At Compass, the true measure of our success is whether the families we serve reach the dreams and aspirations they have for a stronger financial future.
Reaching these dreams is a long-term process, which is why Compass makes a long-term investment in families. Along the way, we utilize leading financial security indicators to measure the progress of the families we serve and the effectiveness of our work. We also invest in partnerships with external research partners to evaluate and learn from our work.
Compass takes seriously the importance of a rigorous evaluation strategy.
We are focused on getting at what really works when it comes to empowering families to build savings and assets as a pathway out of poverty.
In October 2014, Compass engaged Abt Associates as a new research and evaluation partner to conduct a rigorous, multi-year study of our Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) programs. To conduct this study, Abt Associates followed rental assistance recipients over an average of 40 months who participated in FSS programs offered by Compass in partnership with local housing authorities in Lynn and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The final report, released in September 2017, shows that these participants earned more and received less welfare payments than their matched peers. They also achieved positive credit and debt outcomes that exceeded benchmarks.
Abt Associates also conducted an interim cost-benefit analysis of the same programs, and found that participants gained more than $10,000 in increased income over a five-year period as a result of participation in the program, at a net cost to the government of only $276 per participant.