
$508,453
Travel & Entertainment: 
$106,535
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$116,213
Telephone & Communication: 
$69,665
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$2,588,146
Other Expenses (Description): 

Capacity building, youth wages and taxes (i.e. transitional employment), other programming costs.

Total Expenses: 
$8,062,987

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$157,990

Major Funders

Roca's major funders include government funders such as the US Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services (SAMSHA), the MA Department of Public Health, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the MA Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the City of Chelsea, the City of Springfield, the Children's Trust Fund, and a variety of other public funding sources. 

Roca has also developed extensive support from the foundation community, with support from over 50 foundations including support from the Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Richard and Susan Smith Foundation, the Hyams Foundation,  State Street Foundation, United Way, the Clowes Fund,  the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, the Bank of America Charitable Group, BNY Mellon, Fidelity Charitable, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, People's United Community Foundation, the Red Sox Foundation, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, the Rowland Foundation, and the Roy A. Hunt Foundation.

In addition, Roca is currently negotiating with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Department of Administration and Finance to support its first pay-for-success contract addressing juvenile justice.  This is projected to be a $22.5 million project to serve 850 very high risk young men who are either aging out of juvenile probation, aging out of Massachusetts Department of Youth Services and/or are young adults on adult probation.   All of these young men will come from the highest risk groups in the communities surrounding Chelsea and Springfield Massachusetts.