The STOP Organization - Hampton Roads Becomes First Ever Certified Evidence-Based Organization (CEBO)


ATLANTA, April 9, 2014 -- "...when we work with any human being, professionals must aspire to proven methods anlogo cebo1d approaches at all times - anything less ought to be deemed criminal." - Sobem Nwoko, Founder

In a joint statement today, the Evidence-Based Professionals Society and Joyfields Institute for Professional Development announced that The Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project of Hampton Roads, VA better known as The STOP Organization - Hampton Roads, VA became the first agency worldwide to meet the global standards to earn a provisional certification as a Certified Evidence-Based Organization (CEBO). To earn this distinction, The STOP Organization, also known as, underwent months of in-depth self-evaluation of the work they do and the degree to which they are evidence-based for serving their clients


Certified Evidence-Based Organizations (CEBO) are recognized for abilities and accomplishments they demonstrate in the area of evidence-based policies, programs, and practices. The certification examines five areas at these organizations;

  • Knowledge and use of evidence-based policies, programs, and practices
  • Demonstrating of effective leadership
  • Organizational culture and assessment
  • Strategic planning, performance measurement, and program evaluation
  • Building capacity and sustainability

In a statement Sobem Nwoko, President, Joyfields Institute and Founder of the EBP Society said, ‘... we congratulate The STOP Organization on this milestone. The organization is demonstrating to stakeholders and the community it serves of its commitment to providing the best-in-class services customers expect and should receive. Every person seeking services from any organization comes because they believe they will get expert help that is effective for their dilemma. And that is exactly what they should get - nothing less. The evidence tells us that STOP is such an organization headed in that direction. It is challenging for anyone individual, let alone an organization this size to subject itself to scrutiny by external parties and also implement changes recommended. We applaud the team for this accomplishment.”

Commenting on the certification, George F. Reed, Chairman of the STOP Board of Directors stated that the last three years have been marked by many successes for the Agency. STOP was re-designated as a certified HUD Housing Counseling Agency and currently has six (6) certified housing counselors. Since adopting Results Oriented Management Accountability (ROMA), STOP now has two certified ROMA Peer-to-Peer Trainers who have become well respected in the Community Action Community network. STOP has diversified its staff ethnically and linguistically with employees in key positions who speak Spanish, German and Russian. STOP’s 2012 Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Monitoring Report for our Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) reflected “No Findings” with commendable actions which noted that “the readiness from the agency was exemplary; all paperwork was easily accessible and methodical, providing for a very straightforward assessment.” STOP’s 2013 Weatherization Program Monitoring report reflected that the Agency needed two new policies which were drafted and reviewed and ultimately approved by the STOP Board on March 12, 2014. Additionally, this same report indicated that “the staff at STOP had all of the requested monitoring documents ready and well-organized upon DHCD’s arrival.”

STOP successfully sponsored its First Annual Harvey N. Johnson, Jr., Golf Tournament to raise money as part of its Annual Fund Drive. The Agency received four major grants totaling approximately a half million dollars in the areas of Veteran Services and Housing Counseling. Additionally, STOP has received Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation’s Firm Residential Building Energy Analyst License. This license allows STOP to inspect, investigate and survey to evaluate and measure energy consumption and efficiency in combination with making recommendations to promote energy conservation among low and moderate income citizens. The STOP Board has increased its membership with knowledgeable and technically capable volunteers who provide better oversight over all areas of operation. The current Board is poised to work with the Staff to form a strategic framework in terms of the Organization’s mission, purpose, values and long-range directions. This provisional certification as an EVIDENCED-BASED ORGANIZATION (EBO) will enhance our capability to better serve our customers!

Regina P. Lawrence, President and CEO of The STOP Organization said, “when I agreed to take on this assignment, the Board of Directors, STOP Staff and I made a commitment to all our stakeholders: funding sources, donors, supporters, friends and customers that we would continuously strive to increase our capacity to provide the very best in service initiatives for the customers who reside in our service delivery area. This provisional certification is an example of our progress toward that goal.” We are grateful for all the support and continued encouragement received from the entire community. As we continue to move through our journey guided by the unwavering support and selfless guidance of the Board, the Staff and I will continue to work relentlessly to “GROW STOP FORWARD!” The current STOP Board and Staff have been working for the last three plus years preparing the Agency and its Staff to meet National Standards designed to create more measurable and sustainable outcomes which lead low and moderate income individuals and families to self- sufficiency. We are pleased to report that we are well on our way to meeting and/or exceeding all of the National Standards which will be required in 2015 by the Office of Community Services, State Department of Social Services. This provisional certification places the Agency closer to meeting and/or exceeding the National Standards and provides all our stakeholders with evidence that STOP provides quality, outcome-driven and sustainable outcomes which lay a solid foundation for the success of our present and potential customers.

Mr. Nwoko further stated, “... the Evidence-Based Professionals Society certification program provides an outstanding opportunity for organizations to enhance their evidence-based approaches, culture and proficiencies. We look forward to continuing to support The STOP Organization in its continuing effort to provide exceptional service to its customers”.

About EBP Society
EBP Society is the Society for Evidence-based Organizations and Professionals. The society helps build capacity and enhance the careers of organizations and professionals in the human and social services fields by promoting adoption of evidence-based and strength-centered approaches everywhere, providing efficient access to evidence-based education and resources, and facilitating professional certification in Evidence-Based and Strength-Centered expertise.
Its membership are organizations and professionals dedicated to evidence-based and strength-centered practices, programs and policies. Learn more at

About Joyfields Institute for Professional Development
Joyfields Institute is the world's leading company for Evidence-based & Strength-centered programs and supports training, consulting and performance evaluation. The institute serves customers by providing training and subject matter expertise to help customers build capacity for applying evidence-based and strength-centered approaches. Since 2000 the organization
has proudly served over 1000 public and private agencies from all 50 US states and 15 countries. The company maintains a web site at

About The STOP Organization - Hampton Roads, VA
The Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project (STOP) of Hampton Roads, VA was created in 1965 as the designated Community Action Agency to serve the Southeastern Tidewater Virginia area. STOP’s service delivery area covers 2011 square miles which comprise one-quarter of the low and moderate income population in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. The jurisdictions served by STOP are the Cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach and the Counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton.

STOP's mission is to leverage human and financial resources to reduce the effects of poverty by assisting low wage and economically disadvantaged residents in Southampton Roads, Virginia to achieve self-sufficiency and improve their quality of life. STOP’s purpose is to provide strategies and initiatives for low and moderate income individuals and families which will increase access to opportunities that have quantifiable and potentially major impacts on the root causes of economic disadvantage. STOP focuses its efforts on areas impeding the achievement of self-sufficiency among hard-working, low-income wage earners. Governed by a dedicated Board of Directors, STOP employs 40 highly skilled staff members who implement 15 programs, with funding from 11 federal, state, local, and private sources, in order to serve a population that encompasses households at or below 125% of the poverty level, as defined by the federal government. View additional details at


George Cousar
Director, Evaluations and Certifications
Tel: (678) 720-2772


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