Marrakech
6 Lunar Drive
Woodbridge CT 06525
Contact Information
Address 6 Lunar Drive
Woodbridge, CT 06525-
Telephone (203) 389-2970 x
Fax 203-397-0658
E-mail Info@Marrakechinc.org
Web and Social Media
Mission

Mission

To provide residential, employment, support, referral, and advocacy services to individuals with disabilities and people with similar service needs to assist them in exercising their human rights as citizens and contributing members of society.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1971
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Heather I. LaTorra
Board Chair Mr. Steven P. Shwartz
Board Chair Company Affiliation Device42 Inc.
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $38,025,351.00
Projected Expenses $37,775,535.00
Statements
Mission

Mission

To provide residential, employment, support, referral, and advocacy services to individuals with disabilities and people with similar service needs to assist them in exercising their human rights as citizens and contributing members of society.

Background

Background

Marrakech, Inc. was founded in 1971. It was the brainchild of two young Yale undergraduates, our founders, Susan Waisbren and Francie Brody. But Marrakech began even before the two decided that New Haven needed a halfway house for young women with intellectual disabilities and even before they had crystallized their belief that any individual with a disability who had a desire to live in the community also had that right.

It really began with a young woman named Valerie Chain. Susan had met Valerie through Yale Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the New Haven Regional Center that has long since closed. Susan and Francie came to know Valerie's friends as well. They soon realized how capable these young women with mild intellectual disabilities were, and how they would thrive in a halfway house, which at that time, did not exist in Connecticut. Susan and Francie were unencumbered by any foreknowledge of the frustration and bureaucracy they would be facing. They thought it was simple: New Haven needed a halfway house and they would start one. With the guidance of the Regional Center staff and Dr. Seymour Sarason of the Yale Psycho-Educational Clinic, they did just that.

Today, Marrakech continues to empower people to achieve a better quality of life. Our caring, inclusive and supportive team serves over 1300 individuals each year throughout Connecticut. Marrakech is a diverse nonprofit organization that has been providing person-centered, unique, and cost effective human services for children and adults with and without disabilities in Connecticut for over 45 years. They are our neighbors with disabilities, our children transitioning to adulthood, our friends battling with addiction, homelessness, and mental illness, and our community members who need to acquire skills to find a job or make ends meet. We do this by providing homes, building skills, supporting families and helping people reach their potential. The services provided and individuals we support are diverse. But, there is a common goal: assist individuals with achieving greater self-sufficiency while they experience the best quality of life possible.

Impact
Successes in 2016

 1.   Marrakech has been successful in expanding our social enterprises with the development of our East Street Arts (ESA) center in New Haven. ESA is providing arts-based employment opportunities to people of all abilities. We have obtained small grants to assist us with this development. Since it’s opening in 2015, ESA was prominently featured at the Big E in the Connecticut tent, has created an Etsy site for online shopping, developed open studio hours for local artists as well as “wine and design” nights for the community. In 2016, East Street Arts was named as one of five Creative Communicators by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.

2.   Marrakech has made progress with our efforts toward marketing and branding. 2016 was our 45th anniversary year. We had a special logo created, had professional press releases drafted and sent for us, built a two-week radio campaign that led up to Giving Tuesday and produced a new video that was shared at our annual Gala as well as through social media.

3.   Marrakech board approved a board-designated endowment fund to be managed by the CFGNH. This is one more step toward reducing our reliance on state funding in the future.

4.   We have successfully expanded our person-centered philosophy and have started to shift the organizational culture as a result. Language, policies, and applications have been changed to reflect a more person-centered approach. Two of our staff have been trained as trainers in Person-Centered approaches, and all staff are required to go through a new person-centered training. We have also developed training that can be purchased by other organizations who do not have trainers on staff.

5.   Our technology upgrade is almost complete, with a move to cloud-based file storage and Office 365. We have also identified a new HR/Payroll system that will allow for more stream-lined process entry and employee-level control of data.

Goals for 2017 
1.   Continue our efforts toward our technology upgrade projects to make our processes more streamlined, efficient and effective.

2.   Establish our newly approved board-designated endowment fund with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and start building toward a future with less reliance on state funding.

3    Apply and receive funding for various capital improvement projects on identified buildings to increase energy efficiency as well as accessibility for the people we support.

4.   Develop a culture of accountability across the organization and improve upon current quality assurance systems.

5.   Increase the credentials of our staff and the leadership skills of our management team.

Needs
Top 5 Pressing Needs 

1.  We need to complete our technology upgrades and continue our shift toward 100% electronic documentation as well as satellite training options.

2.   We need to reduce our dependence on state funding so that we may expand services at a reasonable cost, have ongoing support for unfunded or underfunded quality of life initiatives, and provide our staff with cost of living adjustments or other incentives that aid with staff retention even when not provided in state contracts.

3.   We need to develop funds to improve the accessibility, energy efficiency, appearance and overall functioning of several of our buildings, which has not been possible due to stagnant or reduced state budgets over the last few years.

4.  In an environment when we are being asked to do more with less, staff and management accountability is needed more than ever. We need to shift our organizational culture to one of accountability, quality assurance, and continuous quality improvement.

5.   We need to create depth on the bench and assist our staff with professional development opportunities that will increase credentials, professionalism, and leadership skills at all levels.

CEO Statement

Marrakech has been providing person centered, unique, and cost conscious human services for children and adults, with and without disabilities, in Connecticut for over 45 years.  

I have been working at Marrakech for the past 30 years. In July 2014, I was honored to be appointed the President and CEO of this remarkable organization.

I lived the transformation that Marrakech made from a small, mission focused organization, supporting adults with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness in the community to one of the largest, most diverse, non-profit organizations in Connecticut, with an expanded mission. Our caring, inclusive and supportive team serves over 1,300 people a year. They are our neighbors with disabilities, our children who need homes, our friends battling with addiction, homelessness, and mental illness, and our community members who need to acquire skills to find a job or make ends meet.

We do this by providing homes, building skills, supporting families and helping people reach their potential. The result: stronger communities.

We are thankful to be able to call upon our community and corporate partners who share our vision for collaboration, the pooling of resources, job placement, mentorship opportunities and for donations. We also work closely with our State Partners in developing cost effective solutions.

Balancing mission and financial limitations, which have been growing fast for the past several years, is truly a challenge that we creatively attack on a daily basis. 

Empowering people does not start and stop with the individuals we provide supports to, we consciously support our own (900) staff in career development, home ownership, education and training which also in turn builds our communities. 

It is tremendously satisfying to work for our consumers, our staff and other stakeholders and ultimately for our community at large.   

Heather LaTorra

President and CEO

 

 
Board Chair Statement

It is my honor and privilege to be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Marrakech. As someone who spends his working time on for-profit activities, it is always a breath of fresh air to interact with the Marrakech staff and consumers. The Marrakech management team and employees have dedicated their careers to helping others and they do in such a spirited fashion that it is always an invigorating experience. 

I became interested in Marrakech because I have a daughter with an intellectual disability. I began to learn about the organization, meet the staff and consumers, and very quickly realized that Marrakech is a very special organization. It takes a special kind of person to work with people that have special needs. And it takes a really special kind of person to do this year after year as a career. One of the remarkable characteristics of Marrakech is the number of individuals that have long-service tenure with Marrakech. These individuals are honored each year and I am always amazed at the number of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and even 30-year employees. These are truly special individuals and I am proud to be associated with them.

We have an all-volunteer Board at Marrakech. Board members include professionals from various disciplines as well as parents and family members of Marrakech consumers.

From a governance perspective, most Board members serve on committees that oversee areas including Finance, Strategic Planning,Development, and Board Membership. The Finance Committee reviews financial statements every other month, drills down into key financial topics with the executive team, and oversees executive compensation. Progress on Strategic Planning and Development goals and objectives are reviewed at every Board Meeting. The Nominating Committee oversees Board Membership and attempts to find Board Members that meet the goals set by the Strategic Planning Committee for Board composition.

The Board works very closely with the CEO of Marrakech, Heather LaTorra, and other executive staff. I know I speak for the entire Board when I say that we are very lucky to have an executive of such high integrity and competence. 

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Mental Health & Crisis Intervention / Residential Mental Health Treatment
Secondary Organization Category Employment / Employment Preparation & Procurement
Areas Served
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
State wide
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
Programs
Description The Work Learn Programs, located in New Haven, and Waterbury are funded by the Department of Children and Families . ECE/BCE provides services for youth, ages fourteen to twenty-three years old, who are currently in or transitioning from foster care services. This program provides educational, vocational, employment, financial literacy, life skills, personal and community connections, and other support services. Youth also have the opportunity to take part in onsite youth businesses as well as community internships and receive a modest stipend as compensation for their work.

Once a youth has successfully completed an internship, he or she may begin to look for community employment. In order to be referred to this phase of service, the youth must demonstrate the skills and ability to work independently in the community (mastery of life skills, good communication and vocational skills, transportation plan, etc.). The youth will work with the job developer to find employment.

Population Served At-Risk Populations / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Graduation from High School, interaction with healthy adult role models, establishing financial goals, acquiring life skills, leadership development, and employment skills.  Participation in community service projects. 
 
The goal of the program is for of the youth to acquire the skills they need to be productive participating members of society.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
The programs goals are to help young people achieve success in education, employment, and life skills.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

In 2017, the program received $20,000 in grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to support youth transitioning from foster care services. The first grant will provide youth in foster care $10,000 towards matching funds for education, housing, health care, and transportation. The second $10,000 grant was awarded for financial coaching integration as part of the program structure.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
The Department of Children and Families Services chose Marrakech to expand the program into the Waterbury area.  Marrakech is the only agency to have two locations.  Marrakech is being viewed as the model program for the State.
Description The Academy for Human Service Training located in Waterbury and Bridgeport (AHST) prepares individuals for entry-level careers in the Human Service or Customer Service fields through a combination of classroom and hands-on training. The program provides occupational skills training, assistance with basic education needs, case management, as well as job placement and retention activities. Instructors for this program are typically managers or administrators in the human service field who have participated in Train the Trainer activities to be eligible to teach certification and other specialized course or who have the direct experience and knowledge about the topic being addressed. Follow up services are provided post-graduation for a minimum of 90 days up to 1 full year. Classes are held Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and generally operate on a 12-week cycle.
Population Served Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated / Adults /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Students will graduate with a wide range of skills and certifications.  In addition to these certifications the students will be required to complete the National Customer Service assessment in order to obtain this nationally recognized credential.
 
Upon completion of the program students receive case management services and coaching and assistance with acquiring employment.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Training for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed to work in entry level positions in the Customer Service and Human Services field. The competency based curriculum is designed to provide broad based exposure, education and experience in many areas of Human Service, but with a focus on developmental disabilities, and customer service.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
This program is monitored by Connecticut Works and the Department of Labor.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
Marrakech has had several Academy graduates progress into senior management roles.  The goal of Marrakech is to hire at least 50% of the graduating class, and assist in placing the additional graduates with other Human Services agencies.
Description Provides services to individuals with a developmental disability who are living in their family home, as well as to adults living in their own apartments who receive less than 24/7 supports. Staff work with each individual to increase independence at home, self-help skills, household management, budgeting, recreation and leisure planning, socialization and safety skills in the community.
 
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities / / Adults
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

To establish more traditional and non-traditional living arrangements in order to provide services to more individuals in need and to maximize community and agency resources to increase the number of holiday/special event functions that will decrease the social isolation of consumers.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Learning to live independently in the community developing life skills such as employment, cooking, cleaning, and finaincial literacy
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Department of Developmental Services meets every six months with the case managers to evaluate program success and develop future goals for each individual receiving support.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

First agency in state of Connecticut to provide new waiver service, Shared Living.

Description Community Living Arrangements and Intermediate Care Facilities are licensed Group Homes providing residential services to individuals with Developmental Disabilities. 24-hour support is provided. Group Homes range from three-bed programs up to seven-bed programs. With the ultimate goal of increased independence, all service plans are individualized and person centered. Locations are statewide.
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities / / Adults
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
The program is monitored regularly by the State of Connecticut Department of Disabilities.  Goals, plans, and measurements are developed for each individual and reviewed by case managers.
Description  

The ABI department provides services to individuals who qualify for the Connecticut ABI waiver I and II under Title 19. Services provided include pre-vocational skills, independent living skills training (ILST), supported employment, companion services, respite services, Recovery Assistant, family training and community living support services. Service plans are individualized to the persons being served and may range from a few hours per week to 24/7 support. Marrakech does not maintain a waitlist for services. However, there is typically a short period of time between point of referral and start of services while we identify and hire qualified staff or while housing is being located. Services are available statewide.

Population Served Adults / People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities / Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Program Comments
CEO Comments

Programs Provided by Marrakech, Inc.

Academy for Human Service Training

Acquired Brain Injury Services

Children and Youth Services

Community Experience Program

Family Supports and Respite Services

Group Homes (ICF and CLA)

Independent Living Support Services (CSS and SLS)

Outreach and Engagement Case Management Services

Personal Care Assistance Services

Supported Employment Program

SHP Vocational Services

Taking Initiative Center

Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Work/Learn Centers

Work Services

Young Adult Services

CEO/Executive Director
Ms. Heather I. LaTorra
Term Start July 2014
Email hlatorra@Marrakechinc.org
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 537
Number of Part Time Staff 320
Number of Volunteers 45
Number of Contract Staff 14
Staff Retention Rate 87%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 616
Asian American/Pacific Islander 5
Caucasian 136
Hispanic/Latino 77
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 22 Two or more ethnicities
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 276
Female 581
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Mr. Francis E. McCarthy June 1987 - June 2014
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Collaborations
1. As the leading organization within our Taking Initiative Center (TIC), we collaborate with Easter Seals and the APT Foundation.
2. We collaborate with Gateway Community College and for developing a better system of identifying educational needs of youth in foster care prior to their 1st semester of college to encourage them to reach their needs and goals.
 
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Connecticut Association of Nonprofits1990
Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce1988
Board Chair
Mr. Steven P. Shwartz
Company Affiliation Device42 Inc.
Term Jan 2009 to Jan 2018
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Ms. Ann Arpino CPAMarcum LLP
Mr. Louis J. Celentano Retired
Ms. Lisa C. Diggs UIL Holdings Corporation
Mr. Jeffrey Euben Yale University
Mr. Ihssane Khatib Northwestern Mutual
Ms. Kathleen Koenig MSN, APRNYale Child Study Center
Mr. Stephen Lane USI Connecticut Services, LLC
Ms. Suzanne Letso Connecticut Center for Child Development
Ms. Sheila E. Masterson Whalley Avenue Special Serices District
Mr, Bobby Peterson Consumer Advocate
Ms. Greta E. Solomon Esq.Cohen and Wolf, P.C.
Ms. Deborah Stanley-McAulay Yale University
Ms. Evelyn-Frizzle Streater-Frizzle Retired
Ms. Ruth Werth William Raveis
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 Arab-Berbers
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 9
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Finance
Personnel
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30 2018
Projected Revenue $38,025,351.00
Projected Expenses $37,775,535.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
Documents
Form 990s
9902016
9902015
9902014
9902013
9902012
9902011
9902010
9902009
9902009
9902008
Audit Documents
Audit2016
Audit2015
Audit2014
audit2012
audit2011
audit2010
audit2009
audit2008
IRS Letter of Exemption
501(c) 3 Marrakech Inc
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals ChartHelpFinancial 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$10,516,992$10,565,676$10,084,360
Total Expenses$10,035,168$10,114,666$10,014,014
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe 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
$167,182$242,473$62,461
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions------
------
$10,191,393$10,134,341$9,785,262
Investment Income, Net of Losses$4$36,764$37,415
Membership Dues------
Special Events$145,807$140,608$73,001
Revenue In-Kind$54,455----
Other$12,606$11,490$126,221
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$8,749,106$9,321,845$9,008,119
Administration Expense$1,238,172$720,702$932,366
Fundraising Expense$47,890$72,119$73,529
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.051.041.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%92%90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue15%19%54%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$17,251,360$19,348,428$18,681,143
Current Assets$3,087,106$3,556,570$2,407,538
Long-Term Liabilities$7,732,572$11,001,689$10,969,844
Current Liabilities$3,030,954$2,390,729$2,206,299
Total Net Assets$6,437,834$5,956,010$5,505,000
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --DSS $1,525,553DSS $1,232,889
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --DCF $788,377DCF $973,881
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Bureau of Rehabilitation Services $705,599Dept. Mental Health & Addiction Services $726,674
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.021.491.09
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets45%57%59%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
Foundation Staff Comments

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.

Address 6 Lunar Drive
Woodbridge, CT 06525
Primary Phone 203 389-2970
Contact Email Info@Marrakechinc.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Heather I. LaTorra
Board Chair Mr. Steven P. Shwartz
Board Chair Company Affiliation Device42 Inc.

 

Related Information

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A strong community not only meets its members’ basic needs but also works to create long-term solutions to their problems. Provide people with affordable housing, enough to eat and access to affordable health care and you enable them to envision a better future for themselves.

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A strong economy begins with a community that supports its people. When you support workforce training, financial literacy and public transportation, you enable individuals and families to work where they live, increasing their chances of economic success.

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