Better Business Bureau Report for
Houston Center for Literacy

Better Business Bureau Report issued October 2013
Better Business Bureau Report expires October 2014

This BBB Accredited charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability and is a Seal Holder. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Houston Center for Literacy
Address: 2401 Portsmouth Street, #230
  Houston, TX 77098
Phone: 713-640-8202
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Formerly known as:Houston READ Commission

Year, State Incorporated: 1984, Texas
Affiliates: Adult Reading Center, Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, Alliance for Multicultural Community Services, AVANCE Houston, Inc., Bethel's Place, Brighter Future, Inc., Career and Recovery Resources, Chinese Community Center, Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, Children's Museum of Houston, City Wide Outreach Learning Center, Community Family Centers, East Side University Village Learning Center, Empowerment Plus, Gulf Coast Community Service Association, Harris County Public Library, Hope After the Journey, House of Amos, Houston International University, Houston Center for Literacy, Knowledge-First Empowerment Center, La Raza United, Literacy Advance of Houston, Lupaul Macedonian Medical Missionaries of Mary, Memorial Assistance Ministries, Mission Bells, Neighborhood Centers, Inc., Neuhaus Education Center, OnePowerfulMovement Community Development Center, Open Door Mission, P.U.S.H to W.I.N., Rehoboth Foundation, Rural Literacy Coalition, Schekinah Mentors International, Somali Bantu Community of Greater Houston, West Houston Assistance Ministries
Stated Purpose: Houston Center for Literacy's mission is to lead and mobilize a coalition of literacy providers and resources to improve the literacy landscape of Houston.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Houston Center for Literacy meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Houston Center for Literacy is working to build a literate, prepared workforce by supporting literacy organizations and programs, engaging the entire community to join us in solving our city’s low-literacy problem, and connecting learners with the education they need to be prepared for the future. Houston’s staggering low-literacy statistics have significant implications on the city’s wellbeing now and in the future, including our workforce, the lives of many families, as well as the safety of all of our citizens. Low-Literacy Statistics: -1 in 5 Harris county residents lacks basic literacy skills, up from 1 in 7 in 1992. (US Dept. of Education, National Assessment of Adult Education, 2003) -Of the 75 most populous cities in the United States, Houston was recently ranked #60, with #75 being the least literate. In 2005, Houston ranked #53. (Central Connecticut State University, 2011) Houston Center for Literacy supports the Mayor’s Coalition for Literacy in the following areas: •Advocacy on the city, state, and federal levels •Fundraising and Resource Distribution •Volunteer and Professional Development •Technical Assistance •Volunteer Recruitment and Placement •Best Literacy Practices Consulting •Literacy Demonstration Centers •Pilot Programs During FY 11-12, HCL fought illiteracy by granting $167, 414 to 29 literacy providers in Houston, referring 6,460 students to 78 Houston literacy providers using the HCL Help Line and training 707 active literacy tutors/volunteers who provided literacy services.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, Houston Center for Literacy's program expenses were:

Literacy and Education Programs 1,560,870
Total Program Expenses: $1,560,870
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Chief Executive : Sheri Suarez Foreman, President and CEO

Chair of the Board: William T. Griffin, Chairman
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Managing Director and Region Executive, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Board Size: 22

Paid Staff Size: 31

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 17% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $1,343,080, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on Houston Center for Literacy's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Source of Funds  
Government grants and fees 1,219,540
Contributions 1,171,544
Special Events 171,536
Other 2,531
Total Income $2,565,151


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 72%  Fund Raising: 11%  Administrative: 17% 

Total income $2,565,151
Program expenses $1,560,870
Fund raising expenses 231,230
Administrative expenses 364,921
Total expenses $2,157,021
Income in Excess of Expenses 408,130
Beginning net assets 406,146
Ending net assets 814,276
Total liabilities 163,498
Total assets $977,774

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