A year ago, Rose Martin, the charismatic former director of Peace Neighborhood Center, incorporated Rose’s Good Company. She says her five-year-old, one-woman charity helps adults who “fall between the cracks”–her clients, many of them former prisoners, turn to her for everything from getting a cell phone to finding a job. But, to her disappointment, incorporation and nonprofit status have actually hurt donations–“we’re getting less because people think, ‘They’re a 501(c)(3)–they have no problem staying afloat!'” says Martin.

Martin is now reluctant to take on new clients, but she continues to work with the ones she already has. Three dozen of them regularly volunteer to drive other people in need to interviews or grocery stores, either in their own cars or in Martin’s SUV. But her ex-cons aren’t welcome everywhere. She says she offered to have them escort women frightened about this summer’s wave of sexual assaults–but “they don’t want us.”