Collaboration: Over the past six years, the Homeless Alliance has met and worked with 100’s of agencies, organizations, and businesses in central Oklahoma. Our goal is to facilitate communication and community problem solving on issues of homelessness and poverty.
Real Change Vouchers: The Homeless Alliance has partnered with Downtown OKC to address increased panhandling in the downtown and Bricktown areas. This program involves the education of downtown employees and visitors by offering Real Change vouchers. These vouchers—each good for food and shelter, along with a bus ticket to one of the downtown homeless shelters—are sold at cost to people who wish to give something to panhandlers but are concerned about donated cash being used to buy drugs or alcohol. Although panhandlers and the homeless are two distinct populations, this project helps those who are truly needy while discouraging aggressive panhandling by those seeking money for unhealthy purposes. Visit the Real Change page for more information.
Community Standards: One of the chief goals of the Homeless Alliance has been the development of rigorous, community-wide standards for the operation of congregate homeless shelters. We believe that these standards will help our community improve the quality of services as well as attract new funding. The directors of Oklahoma City’s eight homeless shelters meet monthly at the Homeless Alliance offices to discuss standards and their implementation. The standards have been written and adopted by the executives of all seven homeless shelters in Oklahoma City, and we are currently engaged in a capacity-building exercise based on the standards.
Horizon: The Homeless Alliance created the Oklahoma City and Norman homeless management information system (HMIS) in 2007 and continues to host the system today. Horizon is a web-based application that allows agencies serving the homeless to collect data on services and measure the outcomes of those services. Because the system was developed in collaboration with local users, it is tailored to the needs of the central Oklahoma continuum of care for the homeless. The system allows the Homeless Alliance to aggregate data on our homeless population and the services provided and identify trends and gaps in services.
Family Homeless Continuum: Recently, the fastest growing demographic of the Oklahoma City homeless population was families with children. In 2006, the Homeless Alliance created a program, Coordinated Case Management, that brought together 8 human services agencies serving this population to address the issues causing these families to be homeless in a systematic and coordinated way. Today, the Family Homeless Continuum continues to serve this population with short-, medium-, and long-term housing assistance as well as the multi-agency, coordinated case management services needed for the families to achieve and sustain stable housing.
WestTown Homeless Resource Campus: The WestTown campus was envisioned in 2006 as a way for Oklahoma City to address a number of barriers. First, Oklahoma City has been without a day shelter for the homeless since 1997. Second, service providers are spread out throughout the city and lack of access to transportation presented a significant barrier to people trying to end their homelessness. Finally, rapid development in the downtown area was causing friction between the homeless, their service providers and downtown residents and businesses. To address these issues, the Homeless Alliance acquired property located at NW 3rd and Virginia and in the fall of 2009 begun developing a 17,000 square foot day shelter and an 18,000 square foot resource center where many of the government, faith-based, and nonprofit agencies serving the homeless would be co-located. The WestTown campus serves as a “one-stop shop” for homeless services. The WestTown Resource Center opened in May 2011 followed by the Oklahoma City Day Shelter’s completion in August 2011. See the WestTown page for more information.
Click Here to view the TV episode of Found Causes featuring The Homeless Alliance.