Survival Skills for the 21st Century

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Transition House, Inc.
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Transition House works to prevent and end domestic violence through education, outreach and intervention. Founded in 1975, Transition House has a history of innovation offering emergency shelter and longer term housing with holistic support services including counseling, legal advocacy, job skills, and resources to sustain self sufficiency. The Dating Violence Intervention Program is the source for youth education, peer leadership training and counseling on healthy relationship development.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Each year Transition House provides housing to 200 adults, youth and families surviving the trauma of domestic violence. We reach an additional 4,000 youth through our work in schools and community programs and we offer resources and technical assistance to hundreds more throughout our region.

If deep interpersonal connections and trust are the heart of our work, Microsoft Office products and Tech Soup access are our backbone. Transition House has evolved in parallel with affordable personal computer technology. Our small agency utilizes Microsoft products on its 12 networked computers and in our 4 client work stations in myriad ways. We depend on Microsoft technology to: help us manage workflow throughout our agency with Outlook scheduling, support email communication with clients, collaborators, and community stakeholders, enhance Internet browsing with Explorer, support our client services and donor databases with Acess, develop Power Point training tools, and create countless reports, case notes and thank you letters to our donors in Word.

This reliable Microsoft-based IT infrastructure also supports dedicated workstations for our clients in both our emergency shelter and in our community headquarters. Here, clients can strengthen their computer skills, hone their resumes, apply for jobs, access benefits they may be entitled to, apply to college or graduate school and prepare for GED, SAT and GRE exams. Our work stations offer a safe space within a professional environment for our clients to access the internet to stay in touch with loved ones now far away, work on their household budgets, read newspapers in their native languages and discover community events and resources of interest that will help them become more comfortable in their new community. Because most of our clients have been displaced from their home communities and support systems to be safe from their abusers, the ability to stay in touch with friends and family remotely can be a real lifeline. Clients who feel connected to a community and comfortable accessing services are better able to cope with stress and the impact of trauma. Microsoft technology plays a critical role in optimizing the delivery our mission and services.

Our program is respected in the community for helping individuals and families become economically stable and self sufficient. Eighty six percent of our clients graduate from our program with increased income, and more than 75% of those who are not disabled find jobs. We have many success stories.

Recently, Anna graduated from our Transitional Living Program and secured a well-paying job at a local nonprofit organization as well as permanent housing for herself and her toddler. For months before she graduated, she came to our community office computer space nearly every day diligently working on her resume, writing cover letters for jobs and sharing her ideas and knowledge of MS Office with other clients. Some afternoons, she would bring her son so he could play in our children’s rom while she worked. Anna sought an administrative position in a social service organization like Transition House.


Her goal was to work in an environment where she could, in her words, “return a little bit of the love and support I found at Transition House to others in the community who may be struggling like I was." She goes on to say, " I found a new sense of self-worth and strength from the relationships built at Transition House with both staff and program residents. I am more independent and determined to better my life on my own and using my own skills, resources and abilities without depending on the person that stripped me of my independence. I’m determined for my son to grow up knowing his mom is a strong and determined woman. I have a great job that I truly love and the future is wide open for me and my son.”


We are fortunate to live in a region of the US where some employment sectors remain healthy despite the economic downturn, but with increasing unemployment, competition for jobs at all levels is increasing and Anna is fortunate to have the right combination of skills and the temperament to perservere. The reality is that a single person wiith one child must earn $49,000 to reliably support her family in our community. This self sucfficiency standard is all but unattainable for most of our clients and we must help them access and leverage additional support services, while facilitating the development of marketable skills.


Transition House is small organization and our system set up works well to ensure that our clients have unimpeded access to technological resources to develop skills to be competitive in the 21st century job market. We are in real need of computer upgrades to make sure that our client computers match workplace standards our clients will encounter as they re-enter the workforce.

The Microsoft applications provided through Tech Soup strengthen our capacity to provide clients with essential tools and resources they need to secure stable jobs or continue their education and rebuild lives without violence. Thank you for helping us fulfill and optimize our mission.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery