Friday, July 29, 2011

The Center of Hope

Today I wanted to take a minute to talk a little bit about our Center of Hope, many know it as the "homeless shelter" but really, it is a full service social service center. Here is some great information about some of the programs offered there EVERYDAY! 

Did you know? 
  • The Center of Hope is the largest homeless refuge in NE Oklahoma with a capacity for over 500 and has separate living areas for single men, single women and families. Three daily meals are served for shelter guests.
  • Nightly chapel services are available. Participation is voluntary.
  • Primary physical and mental health care services are provided at on site clinics.

We offer Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA)

  • Utility assistance (electric, natural gas, propane and water/sewer services)
  • Limited prescription assistance is provided following the same application requirements for EFA. A current original prescription must be submitted with application.
  • Restricted Travel Assistance is available to send “stranded” travelers safely back to their homes and employment. Application for Travel Assistance does not guarantee assistance will be available or approved.
Our Supportive Housing program helps to reduce the number of permanently homeless in Tulsa by:
  • Teaching effective financial management
  • Fostering healthy nutritional habits
  • Strengthening families through parenting development
  • Establishing solid family structures and values
  • Developing desire to seek lifelong learning opportunities
  • Acquiring, stabilizing and maintaining housing.
The PATHWAYS program has the goal to help those facing homelessness follow a clear path to self-sufficiency.
  • Step One – Genesis
    • The Genesis Program is designed as a starting point and is the guest’s opportunity for a new beginning.
  • Step Two – Joshua/Ruth
    • The Joshua/Ruth Program is designed to move the guest towards desiring and obtaining a fulfilling successful life.
  • Step Three – Josiah
    • The Josiah Program is designed to eliminate obstacles that guests experience which hinder progress towards housing stability.
  • Step Four – Gideon
    • The Gideon Program is designed for guests who work full time and are preparing to return to permanent housing.
  • Goliath – This program complements Steps One through Four and is exclusively for guests struggling with addictions by focusing on proper treatment opportunities and recovery that leads to lifelong sobriety.
  • Abraham – A Family Focused Program
    • The Abraham Program is a life skills class designed for families, which provides guidance towards appropriate individualized housing placement in either on-site Supportive Housing or permanent housing.

Project Able is a program for single individuals who are HOMELESS and are willing to work towards self-sufficiency through employment education and skills training. It includes:

  • Two-year supportive program (transitional housing)
  • Comprehensive assessment of individual needs
  • Individualized case plan developed by the individual and case management team
  • Group sessions to specifically target problem areas
  • Education and job training opportunities
  • Intensive case management services including client-linkage, advocacy and coordination of services
  • Assistance with basic necessities .
I hope you learned something about the Center of Hope that you didn't know! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Keeping kids busy!

Almost everyday, I get the opportunity to talk to the staff at our 6 local Boys & Girls Clubs about what they are doing this summer, and I am blown away!! I wanted to share a short list of things the kids at some of the clubs have been doing in the last week or so.

At the North Mabee Club they had 100 kids show up for the first day of football practice! They also visited the Blue Bell Creamery in Broken Arrow and sent four of their kids to Space Camp at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.  Today they are going golfing, tomorrow they will go skating and on Friday bowling! Think that is already a lot? They are also keeping up with their new vegetable garden and the kids have been picking cucumbers, squash and peppers!

Broken Arrow also has a pretty big list of activities! They have had an art day, went to Laser Quest, Dave & Busters and the water park in Muskogee! They even took a trip down the turnpike and spent a day at Frontier City! The list of "fun days" I got from Janis Fraley, Broken Arrow Unit Director, includes: Olympic Day, Bike Day, PJ Day, Splatter Day, Eat all Day-Day and so many more. Those kids are having some fun!

Sand Springs has not missed out on any of the fun, their kids visited Woolaroc, went to Incredible Pizza, visited the traveling planetarium dome, went roller skating and had a 50's day! Their upcoming events include going glow-putting and a 70's day! The Club is also hosting about 12 basketball games a week in the evenings and football practice just started!

In Sapulpa this week they have already taken 65 kids to the public pool and went skating with the Sand Springs kids. Today is "Ready, Set, Chill" day, the kids are wearing their PJ's all day and just "chilling out." They will be watching movies on the wall in the gym (their drive-in) and enjoying popsicles and popcorn, just a lazy camp day to escape the heat (I think I'm going to sneak over and join them)! Tomorrow they will be playing Laser Quest and on Friday it is Water Wars!

Doesn't it sound like these kids are having a great summer? Remember, our Boys & Girls Clubs are open year-round and depend on donations to help make sure ALL our programs are available to ALL children. To donate $10 to support The Salvation Army, text "TULSA" to 85944. Your gift will be used to make sure our programs are always available to those in need!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Glass Flowers Bloom for Mabee Red Shield

About 20 kids from the Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club recently learned how to create glass flowers at the Tulsa Glassblowing Studio. Young Rembrandts art teacher Miss LaDonna arranged for the Club’s older kids, counselors, counselors-in-training and staff to take the class.

The Glassblowing Studio is a non-profit organization, and it covered the cost of the kids’ tuition with scholarships. The class started with a professional glass artist demonstrating how to heat a metal rod with some glass on the end in a furnace. The students then dipped the glowing glass into different colored glass chips to form the stem. Afterward, the glass went back into the fire to melt the chips. In its heated state, the kids shaped petals with giant tweezers and pulled the glass to create a stem. Then the glass flower was put in a kiln to cool over several days. Students retrieved their artwork later to take home. Many thanks to Tulsa Glassblowing Studio staff for giving Mabee Red Shield an experience they will always remember!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 8-9: “Invisible People” to Feature Photos of Center of Hope Guests

It’s not every day that our homeless guests staying at the Center of Hope are asked to model for a photo shoot, but that’s what happened about a month ago. Shadia Dahlal, a founder of the Tulsa Folkloric Dance Theater, was familiar with the Center of Hope because her son lived there last year. She was inspired to bring Tulsa’s homeless issue to the forefront through theatre, dance, and music in the Dance Theater’s annual production. In “Invisible People” large photographic portraits of the guests from the Center of Hope will be used as a backdrop during the performance. Shadia said she wanted to use “real people, living in Tulsa” for the photographs and we supported her effort. To thank the many guests who posed for photos, Shadia gave them keepsake portraits and a ticket to see the performance. To order your tickets for “Invisible People” go to